Still, your dog’s urine can provide a great deal of information on her health status, even allowing a veterinarian to catch and treat certain problems before signs of illness develop.
What Is a Urinalysis?
Urine is what leaves the body after the kidneys are finished filtering out toxins and adding water.
Urinalysis is the process of testing a urine sample to gain information about various aspects of a dog’s health.
First, a urine sample is collected from the dog. This may be done by walking her and catching urine in a sterile container when she goes (free catch), using a sterile needle to collect urine directly from the bladder through the abdomen wall, or by placing a urinary catheter into the bladder and removing urine from it.
Most of the time, urine is collected from dogs through free catch.
What Can a Urinalysis Tell Us?
Several tests can be done on the urine:
- Specific gravity is a measurement of how concentrated or dilute the urine is. Dilution level can give us information about a dog’s kidney function as well other conditions when used together with other test results.
- Protein levels in the urine can be measured on a dipstick; this gives us information about the dog’s kidneys or whether blood or an infection may be present in the urine.
- Glucose is also measured with a dipstick and can help diagnose diabetes.
- Ketone levels are measured on a urine dipstick, and if they’re present, diabetes is suspected.
- Red blood cells and white blood cells can be seen on a dipstick or after the urine is spun down in a centrifuge and the solids examined under a microscope.
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