We call Crystalluria to the presence of crystals in the urine and we can detect the crystals in the laboratory using a routine microscopic examination. In most cases the owner are not able to detect crystaluria because it does not have to present any symptoms. For this reason, it is advisable to do at least one urinalysis per year. Its presence does not mean that your pet suffers an illness.
The vet will determine if there is clinical importance depending on the amount, the type of crystal, medical history of the animal and the persistence of crystalluria in different urinalysis performed in series. Early detection is important to detect it ahead of time, as crystalluria is a risk factor for stone formation or uroliths. The presence of crystals indicates that the urine is or has been supersaturated minerals. Consequently, they cannot stay dissolved and combined to form an organized structure, which would be the crystal.
When crystalluria is very strong we can see without a microscope. In the photos we have an example of the many crystals had this dog. However, we have to perform microscopic examination of urine.
The composition of minerals determines the shape of the crystal. Thus, through microscopic examination, we can see the morphology and can distinguish what is Crystal. The crystals observed more frequently in dogs and cats are struvite, calcium oxalate dihydrate, ammonium urate, cystine crystals and amorphous. The image corresponds to microscopic crystals of struvite. Its formation depends on many factors: pH, temperature, urine saturation of precursors, concentration of solutes, diet and infections
Urine samples were examined fresh and shortly after its collection. If it is not possible the sample should be placed in the refrigerator. When a urine sample is heated or cooled long before microscopic examination, the amount of crystals in the sample increases. This is because the liquid component evaporates or because the crystals are less soluble components.
IMPORTANT We performed a urinalysis whenever a pet has signs Urinary: hematuria (bloody urine) polyuria (urinate often) estranguria (painful urination), urine odor or simply cannot urinate.
Depending on the results, the clinical veterinarian will decide whether more tests should be done:
• Blood analyzes to detect underlying metabolic diseases,
• Imaging tests to detect the presence of uroliths (non urine crystals in the test, excludes the possibility to have uroliths. In the picture you can see the calculations were obtained after surgery of a bitch could not urinate normally.
• Crops for diagnosing urinary infections.
• or just keep monitoring time.
For more information, you can leave your comment and Dr. Sonia Ramos Vidal, or one of our veterinary will honor your request in a personalized way.