Urinalysis : The Liquid Gold Standard of Veterinary Diagnostics
Now that we’ve grabbed your attention, let’s talk about facts of this liquid gold!
Urine contains urea (nitrogen compound), creatinine, uric acid (by-product of cell breakdown & food consumption), carbohydrates, enzymes, fatty acids, hormones, electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium), and ammonia. These components are what make up the color (yellow vs. red), clarity (cloudy vs. translucent), and odor that accompanies your pet’s eliminations.
Just like us humans, when an animal intakes food & water, throughout the digestion process, the waste products have to go somewhere, and the liquid portion is what is filtered by the kidneys and leaves your pet’s body in the form of – you guessed it, urine.
Why the Testing?
If you’re like us, sometimes taking our furry companions to the veterinarian isn’t always the most pleasurable experience. There are definitely options to discuss with your veterinarian on how to make this easier, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Currently, up to 50% of the dog population in the US whose veterinarians utilize IDEXX as their diagnostic lab, and 80% of the feline population do NOT have an up to date (UTD) urinalysis on record. Why does this matter?
We all know it’s vital to have our pets examined at least once a year, but did you know just how important it is to have their urine analyzed? Yes, bloodwork is critical for finding any systemic concerns, but so is urine! When a pet’s urine is tested, it tells us how well their kidneys are functioning – checking for any blood or protein that hasn’t been absorbed appropriately, if their liver is working properly – ensuring there is enough of an enzyme present while not excreting too much – as both organs filter toxins from the body, confirming there’s no sugar present (classic presentation of diabetes), and if they’re getting enough water.
Sometimes getting the sample is the hard part. Remember getting your pet into the crate/carrier, the car, the journey, then into see the veterinarian? Yeah, us too and it’s generally not fun. We’re big on lowering stress in all aspects of our lives, and this includes our pets’ lives too. Now, sometimes our pets will need a more thorough examination and a sample directly from the bladder, but for the annual wellness exams this may not be necessary. So, how about we collect the urine sample at home. Easy, peasy right? Actually, yes!
“Wee Wands” or “Wee Sponges” for our canine companions and feline-friendly non-absorbable litter for our cat cuddlers makes this chore, less of one. Instead of wrestling with our dogs while on leash, the “Wee Wand” is extendable, flexible, and easy to position right underneath your dog without interrupting their flow. A sterile collection cup is provided along with instructions on how to transfer what you’ve collected into the cup. Done & done!
Those shorter legged doggos - yes Corgis and Dachshunds we’re looking at you - get the “Wee Sponge” as an attachment and no, you do NOT have to wring it out to get the sample! Once again follow the included instructions and place the sponge directly into a sterile bag for processing. No lingering liquids for you!
For those finicky felines, this non-absorbable litter comes in two different varieties depending on your cat’s preference, as well as a syringe to draw up what they’ve left behind. Make sure you read those instructions here as well as repeating this process is not what anyone has in mind.
Show Me the Results!
FetchDx provides veterinary practices with at-home urinalysis kits for dogs AND cats. Providing the above-mentioned collection systems as well as a pre-paid shipping label. You pick up the kit from your vet, open it up, follow the instructions (please), register your kit online, get the urine sample, and send it in for analysis. As early as 24 hours later, you’ll have your results. Boom, done.
Now, if your pet is a repeat UTI offender, this is even more of a game-changer for you. No waiting to be seen, a laboratory & veterinarian’s confirmed diagnoses, and direct communication between you, the lab and your veterinarian. Getting you the answers you want, and the relief your pet needs, fast. Win, win, win.
Where Can I Learn More?
There’s only so much information we can relay in this post, so make sure you head to our main website and read through the FAQs. And don’t forget to keep your veterinarian in the loop as well – these kits will help them help your pets even more.
At the end of the day we’re here for the same reason – to provide your pets with the best possible care they can get. Ensuring the testing they need is accessible, accurate, and approachable – for them. Less stress, less mess, more time with your pet, and more peace of mind.