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What is Urine Discolored?

Even though some people may believe that clear urine is a good thing, it is better to have a bit of yellow present. This means that your dog is filtering toxins properly out of the body and isn’t drinking too much water, which is actually a good thing as too much water can be problematic. When your pet’s urine changes different colors there may be some confusion and it is a very good idea to familiarize yourself with the reasons why such a thing occurs. Sometimes urine changes color and is completely harmless, but more often than not you will want to get help from a vet immediately. 

  • Dehydration or overhydration
  • Kidney or bladder stones 
  • Liver disease 
  • Blood loss into the body 
  • Muscle damage 

If your dog is experiencing any of these issues, the urine will most likely change color. While something such as dehydration or overhydration can be adjusted at home and isn’t too serious if taken care of immediately, the other listed issues will need medical attention in order to receive proper treatment.

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Why Urine Discolored Occurs in Dogs

Changes in Urine color occur commonly from amount of water consumption, kidney or bladder stones, liver disease, muscle damage, and sometimes blood loss into the body. It is very important to monitor your pet and take note of the urine color. While some of the underlying issues to urine discoloration are not serious, others are and should be treated immediately. 

Dehydration or Overhydration 

Water is extremely important to the body as a tool for washing out unwanted toxins, as well hydrating muscles and organs. When water consumption is altered, it can be best determined through the state of your dog’s urine. When a dog becomes dehydrated, the urine will be a dark or bright yellow. While a little bit of yellow is normal, too much means that your pet hasn’t been getting enough water or he is sick. If you provide more water and the urine does not clear up, you will want to take him in to see the vet for a checkup. 

On the other hand, if your dog has been drinking too much water, his urine will be completely clear. Although this may seem like a good thing, having an excessive amount of water can lead to hyponatremia, which means extremely low sodium levels within the body. This is a rare condition but it can be fatal to dogs. If your pet is drinking more water than usual, there might be some kind of problem with his kidneys. You will want to visit the vet immediately to determine what the underlying issue is. 

Kidney or Bladder Stones 

If your dog’s urine becomes brown or pink, there are a couple of reasons why that may occur, the first of which is kidney or bladder stones. Brown colored urine is most likely from old blood in the urinary tract that is a result of kidney stones or bladder infections. This mostly occurred from a past issue and may be a sign that you need to check in with your vet for a diagnosis of your dog’s healing progress. 

The presence of pink in the urine is an indicator of current kidney issues, such as stones or bladder infections. If you notice pink within the urine you will want to visit your vet immediately in order to receive tests and get the underlying issue treated right away. 

Liver Disease

Whenever the liver is not working properly one of the best indicators is the brown/yellow color of your dog’s urine. This color is caused by the release of too much bilirubin, which is a pigment found in bile made by the liver. If you see this color in your dog’s urine, there is a possibility that he has liver disease and should be seen by your vet immediately. This is a problem that your dog can recover from quickly with quick and proper treatment. 

Muscle Damage 

Orange and brown urine can occur when muscles release a mixture of oxygen and myoglobin in times of stress. An example would be when your dog overexerts himself barking at something that has startled him, such as fireworks or gunshots. The muscles used in that excitement may become minutely damaged, which results in the release of myoglobin. This is nothing to be alarmed about, because as soon as the muscle heals, the urine will clear up. However, because it is difficult to tell the extent of any damage from the outside, it is best to visit your vet for a quick check up. 

Blood Loss into the Body 

If at any time your dog’s urine is brick red, you need to get him to the vet immediately. Blood in the urine is an indication of hematuria, which can indicate some very serious underlying issues. Blood in the urine can occur at any age and can be a symptom of problems such as:

  • Cancer
  • Urinary tract infection 
  • Stones 
  • Prostate disease (males)
  • In heat bleeding (females) 

It is important to visit a vet in order to diagnose the issues through testing and receive proper treatment.

What to do if your Dog is Urine Discolored

If you notice that your dog’s urine is any other color than light yellow, you may want to visit a veterinarian. While some situations such as dehydration or overhydration can clear up with a slight change to water intake, other problems are more serious and should not be taken lightly. If your dog’s urine is dark from dehydration, be sure that there is plenty of clean water available for him to drink. If the urine color does not clear up, then you will need to see a vet soon as that means he may be sick. Observe your dog’s behaviors as well as the color of the urine. If your dog is lethargic, lacking in energy, drinking more water than usual, and having a hard time urinating there is most likely a more serious issue at hand. 

Remember that not all problems are easy to detect from the outside, such as muscle damage. Taking a trip to the vet when you notice discoloration in your dog’s urine is the best step to take in order to ensure that all underlying issues can be taken care of properly.

Prevention of Urine Discolored

In order to prevent discolored urine due to water intake, always be sure that there is plenty of clean water available for your dog. If you notice that he is drinking more than usual and his urine is always clear, you may need to take a trip to the vet in order to diagnose the situation. 

Other causes of urine discoloration, such as liver disease and kidney stones, are difficult to prevent. The best thing that you can do is carefully observe your dog’s behaviors and urine color. If you notice any color other than a pale yellow, it would be best to set up an appointment with your vet. Basic tests will be taken along with the possibility of x-rays, ultrasounds, and a laparoscopic exam. This checkup will be necessary in order to determine what underlying issue is causing the discoloration.

Cost of Urine Discolored

Treatment cost will vary depending on the cause of your dog’s discolored urine. For instance, if your dog is diagnosed with liver disease, the cost of treatment can range from $1000 to $6000 depending on cost of living and severity.  If your dog is diagnosed with kidney stones, the average treatment is around $350.