Blood in your dog’s urine can be caused by many conditions. One of the most common causes is a simple urinary tract infection with bacteria, which can cause bloody urine and straining. This condition is easily treated with a round of antibiotics, but if the infection comes back, then your veterinarian will suspect an underlying condition that is preventing the infection from being eradicated.

Underlying conditions can be specific to the urinary tract or something that is affected the immune system so your dog’s body can’t fight the infection. Conditions that might cause a recurrent urinary tract infection and bloody urine in your dog include urinary stones, anatomic defects, bladder tumors or growths, or hormonal conditions such as cushing’s disease. IT can also rarely be caused by bladder parasites.

Bloody urine can also be caused by abnormalities in your dog’s clotting systems. Dogs that have eaten rat poison can present to the veterinarian with bloody urine. Rat poisoning is an immediate life-threatening emergency! In addition, dogs that have low platelets, aut-immune diseases, liver or kidney disease, trauma to their urinary system (such as hit by car), or heritable clotting factor defects can urinate blood.

Male and female dogs can have sex-specific reasons for bloody urine. In male dogs, bloody urine can signal a problem with the prostate, such as prostatitis or prostate cancer. In a female dog that has not been spayed, urinating blood can be either a normal heat cycle or can signal a life-threatening infection in the uterus called pyometra. Female dogs with a uterine infection will act sick: low energy, vomiting, diarrhea, inappetance. A female dog going through a normal heat cycle (which occur every 6 months) will act normal.

In any animal (humans included!), urinating blood is always a medical concern, and if you are noticing that your dog is having bloody urine (other than a normal heat cycle), schedule a veterinary appointment immediately. I repeat: dogs that are urinating blood need immediately veterinary assistance. Do not try home remedies. Even if it is something as simple as a urinary tract infection, getting your dog the proper treatment can relieve suffering. If you can bring in a urine sample that will be helpful for your veterinarian, and there is a possibility that your veterinarian will want to run additional tests, including blood work, urine culture, and imaging with x-rays or ultrasound.