VOSD Vet

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How to Treat Hematuria in Dogs

Upon receiving a diagnosis of hematuria (blood in the urine) in your dog, here’s what you can anticipate next.

Medication: Depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s hematuria, your veterinarian may recommend various medications such as antibiotics or urinary acidifiers.

Surgery: In certain situations, surgical interventions, such as the removal of bladder stones, might be required.

Dietary Changes: Your veterinarian may prescribe specialized diets, especially if your dog is dealing with bladder stones.

What to Expect at the Vet’s Office

The veterinarian will aim to identify the underlying cause of your dog’s hematuria. Beginning with a physical examination and thorough health history, they will likely proceed with a combination of diagnostic tests. These may include:

  • A blood chemistry panel
  • Complete blood cell count
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing
  • Abdominal X-rays and/or ultrasound

Treatment will be determined based on the test results and eventual diagnosis. Some common disorders associated with hematuria in dogs include:

  • Urinary Tract Infection: Treated with antibiotics, sometimes requiring urine culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing for proper antibiotic selection. If it coexists with struvite bladder stones, a specialized diet or urinary acidifier may be needed to dissolve the stones.
  • Bladder Stones: Struvite stones can often be dissolved with prescription diets or urine acidifying medications, while calcium oxalate and other types may require surgical removal.
  • Cancer: Urinary tract cancer may lead to hematuria and necessitate treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or palliative therapy.
  • Trauma: Injuries can cause urinary tract bleeding, requiring rest, pain relief, supportive care, and sometimes surgery for recovery.
  • Bleeding Disorders: Conditions affecting blood clotting can result in hematuria, with treatment tailored to the specific cause, such as Vitamin K for certain poisonings.
  • Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH): Unneutered male dogs are susceptible to BPH, which can cause hematuria. Neutering is typically curative.

What to Expect at Home

Dogs undergoing treatment for hematuria should be closely observed and motivated to consume food and water. It’s crucial for dogs on antibiotics for urinary tract infections to complete the entire course, even if their condition improves quickly. Follow the veterinarian’s guidance regarding any other prescribed medications.

Dietary adjustments play a significant role in managing hematuria in some dogs. Providing canned and/or prescription food and ensuring fresh water is always accessible are typical recommendations.

Questions to Ask Your Vet

Inquire with your veterinarian about potential side effects of the medications prescribed for your dog. Determine the schedule for the next progress check and inquire about the appropriate contact person in case of an emergency outside of your veterinarian’s regular business hours.

Possible Complications to Watch For

Consult your veterinarian if you have any inquiries or apprehensions regarding your dog’s condition. Some dogs may experience side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, etc., when taking medications. Ensure you comprehend the expected reactions to any prescribed medications for your dog.

Occasionally, a dog may initially appear to be recovering but then experience a setback. Contact your veterinarian if your dog exhibits signs such as straining to urinate, producing minimal urine, frequent urination, discomfort while urinating, or if the hematuria worsens.

In rare instances, dogs with hematuria may develop urinary obstruction, which can be life-threatening if left untreated. If you suspect your dog is unable to urinate, promptly contact your veterinarian.

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