Help reading Urinalysis

kmbishop111

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Hi all! Did a free catch on one of my rescues who has a scheduled Vet visit in a cpl weeks for dental and some extractions. He's been a bit lethargic and vomitting this week. Going to pick up some antibiotics for his tooth abscess tomorrow, so thought I'd check his urine. Thoughts? Sometimes I feel color blind reading these dipsticks.

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Caspers Human

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Leukocytes (white blood cells) and nitrites found in urine are indicators of possible bacterial infection.
You'll want to see little to none of these things in urine.

Urobilinogen indicates liver function.
Too little might indicate a failing liver while too much can indicate that the liver is working too much.

Protein in urine indicates kidney function.
Any but a trace might indicate a problem with the kidneys.

pH indicates whether the urine is acid or alkaline.
Normal is around 6.0. (Slightly acidic.)

Blood? Self-explanatory. Right? ;)
Again, there should be none but, occasionally, there might be a small trace but only temporarily.
Anything more than a small trace or if it happens more than on occasion, that's bad.

Specific gravity compares the density of the urine compared to water.
The specific gravity of pure water is 1.0. If the "gravity" of a sample is greater than 1.0 that means that it is more dense (heavier) than water.
Specific gravity is an indicator of how well the kidneys are working and how much water the cat has been drinking.
If gravity goes up, that might mean that the cat isn't drinking enough.

Ketones are an indicator of diabetic conditions such as Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

Bilirubin is another indicator of liver function.
As with other things, should be none.

Glucose is the blood sugar level.
It is a possible indicator of diabetes or pancreatic problems if it gets to high and remains high for more than a short time.
If it gets too low, it is hypoglycemia and that could make a cat sick because there isn't enough sugar to provide energy.

I'm a chemist, not a doctor (Dammit, Jim!) so I understand what these tests are and I know a little bit about what they mean but I only know the basics of biology and physiology. I don't *THINK* that I see anything bad in that test strip but, if you want the best information, get hold of a vet and ask.

Do be careful about store-bought test strips like that. I don't mean to say that they are bad but you should not rely on them.
You can't count on their accuracy... Is the strip red or is it pink? How do you interpret?
Also, if the strips are old, expired or haven't been stored in the right conditions they might not be accurate at all.

Sometimes, I used test strips in the chemical factory where I worked. They were good for a "quick check" on things but, if we wanted an accurate test, it was best to pull a sample from the batch of chemicals in question and take it to the lab and do a proper analysis.

I would say the same for your test strips. They are good for quick checks but, if you really want proper results, go to your vet. :)
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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If you're looking to see color matches from the strip to the chart, I don't see anything matching, so I don't think it's your eyes :wink:

If you're going to be giving an antibiotic for an abscessed tooth, and he DOES have a UTI, the same antibiotic might help both issues, if he does have a UTI. Otherwise, the only real way to know the best antibiotic to use would be to get a urine culture
 

Caspers Human

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If you're looking to see color matches from the strip to the chart, I don't see anything matching, so I don't think it's your eyes :wink:
Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I say to be careful of test strips.

I used to do waste processing at the chemical plant where some of the stuff we were working with contained high levels of cyanide. We would often have hundreds of gallons of solutions contaminated with cyanide which would have to be neutralized before dumping it.

We had these test strips, similar to the ones you have, which were supposed to turn black if they detected cyanide. The problem was that, sometimes, they would only turn brown.

How would I know whether that meant the test was positive or negative?

If all of the cyanide had been neutralized but I processed the liquid again, I would waste about $100 of the company’s money. If I didn’t run the process again, I might dump a load of poison into the sewage system. (Very dangerous and HIGHLY illegal!)

What should I do?

I would have to put on my HazMat suit, pull a sample from the tank and take it to the lab and analyze it. That shop could easily get up to 100 deg. F. in the summer and there I was, running around in a full body “moon suit!”

Not fun! That’s part of the reason why I don’t work there, anymore.

That’s why I say to be careful with test strips.

They are good for quick tests…. If they turn black, there is cyanide present. Run another decontamination cycle. If they stay completely white, it is safe to dump the tank. If they turn any other color, the test is inconclusive and you’ll have to use alternate tests.

The same thing goes for your strips.

If the results are clear then you are good to go but don’t take them for granted. Call somebody who knows what to do.
 
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kmbishop111

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So it's not just my eyes!! Good to know!! lol Excellent info, thank you for being so thorough!! I figured antibiotics would cover both if in fact UTI. I dont have the money for a culture, so will see where were at after a round of antibiotics and not put any faith in these strips!!
 
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kmbishop111

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Great, my son's cat just went into labor and his fiance is pregnant so guess who's going to be up for most of the night helping momma cat?? After just working a dbl at work. I offered to even take their 2 cats to be spayed but they kept putting it off.
 

silent meowlook

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Where I work we don't count the Specific gravity result on the strip. We use a refractometer for that. We also disregard the Leukocytes and the urobilligin as they aren't accurate readings from a strip. But the rest of the readings are useful. Make sure when you do the test strip that you only add a drop of urine to each square as you can get run off from the colored squares that can throw your reading off. Also make sure to use a timer and read at the times. Usually lower half of the strip is 30 seconds and upper portion is 60 seconds. Waiting longer than that and the colors can darken and become different. Be sure the strips aren't expired. Only pull out the strips right before you use it.
 
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