The sight of blood sets alarms blaring in our minds, and you’re not alone. You may have noticed blood appearing in your dog’s urine, but don’t worry, and we’ll face it head-on.
Don’t panic! The first step is to approach your vet, though, educating and researching on your own as well can ease the understanding of your dog and their situation.
Like any other condition, the causes vary, so do the treatments. From easy treatment to serious conditions — it’s important to single out which one it is. We all want what’s best for our best friends.
Let’s take a look at hematuria, causes, diagnosis and treatment, further health implications, and most importantly, prevention.
What is Hematuria?
Hematuria is the term referring to blood in the urine.
The appearance of red blood cells in their urine may or may not be evident. Naturally, on light surfaces, it would be easy to spot. However, in some cases, diagnostic tests are needed to identify and discover the presence of these cells.
A rule of thumb in determining whether you should contact your vet is the general discoloration of your dog’s urine. It could look absolutely normal with no discoloration or as an unusual shade of red, orange, or brown.
Now that we’ve got the terminology and general symptoms let’s learn about the varying causes.
Causes of Blood in Urine
With the numerous causes, you should definitely prioritize a visit to the vet.
According to Dr. Daniel Grimmett of Sunset Veterinary Clinic in Oklahoma, “[Bacterial urinary tract infections] are more common in female dogs but can occur in any dog.”
Complications from the upper urinary tract are typically caused by idiopathic renal hematuria, kidney infections, kidney cancer, or renal telangiectasia. On the other hand, from the lower urinary tract, it ranges from bladder infections, stones, cancer, or prostate problems.
Placing infections and tongue twister-like conditions aside, trauma and clotting may also be a cause.
Whether the clotting was caused by trauma or not, physical trauma after a fall or accident could induce injuries to the extent of hemorrhage in the urinary bladder.
Seeing the bigger picture, these causes are impossible to deduce to a single one on your own.
Hematuria: A Symptom of Cancer?
Hearing and seeing the term ‘cancer’ sets off panic and worry — but it’s more important to learn every single complication and implication.
In all fairness, kidney and urinary tract cancer are rare for dogs. Although, the more susceptible dog breeds to such are terriers and sheepdogs.
Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is the most common urinary tract cancer.
Aside from hematuria, the symptoms of kidney cancer include fever, loss of appetite, depression, and weight loss. On the other hand, for urinary tract cancer, frequent urination, painful urination, and production of urine in small amounts are the symptoms.
Undoubtedly, the most important thing is to rule out the chances of cancer. To do so, pay your veterinarian a visit!
Diagnosis and Treatment
Take a breather, and most hematuria cases are treatable!
Looking back to the overwhelming possible causes, you see how important and how dependent you and your dog are on professional opinion.
As they all tie to urine and all the involved organs, the diagnosis will be made through a urinalysis, urine culture, and a physical examination to isolate the primary cause. Other veterinarians may also opt for more tests to better understand your dog’s situation and symptoms.
From there, the appropriate treatment can and should be carried out as advised by your veterinarian. It’s essential to stick to their treatment plan and do not deviate from it.
Prevention of Hematuria
The first line of defense is regular visits to your veterinarian.
This does not only apply to this certain case, but frequent visits can save your furry friend’s life. Early diagnosis will serve as prevention or early treatment that places your dog at an optimal situation.
Aside from professional help, as their parent and best friend, you play a significant role.
Take the time to observe and monitor your dog and their behavior as they live their day. A simple observation of their urinary habit could provide you with the necessary observations to seek help. And remember, apply this throughout — from eating, to running, observe, observe!
Caring for your dog can be a struggle, but it’s also one of the biggest blessings!
We’ve all got their best interests at heart, and it’s your duty to trust your instinct and observations, and of course, take the next step.
The sight of blood in urine is definitely a scary experience, but breathe in, breathe out, it will all be alright.
At the initial encounter, read up and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible!
Our doggies come first.