Collecting urine samples from your pet

As with humans, both dogs and cats are susceptible to numerous health related issues that require the collection of urine for analysis. If only it was as easy as handing our four legged patients a plastic container and pointing them in the direction of the restroom.

Urine collection from a dog or cat requires some strategy however there are some options for the pet owner in obtaining the urine sample needed by the veterinarian. For the most part, collection from a dog is a simpler task than that of a cat. Urine collection from a dog is usually a matter of following "Fido" outside and placing a collection container under the dog as it squats or lifts his leg. Urine collection from our feline friends can present more of a challenge. If performed by your veterinarian, urine collection from a cat usually involves manually expressing the bladder. With this procedure the cat is held in such a manner that enables the vet to grasp the abdomen and apply pressure directly to the bladder. Manually expressing the bladder causes discomfort to the animal and can increase stress levels for both the patient and the pet owner. Mild sedation of the patient is an option and sometimes a necessity. One alternative to obtaining a urine sample from a cat and avoiding manual manipulation of the bladder is to collect urine directly from the litter box. While some cats are particular with the type of kitty litter they will use, utilizing a beaded litter prevents absorption of the urine and a sufficient sample can be obtained for testing. Urine collection kits are available at Sissiboo Veterinary Services and will add ease to the collection process as it can be done at home where "Frisky" is sure to be more comfortable.

Urine samples collected from home need to be kept refrigerated and brought to the clinic within 24 hours. Collection kits designed specifically for urine are preferrable and increase the accuracy of test results. A plastic or glass container from home can be used as a substitute however it is important to ensure the container has been thoroughly cleaned, rinsed, and dried prior to sample collection. Residual detergent and any other foreign material not removed from the container may impact the final test results. 


Written by Kelly Fitzpatrick-Stewart

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