Objective: To evaluate urine variables in chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera).
Design: Evaluation study.
Sample: Urine samples from 41 chinchillas.
Procedures: Voided urine samples were collected from clinically normal chinchillas that were exhibited during a breeder exposition. Urinalysis was performed within 1 hour after collection. Urine specific gravity (USG) was measured before and after centrifugation with a handheld veterinary refractometer. Urine dipstick analysis and microscopic sedimentation examination were performed on all samples. Additionally, a urine sulfosalicylic acid (SSA) precipitation test and quantitative protein analysis were performed on samples with sufficient volume.
Results: 17 of 41 (41%) samples had a USG ≥ 1.050, and USG ranged from 1.014 to > 1.060. The USG before centrifugation did not differ significantly from that after centrifugation. Protein was detected in all urine samples on dipstick analysis. The SSA precipitation test yielded negative results for all samples tested. Results of the quantitative protein analyses were not correlated with the results of the dipstick analyses or SSA tests. The recorded pH for all samples was 8.5, which was the upper limit of detection for the reagent strip. Glucose and ketones were detected in 5 and 6 samples, respectively. Crystals were observed in 28 of 41 (68%) samples; 27 of those samples contained amorphous crystals.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Urinalysis results for clinically normal chinchillas were provided. For chinchilla urine samples, measurement of USG by refractometry prior to centrifugation is acceptable and protein concentration should be determined by quantitative protein analysis rather than dipstick analysis or the SSA test.