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Why Is My Dog´s Urine So Dark?

If your dog is in pain while urinating try to see what color pee is coming out.
If your dog is in pain while urinating try to see what color pee is coming out. | Source

If you are out for a walk and notice that your dog´s urine is not yellow, you need to find out why as soon as possible. Maybe it will be no big deal, and you will find out that your dog has a mild infection or her new diet has some strange red dye.

It can be a lot more serious. If you notice some of the other symptoms I describe below remember them and when you take her to your vet you can find out what is wrong.

In my experience, many problems can be dealt with easily if taken care of right away. A tumor on the bladder wall can be removed, but if left for months most of the bladder will be lost and the dog would probably end up being euthanized.

Dark urine can be an early symptom of many problems. If you do find out that your dog is healthy, all of you can be happy

Some common causes of dark urine in dogs

 
Dehydration
Urinary tract infection
Liver disease (hepatitis, infection, poison, cancer)
Blood loss into the body
Muscle damage (like a car accident)
Kidney or bladder stones
Vaginal or prostate infection or cancer
Some poisons
Some types of dyes in the dog food

What else to look out for

Dark urine is not really the disease that is hurting your dog; it is just one of the signs to look out for when your dog has a problem. If you notice these other symptoms it can help your vet diagnose your dog´s problem quicker, and with less testing. If your dog:

  • Is having a hard time urinating it can mean a problem with the bladder, urethra, or prostate
  • Is drinking excessive water, many systems need to be looked into. One type of hormonal disease causes a dog to become dehydrated even when drinking a lot
  • Has pale or yellow gums she may have blood loss or destroyed blood cells somewhere in her body
  • Is weak or has pain in her back or legs it may mean that she has muscle damage

Normal urine is yellow.
Normal urine is yellow. | Source

What are some tests that will need to be done after your vet examines your dog?

The first part of your dog´s visit to the vet will be a physical exam. If she is anemic her heart may be very fast, if she has a bladder stone it may be large enough to be felt during the exam, or she might even wince when her muscles are palpated during the exam. A female dog might have a vaginal discharge, or an older male dog might have a swollen prostate.

Expect at the very least that your dog will need a urinalysis (a microscopic examination of her urine), a complete blood count, and a blood chemical analysis to check her liver, kidneys, and other internal organs. If you hesitate because of the costs, remember the love she provides you every day and do your best to support her now that she needs you.

Besides these basic tests, some dogs will also need:

  • X-rays to check for any stones in the bladder
  • Ultrasound to check the kidneys, liver, and bladder wall for tumors
  • Laparoscopic exam and biopsy

Dark dog urine may be a cause for concern.
Dark dog urine may be a cause for concern. | Source

Is my dog going to get better after having dark urine?

Your dog has an excellent chance of getting better, but her chances really depend on what the cause is and how soon you have her checked out. If she has dark urine secondary to muscle damage, the problem will clear up as soon as the muscle heals.

A liver disease, especially cancer, is a more serious problem. Getting a diagnosis early will help in many cases.

It is difficult to say how things will turn out until the cause of the problem has been determined. I have read a very popular web sites that recommends you take a “wait and see” attitude towards your dog´s health. This is wrong. If your dog has dark urine, find out what is wrong today!

© 2016 DrMark1961

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Comments 5 comments

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DrMark1961 6 weeks ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I wanted to follow you on flipboard but I cannot find your account. What is your name/account name on that site?


DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 6 weeks ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I wanted to follow you on flipboard but I cannot find your account. What is your name/account name on that site?


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AliciaC 6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you very much for sharing this information, DrMark. It's useful and important information for people with a dog in their family. I'll keep it in mind for my dog and share it on Flipboard so that others can see it.


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DrMark1961 7 months ago from The Beach of Brazil Author

I think I forgot that one, Bob! I havent seen snow in years.


Bob Bamberg profile image

Bob Bamberg 7 months ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

Helpful information as usual, Doc. If people notice a color change in their dog's urine and report it to their vet right away, it can result in a much better outcome. We have a saying we learned as children here in the Northeast that reminds us that dog urine is yellow: "Don't eat the yellow snow."

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    DrMark1961 profile image

    DrMark1961567 Followers
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    Dr Mark is a small animal veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.



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