Investigation of the effects of storage with preservatives at room temperature or refrigeration without preservatives on urinalysis results for samples from healthy dogs

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2020 Oct 1;257(7):726-733. doi: 10.2460/javma.257.7.726.


Objective: To compare urinalysis results for canine urine samples stored in preservative-containing tubes at room temperature (20°C to 25°C [68°F to 77°F]) or refrigerated at 4°C (39.2°F) in plain glass tubes with results for the same samples immediately after collection.

Samples: Urine samples from 20 healthy dogs.

Procedures: Urine samples (1/dog) were divided into 6 aliquots (3 in preservative-containing tubes and 3 in plain glass tubes). Preservative-containing tubes were stored at room temperature and plain glass tubes were refrigerated. Urinalysis was performed 0, 24, and 72 hours after collection. Results for both storage conditions were compared with results for a reference sample (the 0-hour [immediate post-collection] aliquot in a plain glass tube) by Spearman correlation analysis with pairwise tests for selected variables.

Results: Physical variables (urine color and turbidity with and without centrifugation) for both storage conditions had high (rs = 0.7 to 0.9) or very high (rs = 0.9 to 1.0) degrees of positive correlation with reference sample results at all time points, except for color at 24 hours. Similar results were found for all biochemical variables with storage up to 72 hours. For microscopic characteristics, correlation with reference sample results ranged from low or nonsignificant to very high under both storage conditions.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggested that if a delay in urinalysis is expected, use of the preservative-containing tubes evaluated in this study may be a viable option for sample storage. Further research is warranted to assess direct comparability of results to those of freshly collected samples and use of these tubes to store samples from dogs with conditions affecting the urinary tract.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Dogs
  • Refrigeration* / veterinary
  • Specimen Handling / veterinary
  • Temperature
  • Urinalysis* / veterinary