In urine (hematuria) is the presence of red blood cells in urine. You might think this condition would be obvious because you can’t imagine peeing blood & not being aware of it. But in our & often we don’t have a clue this exists until a vet orders a urinalysis. In fact, it is not unusual to stumble across evidence of urinary problems, including hematuria, when running routine wellness lab tests in healthy animals—another good reason to request regular #vetcheck #fearfreevetvisit

If you 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 is hard to notice when your pet urinates outside in the dirt or grass or if your cat uses a litter box)stains in other parts of the Your previously well-housetrained pet is having accidents in or around the Your pet is asking to go out & urinate more frequently. Your pet squats to urinate multiple times in a row rather than just once. Your 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 some cases your pet may be have real pain or difficulty urinating, causing restlessness or crying

If your pet has blood in the urine you may see it or you may not, & your pet may have lots of symptoms or no symptoms at all. Pretty much anything that causes irritation, inflammation or bruising of the urinary tract can result in the urine. The complete list of possibilities is very long, but the most common causes are: Bacterial infections, esp. in female dogs, Sterile inflammation, primarily in, Calcui (stones), Traumatic injury or Neoplasia (tumors)

Bleeding disorders can also make an otherwise normal urinary tract more susceptible to bleeding. This can happen in the presence of an underlying hemophilia, as a result of infectious disorders like ehrlichiosis (tick fever), or with some toxins like warfarin (found in human prescriptions & in rat poisons), or with immune-mediated conditions associated with reduced platelets–blood elements necessary for normal clotting.

There are also disorders of the reproductive tract that produce blood & other secretions that then mix with urine. For example, prostatic disease in males, uterine or vaginal disorders or normal estrous cycles in females, can all result in ending up in voided urine.

Depending on what we call signalment (your pet’s species, breed, age, sex, etc.), the taking of a thorough history (any current clinical symptoms +/- or past illnesses or episodes–urinary or otherwise), & the findings from a complete physical examination, your vet will recommend a treatment plan that will include a urinalysis & bacterial culture if indicated. It will probably also include blood work +/- a urinalysis +/- radiographs +/- an ultrasound evaluation. Based on those results your vet will recommend further diagnostic steps or appropriate medical or surgical treatment.