Help! My Dog Is Peeing Blood!

Here’s what to do if you find blood in your dog's urine.

dog peeing blood

If you see your dog peeing blood, your natural instinct may be to panic. And that’s totally understandable. But first, take a deep breath, and then call your veterinarian.

There’s many reasons why you may be seeing blood in your dog’s urine, and while most issues can be treated, receiving a diagnosis quickly is the first step towards treatment and getting your dog back to feeling healthy again.

We spoke with Dr. Marianne Bailey, a veterinarian and owner of Queenstown Veterinary Hospital, for more insight on why your dog is peeing blood and what you can do about it.

Reasons for a dog peeing blood

Blood in a dog’s urine can be related to a variety of medical issues, according to Dr. Bailey:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) — “Although more common in females, a UTI, or bladder infection, could cause a male or female to urinate blood,” Dr. Bailey told The Dodo. Other symptoms include straining to urinate, increased frequency of urination, accidents inside the home, increased thirst, and whimpering during urination. Antibiotics are the number one treatment for bladder infections and will be prescribed by your vet.
  • Bladder stones — These rock-like mineral formations can develop in the urinary bladder. It’s common for a mixture of both small and large stones to be found, and any can cause blood in the urine of male and female dogs. Depending on the type of stone, there are a few ways to get rid of them: surgical, non-surgical and a special diet formula. Your vet can advise on the best option for your pup.
  • Tumors of the urinary tract — Although a less common cause, blood in the urine of middle-aged to senior male and female dogs has been discovered. Urinary tract cancers occur most often in the bladder, urethra, kidneys or prostate of male dogs. Other signs of this type of cancer include vomiting, loss of appetite, straining while peeing, having accidents around the house, and swelling of the abdomen. Once diagnosed by your vet, treatment may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Reproductive cycle — If your female dog is “in heat,” you may see some blood when she urinates. Your dog’s in heat when she has entered the fertile part of her reproductive cycle, for seven to ten days on average. The amount of blood usually varies depending on the size of the dog. Most breeds will have their first heat around 6 months old, although the timing can vary. This is a natural occurrence and will resolve once your pup’s spayed.
  • Prostate issues — For male dogs, urinating blood can be a sign of a prostate-related problem, including cancers, infections and abscesses. As an example, benign prostatic hyperplasia, a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, is the most common disease of the prostate and occurs in older male dogs who haven’t been neutered. Signs of an issue with the prostate include finding blood on your dog’s bedding, increased urination, straining to pee and poop, and constipation. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis by your vet and the type of disease affecting your dog.

When should you call your vet

In short, right away.

“Anytime you notice blood in the urine, your dog should be seen by a veterinarian,” Dr. Bailey said. “Thankfully, most of these causes can be treated relatively quickly and easily, but early detection and diagnosis is very important.”

So remember, try not to panic if you see your dog peeing blood. Take a deep breath and call your vet. Your dog will be on his way to diagnosis and a treatment plan very soon.