ISSN 2398-2985      

Urinalysis: overview

Jreptile

Overview

  • Urinalysis is an inexpensive test that can be easily and quickly performed in most veterinary practices.
  • Results can provide useful information and should be part of the minimum database for a patient.
  • Results can often help veterinarians diagnose both urinary tract disorders and systemic diseases.
  • Urinalysis is less useful in reptiles than birds as there is usually post-renal modification of the urine in either the urinary bladder (where present) or the rectum, as urine is refluxed, and more water (and solutes) is absorbed; no urine sample will be sterile either. However, assessment for protein casts, hematuria and for parasites is useful.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

  • Multitest dipstick.
  • Refractometer.
  • Microscopic sediment examination.

Physical appearance

  • Color.
  • Turbidity.

Chemical analysis

  • Warm refrigerated sample to room temperature.
  • Mix the urine specimen thoroughly.
  • Pipette urine onto test pads.
  • Hold horizontally to avoid run-off between pads.
  • Read test at correct interval.
  • Determine specific gravity by refractometer; test dipstick specific gravity is not accurate.

Microscopic examination

  • Centrifuge at 3000 rpm for 5 min.
  • Decant supernatant.

EITHER add 1 drop of Sedistain or a supravital stain such as Sternheimer-Malbin to the sediment.
OR leave 0.5 ml urine in centrifuge tube.

  • Re-suspend sediment by tapping the centrifuge tube.
  • Transfer one drop of sediment to a microscope slide and place a coverslip over it.
  • Lower the condenser on the microscope to improve contrast.
  • Systematically examine the slide under a low power objective, assessing quantity and type of sediment.
  • Examine sediment under the high-power objective to assess cell morphology and to detect bacteria, crystals and cells within the sample.

Availability

  • All veterinary practices.
  • External laboratories.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Girling S J (2013) Common Reptile and Amphibian Diseases. In: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell.

Reproduced with permission from Simon J Girling: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets © 2013, published by John Wiley & Sons.
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