Urinalysis is an important tool that your veterinarian uses to detect and manage many serious diseases and potentially hidden health problems in your pet.
A urinalysis may also be recommended when results of an xray, blood test or physical exam indicate a potential problem or abnormality with your pet’s urinary system. This test can also help detect or rule out other diseases such as diabetes and other endocrine disorders, liver disease etc.
It is best to allow your veterinarian to collect a clean urine sample while your pet is in the hospital. This will allow collection of a sterile sample. If your pet arrives at the hospital with an empty bladder, it may be necessary to keep him or her for up to 24 hours or longer to allow the bladder to fill enough to ensure adequate urine collection.
There are many ways your veterinarian can obtain useful information about your pet’s health through urinalysis
• Looking at the sample – colour irregularities or cloudiness in the urine can indicate the presence of blood or other abnormalities
• A specific gravity test – helps determine how well your pet’s kidneys are functioning and whether your pet is dehydrated
• Chemical test strips – indicate the presence of blood, protein, glucose or other substances
• A microscopic examination – to look for blood cells, bacteria and crystals. Crystal formation can be associated with urinary tract inflammation and infection that can lead to blockages, especially in male cats. Urinalysis helps determine which type of crystals are present in order to develop the most effective treatment plan for your pet.
Signs to look for:
• Is your pet straining – it could be a urinary infection or a blocked bladder. This must be attended to urgently as this can be a serious and potentially life-threatening medical emergency, especially in cats
• Blood in your pet’s urine is also cause for concern. You may find your pet squatting to urinate and only passing small amounts. Blood can be a sign of infection, inflammation, or bladder stones.
Any time your pet seems to be having difficulty urinating, he or she should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
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