Importance of Urinalysis

1 April 2019 – News

Many veterinary specialists consider urinalysis an extremely important diagnostic procedure. It not only helps to identify urinary disorders but also, for example, diabetes mellitus and intravascular haemolysis.

Urinalysis includes: colour and clarity evaluation, urine specific gravity (USG) calculation, chemical analysis and urine sediment microscopic examination. These, always interpreted together with a rigorous clinical history and physical examination findings, may be of major value.

Temperature and time might influence the results of this assessments so it is advisable to maintain samples at room temperature and not to exceed the 60 minutes between collection and analysis.

Diet, medications and hydration status might have an impact in urine colour and the presence of some pigments are likely to interfere with dip stick examination.

To grade urine clarity a subjective scale is used: from clear to flocculent. If urine is turbid, sediment examination might help to find out its aetiology.

The renal tubules’ capacity to concentrate or dilute the glomerular filtrate is determined by USG. Using a refractometer is the best method but bear in mind that a human or canine-calibrated one may mildly overestimate a feline patient USG measurement.

This recent review points out the general aspects of urinalysis, step by step, including clues and reference to possible bias. It should be performed regularly as it may be crucial for early identification, intervention and prevention of many pets’ diseases.