In the past we have talked about routine blood testing. Today, we will discuss a little about routine urine testing as it often goes hand in hand with blood testing.
Although it can sometimes be a challenge to obtain a urine sample from your pet, it is a very important test, especially in older pets. It is ideal for your vet to evaluate a urine sample on your pet at the time of his or her annual bloodwork and exam.
Urine screening can help the doctor identify systemic diseases such as diabetes or liver disease as well as disease more specific to the urinary tract.
Routine urinalysis can help identify signs of bladder infections, inflammation, and crystals which may eventually lead to bladder stones if left untreated.
Urine testing can also tell us if your pet has protein in the urine which can be a sign of many different disease processes. We can also evaluate the concentration of the urine-this lets us know how well the kidneys are functioning and gives us clues as to if your pet is drinking abnormal amounts of water.
Check with your vet to see when and how they would like the urine sample obtained. For most routine screenings a "free catch" sample is just fine. But if there are specific concerns the doctor may want a more sterile collection method or first catch in the morning for example.