Thank you for your question regarding your 13 year old Cockapoo who has been straining to urinate for the last 4 hours or so. It definitely sounds as though your girl may have a urinary tract infection - however these symptoms could also be caused by a systemic problem or other bladder related problem. It could even be that your girl has crystals and/or stones in her bladder that are potentially causing a blockage. If she is straining very frequently (as you say) and there is little to no urine being produced, then it is better to play
it safe and have her seen tonight.
For now, please keep an eye
on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):
Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.
Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.
Respiratory Rate - if she seems to be breathing rapidly throughout the night this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.
The blood in her urine is typically a sign of bladder inflammation, and the most common issue for urinary symptoms in an old dogs is a urinary tract infection (UTI). We do have to consider urinary stones, or even another bladder issue in an older dog however. If she is really straining and frequently so, then you are definitely best to get her seen by your local ER vet. Here your vet can carry out a full exam, test your girl's urine, and possibly carry out further diagnostics like xrays or blood tests.
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