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February 4, 2010

Hemoglobinuria, Myoglobinuria in Dogs Causes, Treatments, Symptoms

Hemoglobinuria, Myoglobinuria in Canine

Hemoglobinuria is a symptom where a large amount of hemoglobin protein is found in the urine of dogs, whereas myoglobinuria is a symptom where a large amount of myoglobin protein is found in the urine of dogs. The hemoglobin protein carries oxygen in the blood and the myoglobin protein carries oxygen in the muscles. The hemoglobin protein works as an oxygen transporter in the blood and the myoglobin protein stores oxygen in the muscles.

Hemoglobinuria in dogs is an indication where the hemoglobin proteins are destroyed, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia. Myoglobinuria in dogs occurs due to the breaking down of the myoglobin protein.

There are various causes of hemoglobinuria and myoglobinuria in dogs listed below:

  • Viral infection: Certain viral infections may lead to this condition.
  • Cancer: Urinary system cancer causes bloody urine.
  • Genetic conditions: This is very rare and leads to exclusive conditions such as copper associated liver disease in small breeds. Hemoglobinuria in small puppies is a rare condition known as isoerytrolysis where the mother’s blood develops antibodies against the puppy’s blood. In both, the chances of survival are very limited.
  • Toxins: Copper, mercury, paracetamol, or snake venom may cause hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria.
  • Exercise induced: Vigorous movement of the bladder during extraneous exercise leads to the rupture of the mucosal layer beneath the urinary bladder and causes a passage of blood with the urine. In some cases, bleeding can happen due to increased glomerular excretion of the RBCs; this happens when the dog is suffers from a congestive heart disorder.
  • Trauma: This occurs due to a head injury, burn or electric shock.
  • Idiopathic: Sometimes, hemoglobinuria or myoglobinuria occurs without any known cause; it is mostly considered to be a vascular abnormality.

The symptoms related to Hemoglobinuria include:

  • Changes in the color of urine from pink to a reddish tinge
  • Tachycardia
  • Pale appearance
  • Fever and fatigue

The symptoms related to Myoglobinuria are:

  • Muscle softening
  • Muscle bruising

Diagnosis for the disease includes blood and urine testing to check for the following:

  • Dead RBC in the urine in case of hemoglobinuria
  • Clear plasma in the urine in case of myoglobinuria
  • Pink plasma in the urine for hemoglobinuria
  • Chocolate-brown colored blood and positive blood findings in the urine for intravascular hemolysis
  • Other diagnostic procedures include forced exercise and liver biopsy.

Hemoglobinuria and myoglobinuria are only symptoms, and so treatment covers only the underlying conditions. In case of dehydration, provide enough water to the dogs; in case of exercise induced hemoglobinuria, do not let your dog engage in any vigorous activity. Try to ensure that your dog avoids getting stressed. Spend time playing with your four-legged companion. Take proper care and always be in touch with a good veterinarian.

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