Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in Dogs:  Why is my dog Peeing Blood?

UTI in Dogs: Photo by  Boxed Water Is Better  on  Unsplash

UTI in Dogs: Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

How do I Know if my Dog has UTI?

Following are signs that might indicate a lower urinary tract issue:

  • Bloody or cloudy urine.

  • Straining to urinate or urinating only small amounts.

  • Increased frequency or volume of urination.

  • Dribbling urine.

  • Strong urine odor.

  • Urinating in inappropriate locations, in the house.

  • Excessive licking of genital area.

  • Increased water intake.

  • Fever, lethargy, vomiting.

  • Reduced appetite.

  • Back pain.

When is UTI in Dogs More Likely?

Older female dogs and dogs with diabetes are more prone to urinary tract infections. 

What are the Causes of UTI in Dogs? 

  • Bacterial infection.

  • Stones, crystals or debris accumulation in the bladder or urethra.

  • Incontinence from excess water intake, weak bladder or a hormonal imbalance.

  • Trauma.

  • Cancer.

  • Spinal cord abnormalities.

  • Birth defect.

  • Prostate disease.

When is UTI in Dogs an emergency? 

You need to get to a veterinarian immediately if you notice your dog straining to urinate, crying out in pain or whining while urinating.  This could indicate a stone blocking the urethra.  X rays and ultrasound show the presence and location of stones.   

How is a urinary tract infection, stone or urinary blockage diagnosed?

A urinalysis is collected first, usually with a needle while visualizing the bladder on ultrasound.  The urine is then spun in a centrifuge to produce sediment that can be examined under the microscope for the presence of white blood cells, bacteria or crystals. A culture of the urine is advisable to grow the bacteria causing the infection and determine which antibiotic will be the most effective.   Since bacterial infections are less common in males, it is always best for us to look for a more serious underlying problem, like kidney or prostate infection or stones.

We will use x-rays, blood tests and ultrasound of the bladder to look for underlying causes.

How are urinary tract problems treated?

  • Antibiotics.

  • Medications and supplements.

  • Diet changes.

  • Urinary acidifiers.

  • Intravenous or subcutaneous fluids.

  • Surgery or catheterization to remove bladder stones.

  • Surgery to remove a tumor or correct a birth defect,

  • Treatment of any underlying condition that is contributing to a urinary tract problem.

What happens if a dog’s urinary tract problems are not treated?

Bladder infections can move up to the kidneys and cause life-threatening infections.  Stones can cause an obstruction, preventing a dog from urinating.  A urinary catheter or surgery may be needed to relieve the obstruction.  Partial or complete obstructions of the urethra can lead to a ruptured bladder, which is fatal.  

Elyse Kent