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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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What can cause blood in my female dog's urine?

Resolved Question:

What causes blood in my female dog's urine. 14 year old Border Collie.
Submitted: 8 years ago via PetWave.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

When did you first notice the blood in her urine?

Is she having urinary accidents in the house?

Is she urinating with increased frequency?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

6 months. Yes

Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

There are a few possibilities for the blood in your girl's urine.

1. Urinary Tract Infection.

This is by far the most likely thing. UTI's in female dogs are fairly common. The urethra (the tube between the bladder and the outside) is short and wide in female dogs which allows bacteria an easy route to climb up into the bladder and cause infection.

If your girl is overweight or has any stiffness in her hips that would make her more prone to infection, too. If she has sore hips, she might "hold it" instead of getting up to go, and as that urine sits in the bladder for longer, then it is more likely that an infection can get started.

Overweight dogs can be more prone to infections because there is more likely to be fecal contamination of the urethral opening, which again makes it more likely for bacteria to climb up into the bladder.

However, we see UTI's in young, active dogs and sometimes don't know what the cause is. Most UTI's will clear up with a 1-2 week course of antibiotics from your veterinarian.

Here is more about it:

2. Mass in bladder wall.

It is possible that your girl might have a growth in the wall of the bladder, which could cause bleeding if it grew into the wall of a blood vessel in the bladder. This is rare. An analysis of a urine sample would help to diagnose this, as the veterinarian could look for the presence of abnormal cells.

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3. Bladder stone.

In some dogs, stones form in the bladder. As they grind around in there, they can cause erosions on the inside surface of the bladder which can lead to bleeding. This normally occurs in younger dogs, like yours. Again, an analysis of a urine sample can help to diagnose this, as small crystals are usually visible in the urine under a microscope when dogs have this problem.

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4. It is possible, though unlikely, that your dog could have a bleeding disorder that is causing blood to be seen in the urine.

Dogs that have eaten rat poison develop bleeding problems and blood may be seen in the urine. There are various immune-mediated problems that may cause bleeding as well, but they are rare. With any of these, your dog would be lethargic, have a poor appetite and be depressed. Also, the gums/tongue would be pale due to blood loss. This seems very unlikely since it has been going on for such a long time.

So, in summary the most likely reason for the blood in the urine is a urinary tract infection. This should clear up with a course of antibiotics. If it does not, your veterinarian may suggest x-rays to look for a mass in the bladder, or bladder stones.

I would strongly recommend a visit to your vet to have her examined, and to get some antibiotics if your vet diagnoses a urinary tract infection.

Until you can get her to her veterinarian, it may help her to feel more comfortable today if you can really encourage her to drink A LOT. This will help to flush out her bladder, making her urine more dilute.

There are a number of things you can do to increase water consumption.
You can mix a bit of food in with water to make a soup - that way your dog may be enticed to drink more.

You can make "hot-dog soup." To do this, take one hot dog and cut it into a dozen small pieces. Put them in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat, and allow to cool. Remove the hot dog pieces, and offer the dog the water.

I suggest opening a can of tuna *in water* and offering the liquid diluted with water 50:50.
Any clear fluids are fine to give - such as apple juice, gatorade, pedialyte. Dilute all of them 50:50 with water.

You could try Lactose Free milk (Lactaid is the Canadian brand ), diluted with water.

Offer some canned dog food, and mix it with water to make a gravy to pour over her dry food.

Other things you can do to encourage a dog to drink are:
- offer water from a very wide flat bowl
- If she likes dripping water, leave a tap.
- Offer bottled water and see if she prefers it.
- Offer chicken broth or beef broth, diluted 50:50
- See if she likes water with an ice cube in it.
- See if she likes it out of a cup or pasta bowl.

- You could try getting some human baby food in meat flavours (check that there are no onions or garlic in the ingredients) and mix that with warm water and offer that as a "soup" for her to drink. Beech Nut makes a line of baby food that has nothing but meat (beef, chicken, turkey or veal) in it.

Here's a link:

If you cannot find this, you could find another meat baby food - just read the label carefully to be sure there are no onions, onion powder, garlic, or garlic powder in it (as these are toxic to dogs)

Cook a chicken breast and put it in the blender with enough water to turn it into baby-food consistency. Make it into a soup.

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