A Real Take on At-Home Health Tests for Your Pet

Posted by Samantha Bubar

The most important, and expensive, part of having pets is proper health care.

Oftentimes, pets go without necessary health care, usually due to financial reasons. If there could be a health issue, some simply don't have the funds to cover a vet visit.

Vet visits include testing, lab work, and treatment. But what if you could do these at home? Live Well Testing provides health tests that you are able to administer right from the comfort of your home.

I decided to try one of these tests out to see how the process works.

The Test

The test I chose was Petnostics Urine Home Test Kit. This test costs $10.99 and you get your results via an app on your phone. Sounds easy enough.

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The kit contained latex gloves, a plastic sample cup, a lid/test strip in a foil pouch, and instructions. The first thing you have to do is download the free app on your phone and then, once you have your sample, you are ready to test.

I also ordered a "P Scoop" which is a cup on a retractable stick to help collect your sample. This was an extremely handy tool to have.

Set-Up

Once I downloaded the app, I created an account and set up Sammy's profile. The profile includes name, breed, age, gender, whether they are spayed or neutered, and their microchip ID.

The app stores test results in this profile.

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It is recommended that you test your pet yearly, and this app stores all that data in one place, which is convenient.

Directions

Once you are ready to test, you have to obtain your sample. The app walks you through the entire testing process as well. All I will say here is that I was thankful for the gloves and the P Scoop.

Once the sample has been obtained and placed into the provided sample cup, the app will prompt you to remove the lid/test strip from the foil pouch. Then, screw the lid on to the sample cup very tightly, and flip the cup upside down.

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Make sure the sample completely saturates the test strip that is embedded in the lid, and then turn right side up. Again, the app walks you through each step. The app brings you to a screen with a circle and prompts you to take a photo of the lid, with test strip in full view.

The Results

Once you snap the photo, and the app processes it, your results come up on screen.

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It shows each category that was tested, what Sammy's results were and what normal results are. The categories tested for are:

  • Bilirubin

A substance found that is produced in the liver and should be negative in pet's urine. A small amount can be normal but a large amount is cause for concern.

  • Blood

Is filtered through your pet's kidneys and should be negative in their urine. A large amount can mean urinary tract infection or bladder stones.

  • Glucose

A sugar that should be negative in your pet's urine. A large amount can be a sign of kidney disease, like diabetes.

  • Ketone

Ketone is a waste product of fatty acid breakdown that should be negative in your pet's urine. A large amount can mean that your pet is burning fat instead of glucose for energy which can happen when your pet doesn't want to eat or may be at risk of diabetes.

  • Leukocytes

White blood cells that should be negative in your pet's urine. A small amount can be normal in healthy pets, but large amounts can be a sign of bacterial infection.

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More Results

  • Nitrite

Nitrite is produced by certain bacteria and should be negative in your pet's urine. A positive amount can be an indicator of a urinary tract infection.

  • pH

pH is a measure of acidity and alkalinity and should be between 5.5 and 7.0 in your pet's urine. This level is highly influenced by your pet's diet,. Extremes in pH can be associated with urinary tract infection or calcium stones.

  • Protein

Protein can vary due to your pet's diet, but should be negative in your pet's urine. A small amount can be normal but large amounts can point to a urinary tract infection or kidney disease.

  • Specific Gravity

This is a measure of urine concentration and should be around 1.02 and 1.04. High values can mean that the pet isn't drinking enough water. Low values can mean the urine is more dilute, which can sometimes be cause of kidney disease.

  • Urobilinogen

Urobilinogen is a waste product of hemoglobin breakdown and should be between 0.2 and 1.0. A small amount is normal in healthy pets. Large amounts can be a sign of a disease such as hemolytic anemia. However, most vets do not consider this level a strong indicator of the disease.

While this information is highly useful in determining the overall health of your pet, it is important to consult your vet before administering any treatment. And guess what?! You can email the results of this test directly to your vets office through the app!

With one click, your vets will have the results from the test and be able to help you through any next steps needed.

While these tests do not replace vet visits entirely, they are a great way to test your pet's overall health. Check out Live Well Testing if you want to try an at-home health test for your pets!

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A Real Take on At-Home Health Tests for Your Pet