Urinalysis for dogs and cats.

Urine tests in dogs and cats. Urinalysis.

Urine examination in dogs and cats is one of the most important and often overlooked diagnostic tests.

Urine testing in dogs and cats is an extremely important diagnostic tool that can help identify many health issues. Pet owners should be aware of the methods of collecting urine and understand what the results of such testing may specifically show. By regularly checking their pets’ urine, you can respond more quickly to possible health problems and provide your animals with appropriate veterinary and dietary care – especially since many urinary tract problems can be solved with an suitably selected diet and supplementation.

Spis treści:

When does my pet need a urinalysis?

You should always bring your pet for an examination if you notice changes in urination – this applies to frequent urination (pollakiuria), oliguria (oliguria) and changes in color. What’s more:

  • in healthy animals, the tests should be performed at least once a year,
  • in older animals (over 10 years of age), the test should be performed every 6 months (or more often if recommended by a veterinarian).

What does urinalysis test for?

Routine urine testing consists of two parts:

  1. physical/physicochemical characteristics of urine and
  2. urinary sediment examination.

Physicochemical properties include the specific gravity of urine, its color, transparency, pH and the presence of: proteins, bilirubin, hemoglobin, urobilinogen, glucose and ketone compounds.

Urinary sediment examination allows detection in urine, among others: epithelial cells or urinary casts. Thanks to this, we can start diagnosing kidney and liver problems or even diabetes.

How to collect an urine sample from my cat or dog?

The most popular method is the so-called “cup method”, which involves collecting morning urine into a sterile urine container. Cat owners can also collect urine from a previously washed, steamed and empty litter box or by using a specialized litter, e.g. Kit4cat. However, the most effective method is cystocentesis – collecting urine by puncturing the urinary bladder.

Obtaining urine directly from the urinary bladder

Cystocentesis is the only method of urine collection that guarantees no contamination with material from the animal’s urethra, foreskin, vulva or genital tract. Only urine collected by puncture is suitable for bacteriological examination and culture.

Cystocentesis is a painless procedure performed in a veterinary office, most often using an ultrasound machine. It is best to schedule it in the morning and make sure your pet has a full bladder. Contraindications to bladder puncture include coagulation disorders and often obesity (too thick a layer of fatty tissue may prevent the vet from reaching the urinary bladder through the abdominal wall).

In what urinary related cases should you consult an animal dietitian?

If your dog or cat is struggling with too low or too high urine pH or if you found out that some disturbing elements have appeared in your pet’s urine: glucose, struvites, oxalates or cystine crystals. It is definitely worth booking a visit if your pet has a recurrent problem with cystitis. By appropriately modifying the diet and introducing appropriate supplementation and herbs, together we can eliminate these problems. If you want to discuss such a problem with me, I invite you to make an appointment.

Finally – when was the last time that you took your pet for a urine test? If the answer is: never/longer than 12 months ago – sign up immediately! This is an incredibly valuable diagnostic method that should not be ignored.

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