Dark Colored Urine

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Dark Colored Urine

Postby Dakotazeb » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:48 pm

Yesterday afternoon I noticed a spot or two in the snow where my spayed female Brittany had peed that were quite dark. I thought it must be blood in the urine. Took her to the vet this morning and her urine tested negative for blood. Also ran some blood tests and everything was normal. Urine is not dark today but is quite yellow. Without snow on the ground one would never have noticed anything. I had run her pretty hard earlier in the day yesterday and the vet thinks it might have triggered the darkness in the urine. Maybe some muscle breakdown. He was also concerned that it was from the liver but a liver panel was negative. Other than that she appears perfectly normal. Eating well, alert, not drinking excessive water or urinating too much. Anyone seen anything like this or have any ideas?
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Camspal » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:38 pm

I had an old Lab that had this too.
The vet said it was a UTI....gave her antibiotics and it cleared up right away.

Best of luck,
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Smilin Jack » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:22 pm

If it was a Human I would say DeHydration was the culprit .... Don't know about Dogs
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Dakotazeb » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:58 pm

Camspal wrote:I had an old Lab that had this too.
The vet said it was a UTI....gave her antibiotics and it cleared up right away.

Best of luck,
Camspal


They did a urinalysis and nothing showed up so it didn't appear to be a UTI.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby jmr12 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:57 pm

Dzeb
A friends GSP had very dark urine, following a day of hunting. It cleared up the next day. We concluded it was dehydration.
[i am not a vet]
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby lanco » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:34 am

So you are correct that there are two factors that could be at play here:

1) exertional myoglobinuria; myoglobin is an oxygen bearing iron based pigment found in muscle tissue. It's what makes red meat red. Under extreme exercise muscle cells can become injured and "leak" myoglobin which is then excreted in the urine leading to a very darkened color. This phenomenon has been described in dogs undergoing sustained muscular exertion.

2) dehydration; dogs have significantly more concentrating ability in their kidneys than people. Thus a dog who is dehydrated can produce urine that is very dark realative to typical human pee on a hot summer day.

It sounds like the situation was worked up thoroughly. It also sounds like you may need to add in a few more rest/water breaks in the future.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Dakotazeb » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:13 am

lanco wrote:So you are correct that there are two factors that could be at play here:

1) exertional myoglobinuria; myoglobin is an oxygen bearing iron based pigment found in muscle tissue. It's what makes red meat red. Under extreme exercise muscle cells can become injured and "leak" myoglobin which is then excreted in the urine leading to a very darkened color. This phenomenon has been described in dogs undergoing sustained muscular exertion.

2) dehydration; dogs have significantly more concentrating ability in their kidneys than people. Thus a dog who is dehydrated can produce urine that is very dark realative to typical human pee on a hot summer day.

It sounds like the situation was worked up thoroughly. It also sounds like you may need to add in a few more rest/water breaks in the future.


I would lean toward your first assumption. And that's follows what my vet also thought. Perhaps I should have explained the color of her urine better. It showed very dark in the snow. Almost a "root beer" color. Not red like blood but more brownish. I really doubt it was dehydration as she has had plenty of water and we were running in the show on a day in the 20's. I can see dehydration making her urine dark yellow but not the color that is was. The snow was crusted and she had to work extra hard to get through it.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Dakotazeb » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:02 am

I've done some more reading about myoglobinuria and it sounds like it has the potential to be something nasty. I sure hope it's just a one time thing for my Brittany. Field trial season is about to begin and I need her ready to go. The exercise the other day was extra hard for her due to the crusted snow. So she probably exerted herself more than normal.

Anyone have any info or experience with this conidtion?
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby lanco » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:37 pm

Persistent myoglinuria would be a problem but transient myoglobinuria in an otherwise healthy dog that is associated with heavy exercise should not be a major concern. I am off for a few days and dont have to the same info resources we have at the office but when I get some down time I will look into this topic a little more and PM you.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:00 pm

lanco wrote:Persistent myoglinuria would be a problem but transient myoglobinuria in an otherwise healthy dog that is associated with heavy exercise should not be a major concern. I am off for a few days and don't have to the same info resources we have at the office but when I get some down time I will look into this topic a little more and PM you.


lanco, I appreciate you taking the time to look into this for me. I have spoken to 2 very seasoned vets that I know, one in Colorado and one in Michigan, and they both said the same thing. They have never seen myoglobulinuria in dogs, only in horses. I also visited with a friend that in currently in Texas training dogs and he talked to a trainer that is nationally know and been training dogs for over 40 years. He has seen a dark urine condition in field trial dogs that are worked extremely hard. I suppose the normal vets just never see many, if any, field trial dogs so the condition never exists in the FooFoo's they see on a daily basis.

It appears what happened with my Brittany was probably a one time thing. I've been running her pretty good every other day and have seen no signs of a recurrence. She seems perfectly normal in every other way. I'll continue to monitor her after exercise and after her runs at the NSTRA trials.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby lanco » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:47 pm

I think too the snow helps you see the discoloration. I'm slammed at work but I'll try to find some specific info tomorrow.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby wcummin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:32 am

It sounds like it could be Rhabomyolysis which is a break down of the muscles which releases myoglobin into the blood and could be harmful to the kidneys. My dog may of had this a few weeks ago. I hunted him hard in rather deep snow. In the drifts he had to run a with hoping motion and probally was using muscles that he normally would not. I noticed dark urine as well and spoke to an experienced vet who is a musher as well and he told me it could have been Rhabomyolysis. This was a big problem years ago with sled dogs until they figured out what is was. It was the number one killer in sled dogs from what I was told. I rested him for 10 days just to be sure. I also had blood and urine workup and all was normal but that was a couple days after the incident. I would not work him for a week just to be safe. The vet told me that where dogs get in trouble with this is when they get worked hard again in the next few days. Good luck!
Last edited by wcummin on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Dakotazeb » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:59 am

It's been 3 weeks now since the incident I first reported and there has been no recurrence of the problem. I'm back to letting her run hard several times a weeks. We still have a fair amount of snow on the ground but it's hard enough that she can run on top of it. That one day there was deep snow with a crust on it and she kept breaking through, having to work extra hard. And probably like you said, used muscles she normally doesn't have to use. For now it appears to have been a one time thing but I will always be watching after strenuous exercise. My NSTRA field trials start in a week and a half so I'm trying to step up her exercise routine and conditioning.
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby wcummin » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:07 pm

I had the same snow conditions and my guy was busting through it as well. I am willing to bet your dog had the same thing as mine. My guy actually urinated blood twice, then went to dark and by that night it was back to normal. Dr Tim who is on this forum told me what he thought is was. He has come across this often with sled dogs. At this point your dog is well past it but if it happens again I would rest the dog for 10 days before returning to regular work. I know I will be more aware moving forward. Glad to hear your dog is ok and good luck with your upcoming season!
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Re: Dark Colored Urine

Postby Calvinator » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:08 pm

We had a Beauceron that had dark foul smelling urine. We spent over $700 in testing to find out nothing. The vets never could figure out his problem. So at just over a year of age we sent him back to his breeder, who said they would refund us the purchase price. She LIED!!!!
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