Explanation of Urinalysis

A urine sample can provide information about several organ systems. The concentration, colour, clarity and microscopic examination of the urine sample can provide diagnostic information.

Urine may be obtained by catching a sample during normal urination, or alternatively, by your Vet passing a catheter into the bladder or by placing a small needle through the body into the bladder, a procedure called cystocentesis.

Depending upon why the urine sample is being collected, one collection method may be preferred over another. Enquire at the time you make an appointment for veterinary care if a urine sample may be collected. Preventing your pet from urinating prior to the appointment will assure that your pet’s bladder will contain urine for sampling.

The following refers only to the Urine Protein and Creatinine, the most common urinalysis performed on the Wheaten Terrier.

Urine Protein:

Proteinuria is excess protein in the urine and is usually only seen in trace amounts, as the kidney does not normally allow protein to leak through. When protein is present it indicates there is possible damage to the kidneys, most often through the glomeruli.

The main protein in blood and the key to the regulation of the osmotic pressure of blood is albumin. Proteinuria is synonymous with albuminuria.


Creatinine is a chemical waste molecule that is generated from the muscle metabolism.

Creatinine is produced from creatine, a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles. Approximately 2% of the body’s creatine is converted to creatinine every day.

Creatinine is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The kidneys filter out most of the creatinine and dispose of it in the urine.

Although it is a waste, creatinine serves a vital diagnostic function.

Creatinine has been found to be fairly reliable indicator of kidney function. As the kidneys become impaired the creatinine will rise. Abnormally high levels of creatinine warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys, sometimes even before symptoms are evident.

Explanation of further Urine analysis:

Urine Colour – Normal colour is yellow to amber. Red is caused by blood, dark yellow to brown is caused by Bilirubin, reddish brown is caused by haemoglobin/myoglobin.

Urine Transparency – Normal is clear. Cloudy urine is caused by crystals, bacteria, cells, blood, mucous or casts.

Urine Specific Gravity (USG) – Specific gravity is a measurement of how concentrated the urine is. Renal impairment and diabetes insipidus affect a dog’s ability to concentrate urine.

Urine sediment - can be examined for solid material such as cells, bacteria, crystals and casts. Red blood cells in the urine indicate inflammation, certain tumours or blood clotting disorders. White blood cells and bacteria are seen in infection. Crystals may be normal or may indicate infection, liver disease, toxin ingestion or bladder stones.

Glucose - should not be seen in the urine. However, when blood sugar levels become very high as with diabetes mellitus, it exceeds the kidney’s capacity to keep sugar out and glucose is seen in the urine.

PH Levels – should be a little on the acidic side, i.e. 6.2 – 6.5

Guide to Interpretation of Urine Protein/Creatinine Ratio Results:

0-0.2: Non Proteinuric (normal).

0.2–0.5: Borderline Proteinuric. May or may not reflect abnormality, monitor proteinuria.

0.5: Proteinuric. Consistent with loss of protein within urinary system. Monitor proteinuria.

Information on monitoring pooled UPC is on the Testing Protocols page.

A more detailed explanation of what a UPC ratio can measure can be found at IDEXX laboratory website.

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