Ultrasound is extremely helpful for evaluating the urinary and reproductive tracts of our small animal patients. Sometimes the cause of blood in the urine is due to a fairly benign cause, such as a urinary tract infection or sterile cystitis (bladder wall inflammation). Other times it is can be secondary to prostate disease or kidneys / bladder stones.
For this patient with blood in the urine, the cause was more concerning. Ultrasound revealed a large suspected clot within the urinary bladder. Color Doppler did no show blood flow within the structure, although sampling would be needed to definitively determine if the structure was a mass or a clot.
The patient also had bilateral renal masses, most consistent with a cancerous process. Bilateraly kidneys are affected in about 10% of patients with kidney cancer. Renal cell adenocarcinoma and lymphoma are the most common kidney cancers in companion animals.
Ultrasound should be utilized sooner rather than later for patients with blood in the urine. Diagnosing conditions earlier will lead to better treatment outcomes and help improve patient comfort and quality of life.