Not every health condition can be detected with an annual physical exam. Sometimes advanced diagnostics and lab work, including urinalyses, are necessary. Clearwater Animal Hospital in Windsor has dedicated the month of November to urinary wellness, so we recommend that all pets have a routine urinalysis as part of their overall wellness. And for the month of November, we’re offering a discount on all routine urinalyses for healthy pets.
Why Does My Pet Need a Routine Urinalysis?
We regularly advocate “healthy pet bloodwork,” but a “healthy pet urinalysis” is equally important because it allows us to diagnose and treat health issues sooner. Both cats and dogs of all ages and genders can develop urinary problems, but male pets are usually more at risk. Although your pet may not be showing any signs of illness, we like to check their urine routinely to detect potential underlying diseases that can be easily treated with a simple diet change or the addition of a nutritional supplement. It’s also important to keep in mind that preventing an illness is much less expensive than treating it. These illnesses can range from kidney disease to diabetes, urinary crystals, and bladder stones.
What Conditions Can a Routine Urinalysis Detect?
During a routine urinalysis, we examine the colour of the urine to confirm there are no signs of blood. The concentration, or specific gravity, is also evaluated to ensure the kidneys are concentrating the urine enough. This is one tool we use to determine kidney failure. We also check the turbidity (cloudiness) of the urine, which sometimes indicates an infection. We use a dipstick similar to those used in swimming pools to check the pH of the urine, ensuring it is not too acidic or too alkaline. Urine that’s too acidic or alkaline can be the perfect breeding ground for urinary crystals and bladder stones. These dipsticks also check for the presence of protein, glucose, ketones, and blood, to name a few substances.
A urine sample may look perfectly normal to the naked eye, but once examined under a microscope, it can tell us a completely different story. Crystals are the most common urinary issue seen in adult male cats and dogs. These tiny, sharp, snowflake-looking crystals wreak havoc on the bladder, causing a lot of discomfort during urination. They can also eventually lead to a urinary blockage, which is an emergency situation that is usually very expensive to treat.
In addition to detecting urinary crystals, a urine test can also give us the early warning signs for the potential of bladder stones, which is another common urinary tract problem. If caught early on, bladder stones may be dissolved with food (given the type of stone). Routine urine testing will alert the doctor if a bladder stone is possible. If suspected, the stones can be treated sooner, which can eliminate the need for surgery.
Give us a call to book an appointment for your pet’s routine urinalysis, or book through our PetPartner App. We are offering urinalyses for both cats and dogs at a discounted price to detect any urinary issue, so book your pet’s test today. And hurry! This offer ends November 30.