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What is a urinalysis?

A urinalysis is the is the examination of urine in terms of colour, chemical and microscopic properties. The purpose of evaluating a pets urine is to identify abnormalities such as increased urine production, increased frequency, straining, bloody urine or abnormal color to the urine. This test can also be helpful in cases of unexplained fever, loss of appetite or weight loss.

What does a urinalysis reveal?

A urinalysis helps to evaluate the function of the kidneys and the quality of the urine produced. It usually consists of three parts; examining the physical sample, a dipstick analysis to evaluate the presence of certain substances and microscopic examination of the sediment. If the veterinarian identifies any abnormalities during these three steps, your pet could be prescribed medication, the vet might recommend a diet change, or even further diagnostics if the results aren't conclusive.

How do you get a urine sample?

Free catch urine samples are obtained by catching a sample when the pet urinates. This is easy in some pets and quite difficult in others. Plastic containers, ladles, scoops and various objects can be used, but it should be as clean as possible for the most accurate of results. Cystocentesis is a very common method to obtain urine from dogs and cats. The bladder is palpated (felt) and a needle is inserted into the bladder through the body wall. This is a relatively painless and quick procedure, and the pet can be lying down or standing.