How are Pets Diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infections?
Clinical history and a thorough physical exam are important components of diagnosing urinary tract infections in dogs and cats, as well as searching for predisposing causes. Urine testing and urine analysis, including microscopic exams of urine are the hallmarks of definitive diagnosis. The most accurate diagnostic technique is to obtain urine by having a needle inserted into your pet's bladder (known as cystocentesis) by your veterinarian. This technique is relatively painless and has a very low risk of complications. If this is not possible, pet guardians are often asked to obtain a first morning urine sample (known as a free catch sample) to drop off to their veterinarian for urine analysis. In pets with recurrent or persistent infections, additional testing may be done, including urine culture, X-rays, and ultrasound to evaluate for other diseases like urinary tract stones, polyps, or tumors. If clinically indicated, CBC/chemistry blood profiles may be done to evaluate for systemic diseases such as diabetes and Cushing's Disease.