I brought a
urine sample from my Shih Tzu to the vet's office and when they called back
they said everything looked normal.
It looked normal to me, too, in the little plastic bottle I caught
it in. What did the vet do that warranted a 28 dollar fee to tell me
it looked normal?
diseased kidney from a 5 year old cat was first noticed by
checking a urine sample
analysis... what is...
deserved a little more info than "it looked normal" but I'm certain their
meaning was that there were no abnormal findings in any of the parameters
tested. A urinalysis is composed of tests for chemicals normally or
abnormally excreted in the urine as well as solid material present in the
sample. These solids are called the sediment. And the density or
concentration of the urine is tested doing an evaluation of specific gravity
(SpG)... which answers the question "is the urine dilute or concentrated?"
The usual items documented in a
(short for urine analysis) are:
The sediment is made up of
any solid particles in the urine such as white blood cells, bacteria and
crystals and is obtained by spinning a small amount of urine in a
centrifuge to pack the solids at the bottom of the centrifuge tube.
The urine is discarded and the concentrated sediment particles are
placed on a glass slide and examined under the microscope. In a normal
urine sample there should be very little, if any, sediment.
It's best to test a
urine sample at least once a year. Dogs and cats seldom show signs
of UTI until it has progressed to a stage where actual bleeding or pain
is evident. Frequent urination, straining to urinate, attempts to
urinate in several small amounts instead of a single micturition
(voiding of urine), are all signals that something is amiss!
recommend dogs and cats have an annual physical exam that includes
blood tests. Checking a urine sample should also be a part of
the annual exam.
Frequent urinating is called
and can be a sign of kidney disease, diabetes and other disorders.
A urine sample and blood chemistry panel should be analyzed to find the
cause of the polyuria.
Cats and Kidney Failure...
Older cats often develop hyperthyroidism.
One of the effects of hyperthyroidism is a rise in blood pressure that
can harm delicate kidney tissues. There are medications to assist
with high blood pressure in dogs and cats.
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I recently found out my 12 year old cat is in
kidney failure, which seems strange to me because she is drinking plenty
of water and is urinating more now than she ever did.
I don't understand how she could be in kidney
failure when she's urinating so much. She is losing weight,
though, and doesn't eat like she should.
Complete failure or shutdown of the kidneys
can occur from antifreeze poisoning and grape
toxicity. When the kidneys begin to fail to remove body waste
products the dog or cat will consume loads of water and urinate more
frequently. This is called polydipsia and polyuria.
cat kidney failure... polyuria... polydipsia...
The kidneys are organs that
do not repair themselves very well like the skin, bone and liver do.
So as time goes by the tiny tubules in each kidney can become less
effective at excreting waste products and retaining protein and sugar.
Each kidney has tens of thousands of these delicate tubules but they
cannot be reproduced or repaired once they degenerate, become plugged
with protein, or are damaged by infection, fever or blood pressure
When about 75 percent of the tubules fail many waste products
start to build up in the blood. Two common waste products that are
measured in a blood chemistry panel
are BUN (blood urea nitrogen) and Creatinine. When these chemicals
remain in the blood the dog or cat becomes toxic, feels thirsty all the
time, drinks and urinates more than normal and loses its appetite.
Plus, weight loss is common in kidney failure because of the poor
appetite and loss of nutrients into the urine that the kidney tubules
normally would retain in the body.
That's why urine samples from pets with kidney
disease often show lots of sugar (glucose) and protein in the sample.
Plus, with all the polydipsia (excessive drinking) and polyuria
(excessive urinating) the urine from dogs and cats with kidney disease
is usually very dilute. This is measured by checking the
concentration of the urine's specific gravity (SpG).
We use the term "kidney failure"
because the kidneys are in the process of failing to do their
necessary jobs. Total failure to produce any urine at all is
termed anuria. Most patients die or are mercifully euthanized
before total kidney failure occurs.
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samples cool until they can be checked by your veterinarian.
Bacteria can reproduce very rapidly at room temperature.
Someone told me grapes are very toxic to a dog's
kidneys. I've fed grapes to my dog, and I eat 'em too, and we're
both doing fine!
What's up with this grape toxicity thing?
grape toxicity... dogs... what is...
Grape toxicity is a real syndrome in dogs
and has only recently been documented to be a genuine threat.
There are many documented cases where soon after eating grapes the dog
becomes anuric (produces no urine) and dies rapidly from kidney failure
no matter what level of life support is maintained.
The difficulty is many dogs are fed grapes and
have no ill effects at all! Why does one dog die quickly from
complete renal (kidney) failure and other dogs and people do not.
My own theory is that there may be a fungus that grows on or in just
a few grapes, and possibly only grapes from a certain
geographic locale. The fungus or mold produces a toxin that has
highly specific affects on the dog's renal tubules but not a human's
There are hundreds of fungus and mold toxins
associated with foods such as grains and fruits and they seldom produce
illness; nevertheless, there are some toxins that are highly toxic to
mammals. Perhaps with grape toxicity there are just a few grapes
in a bunch that happen to have a specific mold growing on or in the
grapes that secretes a chemical that is highly toxic to dog's kidneys
but does nothing to a human's kidney tissues.
The moral of this long story is do not feed
any grapes to any dog for any reason! Until we know more
about this deadly issue with "grapes" your dog might prefer a little
tidbit of cooked chicken for a treat... and would surely benefit from
gravity (density) of distilled pure water is designated 1.000.
Anything less dense than distilled pure water will be less than 1.000,
such as 0.876. In dogs and cats the normal SpG is between 1.020
and 1.050. In kidney failure the urine SpG, no matter how
much or little water the patient drinks, usually stays steady at
your veterinarian if your dog or cat displays any changes on water
consumption or urine output.
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