dark urine?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 12:02pm PST 
for the last few days Trixie's urine has appeared to be really dark.. Almost brown. She is drinking as much as usual, acting normal & not struggling to wee... She's acting completely the same as always, playful as ever and she's eating normally.

I was wondering at first whether there was something that had got mixed up with it, but then I was it in a different area of the yard, then my mum mentioned something about it. What could it be? I'm taking her to the vets on Thursday when my mum gets paid (I'm a full time college student- no money, and no access to my savings account at the moment)- if I had money, I'd take her sooner!

Shes had cystitis before but it wasn't like this and she was struggling to wee & also her urine was red tinged then (bloody) rather than dark, almost brown like it is now. The only thing I can thing of is a kidney problem confused
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 1:41pm PST 
In general kidney problems will result in a low specific gravity meaning diluted urine or light colored urine NOT dark concentrated urine. The kidneys are a giant filter for the body. They are responsible for filtering the chemicals and nutrients out of the urine. As the body does this it results in the concentration of the urine because the body removes all usable water and electrolytes. If the kidneys are not working up to par or have suffered an assault of some sort they do a poor job filtering out the water so the urine becomes diluted becaues usable water is shed along with the urine.

However in the cases of infection of either the bladder or the kidney the urine can become very concentrated and overly pungent. You are right to assume in the case of infection you would also see infection symptoms like frequent urination and/or small amounts of urine and/or blood. In some cases chronic urinary tract infections can be present in such a low grade that the pet does not show significant symptoms like frequent urination or straining. Some older female dogs will have low grade chronic UTI's due to changes in hormonal balances, hypothyroidism, organs issues and other chronic disease systems.

Concentrated urine can also be the sign of dehydration due to excessive output and inadequate input (IE diarrhea and not drinking). A change in diet could cause dehydration especially if the diet increased in salt or you have changed from raw to kibble or another dryer food source.

Concentrated urine can also be caused by excessive bilirubin which is usually a first sign of liver disease or damage. In male dogs high bilirubin can sometimes be normal but in female dogs it is usually a sign of liver damage or dehydration.

The moral of the story is I would have a urinalysis run by your vet. Personally if this were my dog I would make sure to have a sterile sample taken by cystocentesis (passing a needle through abdominal wall into bladder) and send out a urine culture and sensitivity to check for specific bacterial growth.

Hope this helps...

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 3:02pm PST 
Do you vaccinate for Leptospriosis in your area?
It can do a number on the liver. One of the symptoms is dark urine.

Glad you're going to the Vet - they can find it better than we can guess it.
Hope all will be well.wishes

Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 5:00pm PST 
Thanks Leah! Maybe I was thinking liver.. shrug.

Snickers.. She hasn't been vaccinated since she was a puppy. The vet we go to is in the mind frame that vaccine boosters are not neccessary after the first year.. Thanks for the well wishes!

She is an older girl.. She was 10 this year, and even though she still acts 3-4 I can't help but worry whenever something seems slighty off confused. Ive been keeping an eye on her but she is acting completely normal at the moment! When shes feeling off, theres plenty of little signs that I usually pick up on thinking
Leah, CGC

All the Beauty- with none of the- Brains
Barked: Mon Oct 18, '10 6:02pm PST 
Lepto usually causes dilute urine unless the pet is very sick IE if the urine is dark the liver is dying and the pet will have shown other symptoms.

As for lepto vaccine - the most commonly diagnosed serovars are not covered by the vaccine so honestly even if Trixie had been vaccinated she could still become infected with lepto.

If the only symptom is dark urine I would just contact the vet about a sterile urine sample to rule out liver or infection. If the liver is showing damage they may test for lepto anyway as it attacks the liver.

Lepto is communicable to humans so make sure you are careful about handling her urine until you know what is wrong.

Edited by author Mon Oct 18, '10 6:06pm PST