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The Importance of Urine In Determining a Pet Health

Pet parents are used to the particularities of their pet’s feces as they have to scoop it up when they walk their dog. The dog’s pee is also an indicator of a pet’s health but is much harder to check. Dogs pee on the grass or a shrub, and it’s soaked up. Sometimes you might notice a change in the color or odor of your dog’s urine. If you have a cat, it’s much easier to notice changes as you are regularly cleaning the cat box.

You will need to be able to determine what are the normal characteristics of your pet’s urine to be able to notices any changes. You should be familiar with your pet’s urine when it is healthy. Any change from normal can indicate a change in your pet’s health condition. Trying to catch a sample as your dog urinates can be somewhat messy, but it is possible; you can start to diagnosis and treat the dogs at home. A cat must be brought to the veterinarian in order to get a urine sample. There are non-absorbent cat litters designed to help cat owners get a sample of urine at home. A pet urine sample needs to ideally be delivered fresh within one hour or be kept refrigerated.

 

Interpreting The Characteristics of Pet Urine

 

Colors of Urine

Clear:  Clear urine means your pet is well-hydrated or is unable to concentrate urine. There are multiple possible reasons that a pet cannot concentrate their urine. The first urine of the day is the ideal sample to bring to your vet, as it is most concentrated. A dog that has perfectly clear urine after holding their bladder the entire time you sleep may indicate a problem that needs vet intervention.

Yellow:  Yellow urine is typically just more concentrated urine, You should try to encourage your pet to drink more fluids if their urine is regularly yellow. Cat and Dog fountains are used to encourage water intake as they provide a pet with the cool fresh filtered water they prefer. Other ways to increase a cat or dogs hydration is to provide them with the type of drinking vessel they prefer. Some pets may have a preference for cups over bowls or even only prefer to drink from plastic or glass, which does not flavor the water like mental bowls can. Clear urine is not always too dilute necessarily dilute nor is yellow urine necessarily over-concentrated.

Red, Brown, or Orange: These colors are not normally found in healthy animals urine and often indicate blood in the urine. A side effect of certain medications can give urine an orange or red tint. Blood in urine is most likely due to a urinary tract infection or bladder stones in canines. Cats have much more fragile urinary tracts and can sometimes have bloody urine as a stress response. Animals with a tendency to have bloody urine may have cystitis or a kidney condition that can be sometimes treated with something as simple as a diet change. You should immediately consult a veterinarian if you notice red, brown or orange urine.

 

Frequency and Behavior Changes

Changes in urine frequency, stream, posturing without urinating, increased licking and cleaning upon urination or finding urine stains on a pets fur can indicate a problem that requires vet care. A cat that is often in the litter box or refuses to leave the area around a litter box can have a severe urinary tract illness.

 

Quantity

Any serious changes in the quantity of a pet’s urine can indicate a health issue. More frequent urination or a pet urinating large volumes of urine can indicate a problem with their renal (kidney) function and be a sign that cannot concentrate their urine. This change in quantity can also have a hormonal cause like thyroid function. A vet is needed if urine output changes.

 

No Urine

No pet should ever go more than 24 hours without urinating. Some conditions can prevent urine from flowing into or out of the bladder. This is more common in cats than dogs, and more male cats are affected. If your litter box has no urine for 24 hours, emergency veterinary care is required.

 

Odor

Any change in odor should be a reason to have your pet checked out by a veterinarian.  Concentrated urine will always have a stronger smell, but actual foul smelling urine often indicates an infection

 

Clarity

Cloudy urine is urine that has some opacity or milky quality. It can indicate an infection, bladder crystals, or stones. It could also indicate protein in the urine. Cloudy urine requires a vet consult.

 

Frequency and Behavior Changes

Changes in urine frequency, stream, posturing without urinating, increased licking and cleaning upon urination or finding urine stains on a pets fur can indicate a problem that requires vet care. A cat who is often in the litter box or refuses to leave the area around a litter box can have a severe urinary tract illness.

 

Multi-Cat Households

It is challenging to know which cat has a urine issue in households where the litter box is shared amongst several cats. Looking for other signs of illness such as a loss of appetite a cat drinking more or a cat soiling in abnormal places, the cat is most likely the one having the urinary retention problem. Color-changing litters exist to show urine status for cats but have proven unreliable.

 

Monitoring Your Pet’s Urine

Urine is a very valuable indicator of health. Whenever your pet is ill, the vet will perform a urinalysis on them. Urine analysis and blood analysis combined provides useful clues to what is happening to your pet when they are ill.  If you are a pet owner that knows the baseline color, clarity, quantity and smell of your pet’s urine, you can quickly get them medical care if anything does change.

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