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Testing With Urine Sticks

Voluntary passing of urine:

• Light pressure is exerted on the bladder
• Catheterization
• Cystocenthesis 

Cystocenthesis, as opposed to other methods of urine sampling, is the preferred method of sampling due to the fact that this method effectively eliminates contamination from the external urinary canal.     

A 22G needle is generally used in cystocenthesis procedures.  The bladder is fixated manually and the needle is inserted either laterally or ventrally. The needle is inserted directly into the bladder and the urine is drawn into a disposable syringe.   

The urine should be drawn into a disposable container or a disposable syringe, as any traces of cleansing or bleaching agents could cause inaccurate readings. The urine should be tested within 30 minutes after sampling.

Interpreting the results:

Specific gravity:
Should only be used as a guide.  A refractometer should be used for this procedure.

Normal values:
Cat: 1.012-1.050
Dog: 1.012-1.040

pH:
Acid pH is usually found in cases of systemic acidosis, hyperchloraemia or due to the animal being on a meat diet.

Alcalic urine is usually found in cases of bladder infections with urease producing bacteria, systemic alkalosis, loss of carbon dioxide in the urine if left standing, or due to the animal being on a vegetarian diet.

Normal values:
Cat: 5.0-7.0
Dog 5.5-7.2

Leucocytes:
In dogs, a positive finding will indicate pyuria (however, readings frequently turn out to be a false negatives).  In cats, false positives are often the case and consequently, this test should not be weighted heavily in feline cases.  

Nitrite:
Nitrite will often be found in cases of bladder infections.

Protein:
The test will mainly react with albuminuria.  This is often seen in cases of bleeding, infection, endovascular haemolysis and nephropathy.

Glucose:
Glucose should not normally be found in urine.  Glycosuria can either be persistent or temporary.  A distinction between the two might necessitate a repeat testing. Persistent glycosuria can be caused by diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome and pituitary gland disorder.  Temporary glycosuria is usually seen in cases of hyperthyroidism, acute pancreatitis, stress or subsequent to digesting a substantial amount of food.

Ketones:
The test will react with acetoacetic acid.  Often in cases of starvation, insulinoma, diabetic ketoacidosis, diets with high fat contents and low in carbohydrates.

Urobilinogen:
Increased values are found in cases of haemolytic crisis and in some cases of liver and bowel disorders. 

Bilirubin:
Presence of bilirubin can indicate liver disorders, starvation, haemolysis or fever.

Blood:
This test will also react with red blood cells, free haemoglobin and free myoglobin.  Blood in the urine is normally found in cases of trauma, infection, inflammation, infarction, urinary calculi, neoplasia and bleeding in the urinary tract.

Can also appear during the sampling process (manual compression of the bladder, catheterisation and cystocenthesis.