Bacterial infections of the bladder are one of the most common causes of blood in the urine. This is when bacteria from outside of your dog’s body has entered the urethra and traveled up to the bladder. This is especially common in dogs who “hold” their urine for long periods of time or don’t drink enough water. The bladder wall becomes very inflamed and can start to bleed.
Even unrelated conditions like allergic reactions, certain chemotherapeutic drugs, and stress can all contribute to bladder wall inflammation. Endocrinopathies like diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism can increase the likelihood of a bladder infection.
Bladder stones can form for a variety of reasons. Most often, bladder stones are diet-related or can be caused by the presence of bacteria in the bladder. When certain compounds are present in urine, they canprecipitate out of solution and form crystals.
These crystals can sometimes be detected on routine urine testing. When crystals contact one another, they can coalesce and form a bladder stone.
These can be very irritating to the lining of the bladder, and many can be confirmed on x-ray or ultrasound imaging. Certain diets can help dissolve and prevent stones while others need surgery to be removed.
In male dogs, the prostate gland can become enlarged due to infection or due to elevated testosterone levels, which is the case with intact male dogs. In severe cases, the prostate can form a large abscess or can develop tumors, all of which can lead to blood observed in the urine.
Bladder cancer is one of the worst causes of hematuria. Transitional cell carcinoma is one of the most aggressive forms of bladder cancer and is difficult to treat because of its location at the neck of the bladder.
It occurs more in females than males. Beagles, Westies, and Scottish terriers are more likely to develop it. Surgery and anti-inflammatory medications like piroxicam are recommended for treatment.