Has he had a fever, even low grade? Or maybe a medication change that could be producing a "dye" effect in his urine? The only other thing I could think of would be a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) of some sort.
Yep. And we just learned in school that you don't necessarily even know you have the strep, and will get it.
If he hasn't changed his drinking habits, and you don't believe it's medication related, I'd call the doctor and take him in to be checked out. With Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s it is always better to be safe than sorry.
There are other possibilities besides Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Or he could have eased back on his fluid intake.
To be safe, take a urine sample first thing in the morning. If you can't pick up a sterile specimen bottle from the doctor, then collect the specimen in a clean, dry jar fresh out of the dishwasher. If you haven't got a dishwasher, then get a clean jar (doesn't matter if it still smells of pickles but it's best if it doesn't). Scald the clean jar with boiling water then stand it upside down to dry on kitchen paper. Do not touch inside the jar or inside the lid after you have done this. And tell the doctor you have taken these precautions.
Catch the sample and keep it in your fridge until the appointment (which should be the same day). Keep a record of what time it was taken, the date and whose it is.
As I said, there are a number of possibilities which at this stage would be asymptomatic. UTIs MAY be asymptomatic.
But get him to the doctor, just to make sure.
Also note - does it darken if left to stand? If so, tell the doctor this also.
Urine is very useful in telling what could be wrong. If the sample looks clear and sparkling, despite being dark, it's probably not Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) (but still could be) but other possibilities not involving kidneys are definitely needing to be checked out.
It may be nothing, just sweating more than usual and not drinking enough. or it could be a valuable early warning sign. The doctor should recognise the sense in you making sure.
I remember from about 30 years ago (yes, I am very ooold!), when two of my kids had dark urine -- it looked like tea -- and it turned out they had jaundice. Look at his eyes and see if the whites of his eyes are yellow. Whatever -- you have to get to the doctor and have a urine sample tested. Ask your doctor ASAP.
I hope it turns out to be nothing. Let us know what it is.
Yep, Vitamin B can do it. A few vitamins will do this. Eating asparagus will definitely turn it much greener and also it smells. I knew about the jaundice, Esther, I was trying to avoid mentioning it - it happened to me, too (perils of living in student digs - one step away from being on the streets, although I think living on the streets would have been healthier). I got jaundice as a complication of glandular fever. I've also had different liver problems since - it doesn't always show up in the urine. But yes, it can look like a cup of black tea. If it's liver, a dip stick test for bilirubin will be positive - quick and easy. And if it IS positive - the liver is an amazing organ, it can regenerate better than any other organ providing you KNOW it needs some help. Some medications can stress the liver too - you do need to know.
There are other possibilities too, all need checking out.
I remember once a huge panic - my kids' nappy contents were a ghastly beet red colour. I was in full panic, until I found a blob of home-made play-doh in their clothing. Turns out that the intern at the child care centre had put too much colouring in the play-doh, turned it dark purple. And kids eat play-doh, don't they? The colour went right through them, it really looked spectacular. I was very glad to not be using cloth nappies at the time - they would have been permanently stained and I wouldn't have liked to have to explain THAT when I dried the nappies on the line! But I do know some of the other parents did take their kids to the doctor, who was puzzled and concerned, but the kids checked out OK. The doctor wasn't upset at the false alarm - he was relieved it was nothing serious. And he's probably still dining out on that one!