Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Urinalysis: overview

Contributor(s): Sarah Pellett, Vicki Baldrey


  • Basic urinalysis is a quick procedure that can be performed in practice.
  • It provides information regarding the function of the urinary system as well as other organ systems.
  • Test dipsticks work well to evaluate blood, glucose, ketone and pH levels only in rabbit urine.


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Physical appearance

  • Color.
  • Turbidity.

Chemical analsysis

  • Warm refrigerated sample to room temperature.
  • Centrifuge at 500-3000 rpm for 5 min.
  • Determine specific gravity   Urinalysis: specific gravity  on the supernatant by refractometer   Refractometer  . Test dipstick specific gravity is not accurate.
  • Perform multitest dipstick analysis   Urinalysis: dipstick analysis  on the supernatant.
  • Pipette urine onto pads.
  • Hold horizontally to avoid run-off between pads.
  • Read test at correct interval.

Microscopic examination

  • Centrifuge.
  • Decant supernatant.

EITHERadd 1 drop of sedistain or a supravital stain such as Sternheimer-Malbin to the sediment.
ORleave 0.5 ml urine in centrifuge tube.

  • Re-suspend sediment by tapping the centrifuge tube.
  • Transfer one drop of sediment to a microscope slide and place a coverslip over it.
  • Lower the condenser on the microscope to improve contrast.
  • Systematically examine the slide under a low power objective, assessing quantity and type of sediment.
  • Examine sediment under the high power objective to assess cell morphology and to detect bacteria, crystals and cells within the sample.


  • All veterinary practices.
  • External laboratories.

Result Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references fromPubMedandVetMedResource.
  • Jenkins J R (2010)Evaluation of the rabbit urinary tract.  J Exotic Pet Med19(4), 271-279VetMedResource.
  • Jenkins J R (2008)Rabbit diagnostic testing. J Exotic Pet Med17(1), 4-15JExoticPetMed.
  • Melillo A (2007)Rabbit clinical pathology.  J Exotic Pet Med16(3), 135-145VetMedResource.
  • Paul-Murphy J (2007)Critical care of the rabbit.  Vet Clin Exotic Anim Pract10(2), 437-461PubMed.
  • Cray C & Zaias J (2004)Laboratory procedures.  Vet Clin Exotic Anim Pract7(2), 487-518PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014)Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, Edinburgh.
  • Ariaca M et al(2013)Urinary Calcium Excretion and Urine Turbidity does not Affect the Urine Specific Gravity Readings by Refractometry in Rabbits.In: Proc 1st Int Conf Avian, Herpetol & Exotic Mammal Med. Wiesbaden. pp 456-458.
  • Klaphake E & Paul-Murphy J (2012)Disorders of the Reproductive and Urinary Systems. In: Ferrets, Rabbits & Rodents Clinical Medicine & Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier Saunders, St Louis.
  • Oglesbee B L (2011)Blackwells Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, New Delhi.
  • Jenkins J R (2006)Clinical Pathology. In: BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine & Surgery. 2nd edn. Eds: Meredith A & Flecknell P. BSAVA, Gloucester.
  • Saunders R A & Rees Davies R (2005) EdsNotes on Rabbit Internal Medicine. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.


  • Mary Pinborough, Pinmoore Animal Laboratory Services Ltd, The Coach House, Town House Barn, Clotton, Cheshire CW6 0EG, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1829 781855; Email: ; Website: .