Contributors: Stephen Barr

 Species: Canine   |   Classification: Techniques

Introduction Requirements Preparation Procedure Aftercare Outcomes Further Reading


  • Collection of fresh urine sample allows urinalysis to be performed.


  • Collection of urine sample for:
    • Glucose measurement when diagnosing or monitoring diabetic patients Diabetes mellitus.
    • Gross examination of urine for discoloration Discolored urine , eg hematuria, bilirubinuria, myoglobinuria (but gives no indication of source of discolouration ie renal, cystic or lower urogenital tract).
    • Measurement of specific gravity Urinalysis: specific gravity in assessing renal function.
    • Biochemical urinalysis (usually in assessment of renal function).
    • Sediment examination for presence of casts in diagnosis of renal tubular disease.
    • Sediment examination for presence of crystals in diagnosis of urolithiasis Urolithiasis.


  • Non-invasive.
  • Requires no specialized equipment - can be performed by owner at home.
  • Usually provides adequate sample for analysis.


  • Contamination may make bacterial culture unreliable.
  • Requires animal to urinate voluntarily (may result in delay in urine collection).
  • Cannot discriminate between urine produced in upper urinary tract and contamination of sample in lower urogenital tract.
  • Not appropriate if animal has urinary tract obstruction.

Alternative Techniques

Time Required


  • None required.


  • As long as it takes for the animal to urinate voluntarily.

Decision Taking

Criteria for choosing test

  • The reason for urine sample collection has an influence on the most appropriate method of collection.
  • Samples for bacterial culture should be collected in a sterile manner preferably by cystocentesis.
  • Requirement for regular urinalysis, eg urine glucose monitoring in diabetics necessitates owner involvement and freeflow samples are adequate.


Materials Required

Minimum consumables

  • Clean container for collecting urine.

Ideal consumables

  • Urine collection vessel should be sterile and may contain preservative (depending on sample analysis required).
  • Collecting urine samples in females (which squat to urinate) may be difficult - flat urine collection trays may be useful.



Core Procedure


Step 1 - Urine collection

  • When the animal begins to urinate pass the urine collection vessel into the flow of urine.
  • Experienced personnel may encourage the flow of urine by gentle pressure on the abdomen.

Step 2 - Alternative method

  • Urine collection can be made from a sample passed onto a clean non-absorbant surface by means of a syringe.
    Samples collected in this way are not suitable for culture due to risk of unknown contamination.



Step 1 - Urine storage

  • Sealed containers should be refrigerated until examination.
  • If samples are to be stored or there is delay in transport to the laboratory the sample can be transferred to a container with formalin or thymol preservative.



Further Reading


Refereed papers