Urine analysis is a simple, inexpensive, fast, and non-invasive method for your pet that can provide important information about the health and integrity not only of the urinary tract but also of other vital organs.
How Much Does a Dog Urinalysis Cost?
The price for a dog urinalysis is anywhere between $40 and $70, without including the vet visit cost. The veterinarian examination fee would be anywhere between $45 and $85, resulting in a total cost of anywhere between $75 and $135. These cost estimates are influenced by some factors such as the method used to collect the urine, the vet clinic you choose, and the geographical location.
According to members of The Nest online forum, the cost of a canine urinalysis would be anywhere between $60 and $110.
Canine urinalysis details
The price estimates presented above will include collecting the sample and interpreting the results.
There are four parts of a dog urine analysis according to VCA Hospitals. Through this procedure, the color is evaluated, the pH and the density of the urine will be measured, the cells will be examined, and the chemical composition analyzed. To do it, the sample has to be spun around at a very high speed to allow the cells and the solid material to settle at the bottom. After that, this material is collected and microscopic inspection in a veterinary lab is done.
Changes and abnormalities provide insightful clues into a wide array of canine health conditions. Yearly vet wellness screening urinalyses establish baselines for dogs and cats normal function.
Methods to collect your dog’s urine
This method requires the utilization of a catheter that will be passed into the bladder through the urinary passage. The catheter has a syringe attached to it which will be withdrawn from the bladder. This method is used when the dog refuses to give a sample voluntarily.
The collection of urine from the bladder through this method, a sterile syringe and needle are used. Once the balder is full, the needle will pass through the abdominal wall and let the doctor collect a sample. For detecting a bacterial infection this type of sample is used.
As its name says, the free catch method implies attempting to collect the dog’s urine in a clean container when it has to go to the bathroom naturally. This is the single method that doesn’t involve any costs and you can even do it at-home.
What are the extra costs?
Depending on the method you choose to collect your dog’s urine sample it will result in an extra cost. For instance, you should add another $60 to $110 to the final bill if you choose to collect the urine via a needle aspirate, via a urinary catheter, or through cystocentesis.
Presence of bacteria, crystals, blood, etc. in the urine indicates infection, bladder stones, trauma, organ problems, or other concerns. In this case, the vet may ask you to also perform a urine culture analysis to find out what bacteria caused the infection, and even a blood work test that will help the vet to see what kind of antibiotic should be used to get rid of the bacteria. These two tests can cost another $35 to $110.
For example, if there is a urinary tract infection found, the doctor will prescribe medication and so the costs will add up quickly. Depending on the gravity of the infection, the cost of treating it will go up to $1,100.
In case of an emergency and when you need to take your dog to the clinic after the working hours, the costs will increase by 100% to 200%.
Does pet insurance cover the vet bill for dog urinalysis?
While the urinalysis itself will be covered, most providers place an annual total claim benefit maximum on policies, often $5,000 or more. The amount paid out towards the urine analysis would tap into that overall policy coverage cap.
Also, virtually all pet insurers require the dog owner to contribute some percentage towards each claim as coinsurance, typically 10-30% of the total bill.
Additionally, if the annual deductible such as $250 or $500 set on the active policy has not yet been fulfilled at the time the analysis claim is filed, the client would need to cover costs up to that deductible amount before insurance checks are cut.
One way owners can receive 100% coverage on routine urinalysis bills is to enroll pets in special wellness policy additions or packages if offered. These often provide first-dollar coverage without deductibles or coinsurance for routine care exams and tests like the standard urinalysis.
How can I save money?
The majority of the vet clinics are more than happy to help you with the payment in case you can not afford to pay the whole sum at once. There are many affordable pet labs that may allow you to pay a fixed rate monthly or offer some other type of financial assistance.
The cheapest way to have your pet’s urine tested is to collect it naturally. In case you already know that your vet is going to ask for a sample, you better try to collect it at home in a container and bring it to the clinic for lab tests.
Sampling is simple. Collect the urine directly from the pet in a clean container (ask your veterinarian for the appropriate container). The dog’s urine profile is recommended to be performed regularly (at least once a year in healthy animals and more often in those with health issues or chronic diseases) or when urinary problems are suspected.
Another low-cost option would be the dog urinalysis kit which allow owners to analyze their four-legged friend urine at home, to screen for potential signs of illness, infection or other health problems. The basic kits include strips that change color and owners match the colors to charts showing normal or problematic ranges for each health indicator. They are available for shipping across the entire United States and prices can vary from $10 to $30, for multipacks of strips.
More comprehensive urinary kits provide containers to catch urine, syringes, detailed test tubes, and microscope slides so owners can perform more intricate, multi-part urinalysis closer to what a veterinary laboratory would do. Their average cost is between $40 and $100.