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Hematuria: Blood in Urine of Dogs and Cats

Reviewed by Dr. Celeste Clements, DVM, DACVIM on Friday, June 5, 2015
Posted April 24, 2014 in Dog Diseases & Conditions A-Z

Hematuria

What is hematuria?
Hematuria is simply the presence of red blood cells in urine.

What are the symptoms of hematuria?
You might think this condition would always be obvious to you because you can’t imagine peeing blood yourself and not being aware of it. But in our dogs and cats, sometimes we don’t have any clue at all that hematuria exists until a veterinarian requests a urine sample for some other reason. In fact, it is not unusual to stumble across evidence of urinary problems, including hematuria, when running routine, wellness lab tests in apparently healthy animals—another good reason to request regular wellness tests. If you do see symptoms this is what they could look like:

  • A change in the color of the urine towards a pinker or reddish hue (the change would be hard to notice when your pet urinates outside in the dirt or grass, or if your cat uses a litter box)
  • Blood stains in other parts of the house
  • Your previously well-housetrained pet is having accidents in or around the house
  • Your pet is asking to go out and urinate more frequently
  • Your pet squats to urinate multiple times in a row rather than just once
  • Your cat is making increased trips to the litter box, producing multiple small, wet, clumped areas rather than the medium ones that are typical
  • Your pet is persistently wet in areas where urine is leaking due to incontinence
  • Your pet is licking or grooming more in the groin area
  • In severe cases your pet may be having real pain or difficulty urinating—causing restlessness or crying

In a nutshell, if your pet has blood in his urine you may see it or you may not, and your pet may have lots of symptoms or no symptoms at all.

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Mike has more than 35 years of experience in companion animal veterinary practice and is a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2013.