Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Urine collection: freeflow

Synonym(s): Voided urine collection

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Virginia Garner-Richardson, Lesa Thompson


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

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  • Collection of urine sample for:
    • Gross examination of urine for discoloration, eg hematuria Urine: hematuria, bilirubinuria, myoglobinuria (but gives no indication of source of discoloration, ie renal, cystic or lower urogenital tract).
    • Measurement of specific gravity in assessing renal function Urinalysis: specific gravity.
    • Biochemical urinalysis Blood biochemistry: urea (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.
    • Glucose measurement when diagnosing or monitoring diabetic patients Urinalysis: glucose.


  • Non-invasive - avoids the need for restraint (physical or chemical), reducing stress on animal.
  • Requires no specialized equipment - can be performed by owner at home.
  • Usually provides adequate sample for analysis.


  • Rarely useful as requires animal to urinate voluntarily (may result in delay in urine collection).
  • Contamination may make bacterial culture unreliable.
  • 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.
  • Often very difficult to achieve in rabbits due to proximity of perineum to ground.
  • Opportunistic collection means analysis of sample when fresh is not always possible. This may affect some results.
  • Low volume obtained: typically, <5 ml.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Kurien B T, Everds N E & Scofield R H (2004) Experimental animal urine collection: a review. Lab Anim 38 (4), 333-361 PubMed.