Why your Vet Recommends a Urinalysis

Why your Vet Recommends a Urinalysis

Pets cannot tell us when something doesn’t feel right. This is why your Veterinarian may recommend a urinalysis (along with bloodwork, x-rays, etc.) These tests tell your Veterinarian the story of how your pet is doing on the inside. We know it can be confusing when your Veterinarian wants to run a urinalysis on your pet, even though your pet is not displaying any symptoms of troubles with their bladder.

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We want to go over why running a urinalysis on your pet is so important to your Veterinarian:

  1. It gives a picture on how the kidneys are doing.
    1. The kidneys are responsible for concentrating urine; Finding out the USG (urine specific gravity) shows how well the kidneys are concentrating and how hard they are working.
    2. The presence of protein in dilute urine can tell your Veterinarian that your pet may be battling kidney disease.
  2. It can show indications of diabetes.
    1. When glucose shows up in a pet’s urine, this is a good indication that your pet may be diabetic or have kidney disease.
  3. The color and clarity of the urine can tell a story in itself.
    1. Colorless urine can indicate kidney problems.
    2. Orange urine can indicate liver problems.
    3. Brown urine can indicate muscle damage.
    4. Red urine can indicate inflammation of the bladder and blood in the urine.
    5. Very cloudy urine can indicate extra cells in the urine which can mean an infection.
  4. The pH of urine can indicate disease or infection.
    1. Pets will have slightly acidic/alkaline urine (Between 5-7) so a pH of extreme acidity or alkalinity can indicate something is not right.
  5. The presence of ketones in the urine indicates the body breaking down excessive amounts of fat for energy (not normal) Normally seen in diabetic patients or prolonged fasting.
  6.  A urinalysis can indicate if your pet has a bladder infection or an inflamed bladder (Cystitis) by the presence of bacteria, white blood cells, and red blood cells. Knowing the difference between the two will determine to your Veterinarian if there is a need for antibiotics and/or pain medication.
  7. Your Veterinarian will be able to determine if there is crystal formation in the urine which can be caused by infection or lead to painful stones in the bladder.
  8. A urinalysis can show that there could be problems with the liver with an excessive presence of Bilirubin in the urine. Bile duct problems can be shown with the presence of urobilinogen.
  9. Blood in the urine can indicate a number of things such as infection, inflammation, stones, and tumors within the bladder. Sometimes there can be blood cells in the urine without the urine being red in color.
  10.  The presence of abnormal cells in the urine can be a sign of a bladder tumor which could be cancerous.

We hope the above points show how important examining your pet’s urine is to your Veterinarian! Urine really can tell a story about how your pet’s organs are doing. If you have any questions regarding a health care plan for your pet or if your pet is having urinating woes, please do not hesitate to give our team a call!

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