Call your veterinary clinic if you see blood in your dog’s urine. In most cases, you will need to bring your dog in for an exam. Your veterinarian will do a physical exam of your dog with a special focus on examining their hind end – including a deep feel of their abdomen, exam of their prepuce or vulva, and possible a rectal exam.
A urine sample will be needed, so it’s helpful to collect this at home shortly before your appointment whenever possible. Hold a clean container under your dog when they urinate to catch some of the urine. A Tupperware is a good choice since it has a lid and can be easily stored in the fridge until your appointment.
For female dogs it is trickier to collect urine as they squat lower to the ground, so a wider flat container is generally easier to use, or some people even use a clean soup ladle! If infection is considered likely, your vet may also collect urine from your dog using a sterile syringe in the clinic during your appointment.
The urine sample allows the veterinarian and veterinary technicians to check the urine for bacteria, red blood cells, pus, crystals, and in rare cases, cells that suggest certain cancers. Preliminary results from this test are available during the appointment timeslot while you are at the clinic.
Your vet may also request to send the sample to the lab for a more comprehensive bacteria check called a urine culture if it appears your dog has a urinary tract infection. Results from this test are available after several days. It provides guidance on what bacteria is causing infection, and what the best antibiotic to use to treat your dog is.