What Your Pet’s Pee Can Tell You

April 2nd 2019

What Your Pet’s Pee Can Tell You
By Katie, RVT
It can be tricky collecting your dog or cat’s urine, but there are many reasons it is worth it.

Some tricks are using a clean plastic container or a clean soup ladle and place it under them as they urinate. For cats we have litter beads that do not absorb the urine for purchase at the clinic. If you need help collecting your pet’s urine, call us at (403) 615-8016. If you are unable to do it yourself, we can help, but need an appointment booked for this.

What is urinalysis?

When we get your dog or cat’s urine, we look at it three times. First we look at the colour, clarity and concentration.
Next we do a test to measure the pH and for glucose, ketones and a variety of other chemicals.
Lastly, we look at the urine under a microscope to detect any tiny particles, such as crystals, blood cells and bacteria.

What can urinalysis tell you about your pet's health?

A urinalysis is a valuable diagnostic tool. It can detect crystals, which can mean bladder stones, bleeding in the urinary tract, bladder or kidney infections, masses, and even injuries. Urine tests can also detect if your dog or cat has been ingesting anything poisonous. It will also tell you if your pet is getting enough fluids.
A urinalysis can help your vet diagnose kidney and diabetes.
Sometimes when abnormalities are detected in your cat or dog’s urine other testing may be required to reach a diagnosis.

How can I collect my cat or dog’s urine at home? 

If you can, collect your pet’s urine around an hour before taking it to the vet. If it isn’t possible to bring your pet’s urine sample within an hour of collection, store it in the fridge and out of sunlight. The first time they urinate in the morning provides the best sample.
It’s important to deliver the sample to your veterinarian’s office as soon as possible for the most accurate results

Tips for collecting your pet’s urine at home 

• If you use your own container, be sure it’s airtight. Even if washed carefully, recycled containers still may have detergent residue that can interfere with results. Don’t use old yoghurt containers.
• Collect as much as you can: at least 3 ml.
• Free catch: You can do this at home. A clean container is held under your dog or cat to catch the urine.
• From a cat litter box: Your veterinarian may give you special cat litter designed to help collect urine. It won’t absorb urine and doesn’t have chemicals like other litter that can interfere with the results. Our clinic has litter beads that do not absorb the urine that you can purchase.

Getting a urine sample at a vet clinic

A veterinarian can take the sample for you at the clinic using thin needle and syringe to collect urine directly from the bladder. If you cannot collect your own sample, or if there is reason to believe your sample is contaminated or has been broken down over time, it may be best to get a sample taken by your vet.
If you would like to have urine collection and urinalysis at our clinic, please call (403) 615-8016 to book an appointment.

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