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Blood alone in your dog's urine isn't an emergency.

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Why is there blood in my dog's urine?

By Dr. Laura Waring BVetMed MRCVS Veterinarian

Updated on the

If your dog is urinating more often than usual or there is blood in their urine, it could be a sign of an urinary tract infection.

Naturally it is concerning if you think your dog has a urinary tract infection (UTI).

If your dog is urinating more frequently than usual or passing urine in the house, you might be concerned there is a problem.

When to see a vet for blood in a dog's urine

You should see a vet as soon as you suspect there is a problem. Your dog may show a variety of symptoms including inappetance (lack of appetite), drinking more than usual, trying to pass urine more frequently (or asking to go outside to try to pass urine). Sometimes a urinary tract infection might cause a temperature (fever). It is best to collect a urine sample from your dog if possible to take to the appointment with the vet. This can then be checked for evidence of infection.

How do you treat blood in a dog's urine?

It is very common for a urinary tract infection to cause inflammation and some blood in the urine. Sometimes the blood might be visible as specs in the urine, but often it would need to be tested with a dipstick at the vets. If an infection is suspected by the vet, it is likely a short course of antibiotics may be prescribed, or the urine sent to a laboratory to see if any bacteria grow.

Is blood in dog urine an emergency?

Blood in the urine although alarming is not an emergency. Just speak to your vet and make the next available appointment. The exceptions to this would be if your dog seemed to be very unwell, incredibly lethargic or showing any other symptoms that worried you. Also if your dog is unable to pass any urine, this is an emergency and the dog needs to be taken to the vets immediately.

What causes blood in a dog's urine?

It is very common for a urinary tract infection to cause inflammation of the bladder or another part of the urinary tract, which can result in some blood in the urine. Sometimes the blood might be visible as red specs in the urine, but often it would need to be tested with a dipstick at the vets to confirm it is there.

Can I give my dog cranberry juice for a urinary tract infection?

It is not known if cranberry juice is useful in treating urinary tract infections in dogs. This is because not a lot of research has been done to show if it is helpful. Research from human medicine has shown than cranberry juice does not effectively treat a urinary tract infection. Certainly cranberry juice should never be used in favour of other treatments that may be prescribed by a vet.

Can a dog UTI cure itself?

Urinary tract infections do not usually spontaneously resolve. They can be very uncomfortable for your dog and can progress and make your pet very unwell. If you suspect your dog has a UTI, it would always be best to arrange a check-up with the vet rather than hoping it will go away without treatment.

How can I treat my dog's UTI at home?

If you suspect your pet has a UTI, the first step would be to arrange a check-up at the vets, and if possible collect a fresh urine sample from your dog in a clean pot. In the meantime, ensuring there is plenty of fresh drinking water available and keeping your pet quiet and comfortable are important. There are no proven home remedies for a urinary tract infection.

How can I comfort my dog with a UTI?

Ensure your dog has a comfortable bed to lie in and plenty of fresh drinking water. Your pet may wish to be outside more than usual, as it has the urge to pass urine frequently. Don't prevent them going outside if they wish. While you await the appointment with the vet, reassure your pet and encourage them to rest if possible. Your presence is likely to be very comforting to your pet while they feel unwell.

Does apple cider vinegar work for a dog UTI?

Although there are claims from some people that apple cider vinegar helps treat a dog's urinary tract infection, there is no research or clear evidence to support this. In some cases administering apple cider vinegar may worsen the situation or cause other problems such as upsetting the digestive tract. It is best to avoid administering apple cider vinegar and consult with your vet for advice.

What do vets prescribe for a UTI in dogs?

If your dog is found to have a urinary tract infection when checked at the vets, then commonly a short course of antibiotics will be prescribed. Often antibiotics will be prescribed right away. Sometimes the vet may send the urine sample to the laboratory to check what bacteria are present and ensure the correct antibiotic has been selected. If your pet is particularly uncomfortable or has a high temperature, then pain-relieving medication may also be given.

Can my dog die from a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections can be very unpleasant for your pet. However they will not die because of it and with prompt treatment they will make a full recovery and soon be feeling back to normal.

How did my dog get a UTI?

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria make their way into the urinary tract and cause an infection. This is often bacteria that are present in the gut and faeces. Occasionally there may be an underlying condition that makes the dog more prone to a UTI, such as diabetes mellitus. Sometimes there may be stones or debris that accumulates in the urinary tract, meaning infection if more likely.

How do I know if my dog has a urinary tract infection?

You may suspect your dog has a urinary tract infection if they start having accidents in the house. Other signs you might notice are a strong odour from their urine or visible blood. Your dog may be trying to pass urine frequently and seem unsettled. Ultimately, however, your dog needs to be checked over by the vet to be sure.

How long does a dog UTI last?

Urinary tract infections are usually short lived when appropriate treatment is given. If a vet confirms that your dog has an infection and antibiotics are prescribed, there is usually an improvement in their symptoms within a couple of days. The infection would likely be resolved within a week.

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