Collecting A Urine Sample

Urine analysis is an essential tool in conjunction with blood testing. Urine contains by-products from many organs not just the kidneys themselves and analysis of these products can help interpret how these organs are functioning. The analysis measures various parameters.

A refractometer is used to measure the Specific Gravity. This indicates the urine concentration and helps to tell us if the kidneys are functioning correctly.

A urine dipstick measures substances such as protein, glucose, ketones and blood. The pH of the urine is also measured and this indicates the acidity or alkalinity of the urine.

Lastly the urine is centrifuged to separate the sediment and a microscope slide of the urine is analysed to determine the type and amount of crystals and/ or blood cells present.

How do I collect a urine sample from my cat?

The easiest way to collect a urine sample from your cat is to replace their normal cat litter in their tray with a non-absorbing one. We can supply you with Katkor which are small plastic beads and contain a pipette and collection tube for you to collect the sample in. Ideally once the sample is collected you should bring it in to us as a fresh sample gives us the most accurate results. If you are unable to bring the sample in straight away then it should be refrigerated overnight.

Click on the video below to watch how to collect a urine sample from your cat.

How do I collect a urine sample from my dog?

While you are taking your dog out for a toilet break, slide your collection pot under their stream of urine. A saucer can be ideal for sliding under female dogs when they squat. Your collection pot should be spotlessly clean as any residue can interfere with the test results. We can provide you with a collection pot if needed. Ideally once the sample is collected you should bring it in to us a fresh sample gives us the most accurate results. If you are unable to bring the sample in straight away then it should be refrigerated overnight.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a term used to describe involuntary leakage of urine. It most commonly occurs when lying down or relaxed.

It affects dogs, both female and male although female dogs seem to be more predisposed as they have a shorter urethra. Incontinence is often seen in older dogs. Cats very rarely present for urinary incontinence.

Clinical signs

  • Leaking or dribbling urine when lying down
  • More frequent urination
  • Damp or wet bed after sleeping
  • Dribbling of urine when walking around
  • Damp patch around their back end
  • Continuous licking

Diagnosis

Your veterinary surgeon will perform a full clinical examination and will request a urine sample for analysis. Further investigation is often performed to determine the exact cause. This can involve X-rays and/or an ultrasound scan as well as blood samples and repeat urine analysis.

Treatment

Depending on the cause of the urinary incontinence, the treatment will vary.

One of the common causes is age related urinary incontinence. This is when, like humans, certain muscles begin to weaken with age. Sometimes the muscles at the base of the bladder may not be strong enough to keep the urine in the bladder when it begins to fill.
Medication will be prescribed by your veterinary surgeon which will increase the level of contraction of the muscles at the base of the bladder.

Occasionally in dogs, the muscles which keep the urine in the bladder are affected by the hormone levels in the dog. The hormone levels gradually decrease with age as well as once a dog is neutered. This incontinence is called hormone-responsive urinary incontinence and can be treated with hormone injections or medication.

Prostate problems in entire male dogs can also cause incontinence and neutering is often recommended to treat the problem.

Any congenital problems diagnosed, depending on what they are may be helped by medication and/or surgery.

The long term prognosis for urinary incontinence is generally good if your dog responds to medication and/or surgery.