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. 2019 Mar;33(2):999-1008.
doi: 10.1111/jvim.15452. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

Urinalysis and Determination of the Urine Protein-To-Creatinine Ratio Reference Interval in Healthy Cows

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Free PMC article

Urinalysis and Determination of the Urine Protein-To-Creatinine Ratio Reference Interval in Healthy Cows

Nicolas Herman et al. J Vet Intern Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: There are no reference intervals for urinalysis in cattle.

Hypothesis/objectives: Characterize the urine of healthy cows, establish urine protein-to-creatinine ratio (UPC) reference intervals, and test possible differences among dairy and beef cattle, age groups, or stage of lactation.

Animals: Seventy-seven dairy and 74 beef 2.5 to 17 year-old cows of different breeds housed mainly in free stall.

Methods: In this prospective study, urine specimens were collected by catheterization. Complete urinalysis was performed within 1 hour including specific gravity, dipstick evaluation, visual urine pH evaluation with 0.3 pH unit graded strips, and microscopic evaluation of the sediment. Urinary protein and creatinine concentrations and protein electrophoresis were determined on frozen aliquots.

Results: Overall reference intervals were 1.020 to 1.045 for USG, 7.0 to 8.7 for pH, and 0.04 to 0.25 for UPC; because of differences in creatinine concentration, UPC was lower in beef (0.04-0.14) than in dairy (0.05-0.25) cows and in the latter in dry than lactating cows. With dipstick evaluation, most analytes were absent except for blood, ketone, and protein in 24.7, 16.0, and 64.7% of cases, respectively. Microscopic evaluation revealed less than 3 red blood cells, leukocytes, and epithelial cells in 84, 99.3, and 100% cows, respectively. No band was observed at electrophoresis, except in 1 case at MW ~66 000.

Conclusions and clinical importance: Creatininuria is higher in beef than dairy cows and proteinuria is likely more efficiently characterized by protein concentration than by UPC.

Keywords: UPC; USG; Urinalysis; cattle; creatininuria; pH; proteinuria.

Conflict of interest statement

Authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Histograms of urine specific gravity (USG) by refractometry and urine pH by precision strips in healthy dairy and beef cows (pink line is the fitted distribution; vertical lines and dashed lines are reference limits and their 90% confidence intervals)
Figure 2
Figure 2
Comparison of urine protein‐to‐creatinine ratio (UPC) histograms in healthy dairy and beef cows (pink line is the fitted distribution; vertical lines and dashed lines are reference limits and their 90% confidence intervals)
Figure 3
Figure 3
Relationship between urine protein‐to‐creatinine ratio (UPC) and urine creatinine concentration
Figure 4
Figure 4
Distribution of urine protein‐to‐creatinine ratio (UPC) in healthy dairy and beef cows according to results from the protein pad of urine test strips (dipstick proteinuria as number of +)
Figure 5
Figure 5
Examples of sodium dodecyl sulfate agarose gel electrophoresis (SDS‐AGE) in urines from healthy cows

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