What to Watch For
If you notice blood in your dog's urine, you should also watch to see if they are straining when the urinate, if they are having trouble or pain when urinating, if they are going more often (with perhaps smaller volume), or if they have abdominal pain. It is a good idea to have your dog examined by a veterinarian if you observe any of these symptoms.
Causes of Hematuria
Hematuria can be caused by everything from calculi in the urinary tract to rare parasites or congenital defects, but one of the most common causes is a urinary tract infection.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) occur nearly as often in dogs as they do in people, and they are just as uncomfortable. UTIs are caused by bacteria in the bladder or urethra (the tube through which urine flows), and can make it very painful to urinate. Importantly, if the infection is not caught and treated quickly, they can spread to the kidney and cause more serious medical problems.
Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections
The typical treatment for UTI in the dog is to undergo a veterinary examination and diagnosis via a urine culture. Once the infection is confirmed, a cause-dependent treatment is started. Often, a 1-3 week course of antibiotics is prescribed. Following the course (usually 1 to 3 weeks), a second urine culture is performed to confirm that the infection has been cleared up.
While antibiotic treatments will relieve the symptoms of the infection, they can also have a weakening effect on the animal's immune system. This general weakening can cause further medical problems for the animal, particularly if they are prescribed on a regular basis.
More and more dog owners are considering the use of herbal and homeopathic treatments for UTI, because they have been shown to be effective at controlling the symptoms of UTI. They also tend to strengthen the dog's overall immune system, which can lead to fewer infections over time.
The Bottom Line
Hematuria is a serious issue, and if you see evidence of it from your pet you should take them to the veterinarian for evaluation. Once the cause of the bleeding can be determined, treatment should be medically sensible and work toward the long-term health of your dog.