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Urinalysis Notes

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Urinalysis

1. Urine collection Urine may be collected by micturition, cystocentesis or catheterisation. For collection by micturition the bladder may be manually expressed, or the animal can naturally void the bladder.

2. Inspection of urine Urine should be inspected for changes in colour, turbidity and smell. Urine is usually yellow to amber coloured and clear. Normal equine urine however is cloudy, and normal rabbit urine has a milky appearance. If dark, it indicates it is very concentrated. If urine is red, this can indicate the present of blood. Yellow brown or green urine indicates the presence of bile pigments. If the urine is abnormally turbid, this indicates the presence of precipitates. This could be crystals or cells indicating an infection. Turbidity is normal in rabbits and horses as they excrete large amounts of calcium. Sweet or fruity smelling urine indicates the presence of ketones. This can be an indicator diabetes mellitus or ketosis.

3. Dipstick analysis Dipstick analysis of urine is useful in determining the presence of specific substances. In most normal animals there should be none to trace amounts of protein. Protein in the urine is called proteinuria. This commonly occurs in urinary tract infections and a wide range of renal diseases. Alkaline urine may give false positive results for protein presence. Haematuria is the presence of whole blood in the urine. This indicates bleeding into the urogenital tract. This may be as a result of the trauma of collection or physiological in the female. The most common cause is inflammation of the urogenital tract. Haemoglobinuria is free haemoglobin in the urine. This is usually the result of intravascular haemolysis. Normal urine should not contain glucose. Glucosuria occurs when the renal threshold for glucose excretion has been exceeded by glucose plasma concentration. The most common cause of glycosuria is diabetes mellitus. It may also be seen in some types of renal disease. Testing for leucocytes involves testing for white blood cells in the sample. The result should be negative, however false positives are common particularly in cats. Presence of leucocytes indicate urinary tract infections. Ketones may be found in trace amounts but should not normally be present in urine. Ketonuria occurs in conditions of altered carbohydrate or excessive fatty acid metabolism. This includes ketosis in cattle, pregnancy toxaemia in sheep and diabetes mellitus or starvation in all species.

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