When your dog is looking all fine, it does not necessarily mean that he is fine. We should understand that taking a simple test only once a year can prove to be very helpful for your dog’s health. Dog Urinalysis is a test which can sometimes help your doctor to find and cure an illness which has not even started to develop inside your dog.
What Is a Canine Urinalysis?
When food and liquids are ingested, the kidney processes the liquids and gives out urine with water added to it.
Urine goes through the process of dog urinalysis (a process which tests the samples of urine- free catch) in order to understand the different situations of a dog’s body.
For dog urinalysis, a sample of the dog’s urine is collected. Multiple methods are followed to get a sample.
- Collecting urine directly from its bladder through a long sterile needle
- Putting a urinary catheter into the bladder and then urine from the catheter
- Catch the dog’s urine when it is urinating (also called free catch)
The last one is mostly used for getting the sample.
Uses of Dog Urinalysis
The appearance of the urine is the first thing which will be noted by the vet. Based on the color being cloudy or not, it can be suggested that there is an infection or that the presence of some proteins are there. We need to understand that we want the clarity and color of the sample to be good because the next test is going to be based on it.
- Dipstick Test
The second test is called the dipstick. For instance, a red bright color of the urine might misguide the test in case of acidity, specific gravity and protein. The working method of the test is quite simple. Certain chemicals are applied on the surface of thin small strips which show specific reactions when in contact with certain substances present in the urine. The reaction is in the form of color changes. The following information can be taken out of a dipstick test.
- Specific Gravity
It is actually a measure of how concentrated the urine of the dog is. The concentration can be thin and it can have water’s color (diluted urine has low specific gravity). And thick urine or high concentration of urine can be dark yellow or bright in color. We should keep in mind that specific gravity is going to be variable for a dog that has different activities during the day and the measure can also vary with the intake of water.
Dog urine is naturally free of sugar. If there are signs of sugar, then there is a possibility of sugar or diabetes mellitus.
Red blood cells in the urine; it is one of the signs that body of the dog is destroying red blood cells faster than the normal rate. This is a symptom of autoimmune diseases and liver disorders. We should keep in mind that we can be tricked into believing that the dog has liver disease because the bilirubin pad will show the sign on the dipstick test but actually it can be a bladder infection.
- Acidity (pH)
Acidity that is normal for a healthy dog is between 6.0 and 6.5. the level of acidity can be known by this test.
If your dog is having protein tested positive in its urine then there may be multiple reasons because this is not normal for a dog. There can be a kidney problem, blood in urine or even infecting bacteria. Ask the doctor to look into performing a microalbuminuria (MA) or a ratio of urine protein creatinine (UPC).
If your dog’s body is not getting a healthy diet fulfilling its needs, the dog’s body cells will produce a byproduct called ketones. Presence of ketones can even point towards diabetes.
- Blood Presence
Presence of any component of blood in urine will be detected by the dipstick test. If this test is positive it is best to ask for a microscopic evaluation of the sample. There might be a possibility of kidney stones, bladder stones, inflammation or any other infection.
It is important that our family pets visit the doctor for tests such as a urinalysis because certain signs of issues in the urinary tract or any other illness or disease can indicate that our pet needs proper diet and care.