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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1555
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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What could cause blood in my female11 year old Shih Tzu's

Customer Question

What could cause blood in my female11 year old Shih Tzu's urine when she does not have a UTI or bladder stones? One month ago, she DID have a UTI and struvite crystals in her urine. She has since been treated with antibiotics and is now on Royal Canin prescription food to dissolve the crystals. She has has both x-rays and an ultrasound to ensure that she does not have stones of any type (she doesn't). I have taken fresh urine in for the past two weeks and everything was fine--no evidence of a UTI or crystals and the pH was good. Her blood work also came back normal when I asked for it to be tested--twice. The vet who did the ultrasound said everything looked great (no tumors, stones, or anything abnormal with her internal organs). So why is there still blood in her urine? I only notice the blood when she urinates in small amounts (she uses a pee pad in the house when I am gone, so I can actually see her urine). When she urinates in large amounts, I cannot see anything abnormal. Her appetite is good and she drinks normally, except for right after she eats when she drinks more (as a results of the prescription food, which is designed to make her drink more). Any advice would be appreciated. I've taken my dog for a second opinion, and both the internal specialist and my regular vet say she is healthy. So why the blood?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 13 years.

Have they found blood in the urine when they take the urine directly from the bladder with a needle (cystocentesis)? If the blood is only there when she urinates and not present in the urine in the bladder then it may be coming from the vaginal tissue. Vaginal problems would be exceedingly rare in a spayed dog, but if they have not found anything with all the tests they have done, the next step would be to use an endoscope to evaluate the vaginal vault. They could have polyps or they could have some conformational change that is causing urine to pool in the vaginal vault and cause irritation. They could also just have irritation there for no detectable reason.

That being said, they have done an extensive workup and ruled out all the serious problems so it may be worth trying some benign neglect (meaning you don't worry because it seems like nothing serious is wrong, but you monitor it, if it is getting worse then you looks again). Procedure like the endoscopy I'm talking about have some risks... you have to sedate them so risk of the sedation and some risk of vaginal trauma for the scoping.

Another thing that you can do is try some probiotics. We have found that dogs that are prone to vaginal irritation often have imbalances in the vaginal flora so feeding the 'good' bacterial in probiotics can help right that. I like Fortiflora, but any probiotic could work.

I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions please ask. If not, please rate my answer.