Urine Testing


Testing your pet’s urine can provide information about the kidneys, bladder, liver, pancreas, and other organs. Testing may be repeated in intervals (days or weeks) to confirm if abnormalities are still present. A complete urinalysis involves three different steps as described below.

Step 1

The first step involves checking the color, turbidity (cloudiness), and specific gravity (concentration).

  • Normal urine is amber-yellow and clear to slightly cloudy. Concentrated urine is a darker yellow. Dilute urine may be colorless. Blood in the urine can give a red-brown tinge.
  • White blood cells may make the urine cloudy.
  • Specific gravity indicates how well the kidneys are able to concentrate the urine.

Step 2 

The next step involves chemical analysis using a multi-test dipstick. Some sticks only test one or two substances; others test eight or more. Some medications may interfere with these tests. The following substances are just a few of the chemicals tested:

  • Urine pH: indicates how acidic or alkaline the urine is
  • Protein: not usually in healthy urine; trace amounts may be normal or more significant in dilute urine.
  • Glucose(sugar): normal urine should be negative; tests may be repeated and/or verified with blood glucose test
  • Ketones: normal urine should be negative may indicate starvation, diabetes, other diseases
  • Bilirubin: small amounts may be in healthy dog urine (but not cat urine); may indicate liver disease, bile ductobstruction, or abnormal destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis)
  • Urobilinogen: small amounts in urine are normal
  • Blood (hematuria): may indicate trauma, urinary tract infection, bladder stones, blood clotting problems, or other conditions
  • Nitrites: may indicate bacteria present in some infections (can show false negatives)

Step 3 

The last step involves element analysis by centrifuging a sample and a portion is examining a portion under the microscope.

  • White Blood Cells: may indicate bladder or kidney infection, bladder stones
  • Bacteria: may indicate bladder infection; culture/sensitivity test will indicate bacteria type and which antibiotics would be effective in treatment
  • Crystals: struvite, calcium oxalate, and ammonium urate are commonly found in urine. Under certain conditions, crystals can clump together to form bladder stones. Not all crystals necessarily form bladder stones. Crystal type, urine pH, and other factors also play a part.
  • Casts: may indicate kidney abnormalities

What to Expect on Blood Donation Day

Upon arrival, our client service representative will register you and your pet in our medical record system. Then a registered technician will meet with you, […]

Terms & Conditions

We aim to educate our clients on our expectations, policies, and processes. We encourage clients to also read our Client Preparation Guide. Timely Services We make […]


The decision to euthanize a pet is hard; however, knowing available options can prevent further distress on both you and your pet. Talk to your […]

Blood Transfusions for Cats & Dogs

Blood Transfusions for Dogs Collected blood is stored as whole blood or used immediately after collection as fresh whole blood. Whole blood can be stored […]

Surgical Procedures

Our specialists and veterinarians will review available options with the patient’s family and make recommendations based upon each patient’s individual needs. Our goal is a […]

Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy (TPLO)

Following cranial (or anterior) cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture in the stifle (knee) joint of dogs, the stifle becomes unstable with weight-bearing, allowing the tibia to […]

Back to Resources