A canine urine sample is a valuable tool your vet uses to diagnose many diseases. For example, a urinary tract infection may cause symptoms such as painful urination, straining or dribbling in the house, while bloody or cloudy urine may indicate bladder, prostate or urethra disorders. And a dog that urinates excessively and drinks a lot of water may have diabetes insipidus, thyroid disorders or Cushing's disease. If your vet asks you to bring in a urine sample, you must typically collect the urine as a first-catch sample in the morning and bring it to your vet within 30 minutes, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. If that doesn't fit in your schedule, you may refrigerate it for up to 24 hours, but ask your vet first. Urine is best examined as a fresh, newly collected sample and refrigeration may alter the results, leaving a need for another sample.
Ask your vet if you must withhold water after midnight the evening before you collect the sample. Your vet may provide you with a sterile cup or bowl; if not, scrub a jar with hot water and a brush to remove any residue. Let the jar dry overnight. Wash a shallow pan or plant tray. Alternatively, place the jar or the shallow pan in the dishwasher and run the machine on "sanitize" wash and dry setting.
Put on a pair of latex gloves and take your dog outside. Watch carefully for the moment when she is ready to squat. Quickly slide the shallow receptacle under the female dog from behind, and place it close to the ground. Catch a small amount of urine in the pan, then transfer it to a clean jar with a lid.
Watch a male dog for the moment he lifts his leg, and place a jar close to the urine stream. Collect a small amount of urine and place the lid on the jar.
Mark the jar with your dog's name, date and time the urine was collected. Alternatively, place the sealed jar in a plastic bag and write the data on the outside of the bag with a marker.
Take your dog's urine sample to the vet as soon as possible, as recommended by your vet.
You do not have to collect a full jar of urine; ask your vet how much you need. For one test, often an ounce is more than sufficient.
Collecting urine often works best when on a walk, since a dog knows to do her business then. She may also be more distracted by the environment and not aware of what you're trying to do.
If your female dog is easily startled, she may move the moment you place the pan under her hind quarters. If she stands up and doesn't urinate, keep an eye on her and try again. Try to be as unobtrusive as possible; she may be spooked by the pan or curious as to why you are suddenly sliding a pan under her.
Items You Will Need
- Sterile jar with lid
- Shallow receptacle
- Latex gloves
- Plastic bag
- WebMD: Urinary Symptoms in Dogs
- Merck Veterinary Manual: Urinalysis: Overview
- Living With an Older Dog; David Alderton, et al
- Regional review of the hunting dogs, (town Vladimir). image by firsov from Fotolia.com