Urine Testing: Why Test Your Cat’s Urine?
To keep your cat healthy in the best possible way, having regular veterinary examinations is a great start. If your cat is not feeling well, urine testing may be necessary to diagnose your cat’s illness. Urinalysis is, by far, the most commonly performed urine test. A urinalysis (or UA as it’s also called) is actually made up of many different tests. A typical urinalysis tests for the following:
Visual Evaluation: If your cat’s urine has abnormal clarity (for ex cloudy) or is discoloured, these findings will be noted here. Urine should be yellow and clear.
Urine Specific Gravity: This is a measure of the concentration of your cat’s urine. Urine passed through the kidney’s with no change in concentration has a specific gravity of 1.008 to 1.012. Healthy cats should be able to produce relatively concentrated urine, often with a USG of 1.050 or higher. If the urine is too dilute, measured as an abnormally, low urine specific gravity, your cat may be suffering from a disease condition that affects his ability to produce concentrated urine. This may result from diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease etc. USG can change drastically from one sample to the next, so in some cases multiple urine samples need to be tested to determine whether a cat is producing consistently dilute urine.
Urine pH: Is a measurement of the acidity in your cat’s urine. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the urine. The pH of urine has an impact on what type of stones and/or crystals can form in your cat’s urine. Some types of stones form in low pH values and some are likely to form in higher pH values. Some types of bacteria also prefer specific pH ranges.
Glucose: commonly referred to as “sugar” , glucose in the urine is most frequently an indication of diabetes, although stress can also cause glucose to show up in the urine in some cases.
Ketones: Ketones are most commonly found in the urine of diabetic animals. When glucose cannot be utilised for energy production this is when ketosis occurs. Body fat is then broken down into ketones that can pass through the kidneys into the urine. Ketones in the urine often indicate a crisis situation.
Bilirubin: Bilirubin, a product of red cell breakdown, is normally removed in the liver and becomes part of the bile. Liver disease or other illnesses such as bleeding disorders can be an indication when it’s found in the urine.
Blood: Blood may be found in the blood for a number of different reasons. Blood in the urine (also known as haematuria) can be an indication of urinary tract infection (UTI), cystitis, kidney or bladder stones, kidney disease, cancer of the urinary tract or bleeding disorders.
Protein: Protein in the urine can be caused by kidney disease as well as other illnesses.
Urine Sediment: Examining the urine sediment involved separating the cells and other solid matter from the fluid portion of the urine through centrifugation. The sediment is examined for red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, casts, crystals, mucous, or other cells. This portion essentially looks at the cellular and solid component of the urine, searching for abnormal number of cells or other materials which should not normally be present in the urine. It can provide additional clues to your cat’s health.
Bisocint Engineering supports the veterinary community by providing specialised urinalysis machines by the world renowned brand Abaxis known as the Vetscan UA. Kindly get in touch for more information!