Urinalysis is one of the most valuable tools in your veterinarian's arsenal when it comes to diagnosing health issues affecting your dog or cat's urinary tract, kidneys and more. Here our Gibsons vets explain the process of urinalysis and why it's so important.
What is Urinalysis?
Urinalysis is the examination of your pet's urine by one of our veterinarians in our office for any signs of emerging health issues, especially issues affecting their kidneys and urinary tract. Urinalysis is incredibly useful, not only for assessing and diagnosing a sick pet, but for routinely gauging the health and well-being of your companion.
What's Involved in Urinalysis?
Urinalysis involves the collection of a sample of your pet's urine for examination and assessment for a number of different metrics of health. The urine can be collected in one of three different ways, depending on when the collection is conducted.
- Mid-stream flow: This method of urine collection is done partway through your pet's natural urination process. This method is totally non-invasive and if it is to be conducted before a routine exam, a vet may even ask you to collect it yourself at home.
- Cystocentesis: With this method, a vet uses a sterile needle and syringe to collect urine directly from your pet's bladder. This ensures that the urine collected is not contaminated by the collection process, however, it is more invasive than other methods and requires that your pet's bladder be full.
- Catheterization: Using this collection method, your vet inserts a sterile catheter into your pet's lower urinary passage (also called their urethra). This can be a good collection option when your pet isn't able to provide a voluntary sample but may cause mild irritation to the urethra.
What Does My Vet Check For With Urinalysis?
Using urinalysis, your vets will check the sample's colour, concentration, acidity and microscopic solid contents.
By examining these factors of your pet's urine, our vets can detect health issues including diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, urinary tract infections, bladder stones and even cancer.
How Often Should My Pet Receive Urinalysis?
Urinalysis is performed both when your pet is undergoing routine examination as well as when they are ill. Because of this, your pet should have their urine examined through urinalysis at least once a year. Pets suffering from preexisting conditions that require monitoring or who are ill may require urinalysis more often than that.