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Increased thirst and urination.

Species: Dog
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 2-5 years
Hi Dr. Marie,

This question concerns crystals in urine.

Starting about 1 week ago I noticed Max began drinking and urinating excessively. His yearly physical examination was otherwise normal.

This was complicated by the house humidifier breaking so I was unsure the cause.

I decided to do a urinalysis anyway. I brought in a sample from 7 pm after 8 hours of Max being house-bound. No blood, bacteria, or WBC in the urine. But the pH was 7.0 and there were crystals.

Max transitioned to Blue Buffalo Basiscs turkey/potato in September and he's doing well on it.

What are your thoughts? What have you seen in the past. The vet has requested a second urine sample to retest.

Thanks.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Jay...so sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Whenever I see crystals in a dog's urine I always want to repeat the test to make sure that it is accurate. How fresh was the sample? If it was more than an hour or so old, sometimes crystals will form on their own and not mean anything.

Also, crystals are not usually a cause of increased thirst and urination. They can cause irritation and difficulty urinating, but shouldn't cause an increase in thirst.

Do you know what the specific gravity of Max's urine was? It would be a number like 1.035. This tells me whether there is potential for kidney issues.

If there are still crystals then the vet will likely want to culture the urine to see if there is a hidden infection as this is the most common reason for crystals in the urine. But I would be surprised if this was the case.

I have had a number of cases where dogs have mysterious increase in thirst and urination and I can't figure out why. If the urine tests turn out normal then I likely wouldn't be too worried.

Dr. Marie.



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Customer reply:

The first sample was from 7pm a few days ago. I brought in a fresh morning sample this morning and the vet ran it through the strips. Everything was normal gravity pH no crystals. Is it worth sending to a lean or is thee strip normally pretty accurate.


Customer reply:

The first sample was from 7pm a few days ago. I brought in a fresh morning sample this morning and the vet ran it through the strips. Everything was normal gravity pH no crystals. Is it worth sending to a lean or is thee strip normally pretty accurate.


Customer reply:

The first sample was from 7pm a few days ago. I brought in a fresh morning sample this morning and the vet ran it through the strips. Everything was normal gravity pH no crystals. Is it worth sending to a lean or is thee strip normally pretty accurate.



I mean, the test a few days ago was using a sample from 7 pm


Customer reply:

Sorry it's the auto correct. The first sample a few days ago was using a 7pm sample. Are the strips pretty accurate or is it worth sending to a lab?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

The tests in the vet's office are very accurate. I would only send to the lab if I was really feeling there was infection (i.e. if there still were crystals or if Max had clinical signs of an infection.). It doesn't sound like further tests are warranted.

If the specific gravity is good as well then this makes me very "unworried" if that is a word. :)



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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