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.
 

Allison.Mau

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Stumbled upon this post hoping for an answer!

I got my cat's urinalysis results back today from the vet from a follow up of my cat having crystals in his urine earlier this month. Great news is that he is crystal free! His PH levels are back to normal....and mostly everything on his previous test that was showing elevated and abnormal are now all back to normal . yay!! When the vet office called me with these results they said that his urine is perfect and everything looks great!

One thing that I noticed after the phone call when I was reviewing the results... this current test is says "Trace" next to Ketones....where as his original test (with all the not so great numbers, it said negative by Ketones).....what exactly does this mean? Is this bad? Why was he reading negative for this last month but now it says "trace"? Please advise!
 

Allison.Mau

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another thing to note is that his current test says that his urine is "cloudy" whereas the test from a month ago said "clear".

So if his urine is "perfect" (according to the vet's office).....why is it showing that his urine is cloudy??? And why was it "clear" while he was having all of his problems? this is confusing!!!
 

IndyJones

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Where do you think?
Just for the record these strips are notoriously inconsistant reguardless of the type, pool test strips, aquarium test strips, etc all can be very inconsistant.

I would use a liquid test kit or better yet have the vet analyze it.
 

Caspers Human

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When I was using test strips in the chem lab, they were kept in sealed containers in a temperature controlled refrigerator. The containers were marked with lot numbers and expiration dates. When you used one, you had to record the lot number and expiration date in your paperwork. If a package of test strips was past its expiration date, it couldn't be used and had to be disposed of. Even then, we considered test strips to be a quick substitute for an actual lab test. When you make up a fresh batch of chemicals for the manufacturing process, it gets tested in the lab. Routine, daily testing is done with test strips and compared to the lab results. When the test strips start to show too much discrepancy with the original lab test or if they go beyond limits, another lab test is done. If that test shows problems, the batch of chemicals is considered expired and a new, fresh batch needs to be made.

That's how it was done in a laboratory. Buying test strips off a drug store shelf is a whole different ball of wax! You don't know how old they might be. You don't know what conditions they've been stored under. You haven't really got any assurance that they actually work, at all. They need lot numbers and manufacturing dates. Surely, it shouldn't matter because equipment and supplies like this are supposed to be reliable but, the problem is that, you don't actually know unless you actually know... ya' know?

I'd say, like most things, they are 'ballpark accurate' but not something I'd use to make decisions about a cat's (or person's) health with. They are good for monitoring but not diagnosis. It's also a good idea to talk to your vet about using test strips. Who knows? Maybe your vet can explain some things to you about how to use the test strips. You never know... ya' know?

The next time you take your cat in for a regular checkup, ask about it. :)
 

silent meowlook

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Hello. Did you get the actual urinalysis results? If so, please post them.

I am not a veterinarian and hold no license in anything.

Ketones being present without glucose showing in the urine, can mean that the cat is breaking down fat storage. So, you could see it if the cat isn’t eating.

Another thing to consider is the color of the urine and the specific gravity ( concentration ) of the urine.

Sometimes the test strips colors can be misinterpreted if the urine is dark by making the strip colors look different.

These are all very good questions you have to put a call into your vet to discuss.

When I have any lab work done on my cat, I ask for a copy of the results. You may have done that already.

If there is glucose in the urine and ketones, that would be cause for concern. But, I have a feeling there was a mistake reading the test results on the strip.

In regards to the cloudiness of the urine, that can happen in highly concentrated urine, among other things.

Do you know if the test was performed in house, or if the urine was sent out to a lab.
 
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