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What is Particles in the Urine?

Many diseases can be diagnosed by urinalysis, especially those that limit kidney function. Microscopic analysis of urine samples can detect particles called casts. These are cylindrically shaped proteins, called mucoproteins, which can contain different types of cells. A small number of casts in the urine is normal, but a high concentration is called cylindruria and it suggests that something is causing a problem with the kidneys, whether direct kidney failure or a systemic problem that affects the kidneys. The types of cells contained in the casts can sometimes help to determine the cause. Casts must be detected within two hours or they will dissolve; additionally diluted urine, or urine that has a low specific gravity, may dissolve the casts faster and make them harder to detect. Cylindruria may be a sign of many conditions such as poisoning, long-term kidney failure, or bacterial infection. It often occurs with congestive heart failure and conditions of excessive blood coagulation because these conditions limit blood flow in the kidneys. Although cylindruria is not a conclusive finding, combined with other laboratory tests and a thorough evaluation of your dog’s symptoms, cast identification can help the veterinarian make an accurate diagnosis.

Urine testing is a common way for veterinarians to diagnosis diseases in dogs. If high numbers of particles, or casts, are found in the urine, this is called cylindruria. It is usually indicative of kidney failure or a systemic disease that is affecting the kidneys.

Particles in the Urine Average Cost

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Average Cost

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Symptoms of Particles in the Urine in Dogs

Symptoms of Particles in the Urine in Dogs

Cylindruria could be present with a number of different symptoms depending on the cause. It could also be a cause for concern if found on a normal exam with no symptoms. These are some of the signs you might see in your dog with conditions that can cause kidney failure. Life-threatening symptoms (such as poisoning) should be treated as an emergency.

  • Excessive drinking
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of stamina
  • Weakness
  • Reduced urine output
  • Signs of abdominal pain
  • Fever or other symptoms of infection
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures or poor muscle coordination
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shock or coma

Types

These are some of the different types of casts and what they might signify.

  • Hyaline casts - some hyaline casts are normal, but excessive amounts suggest dehydration; this could be caused by fever, excessive exercise, or renal disease

  • Waxy casts or granular casts –some of these types are normal, but high amounts indicate renal tubular disease
  • RBC casts (red blood cell) –suggests bleeding caused by severe renal disease, hemorrhage into the kidneys, or high blood coagulation levels
  • WBC casts (white blood cell cases) –usually a sign of kidney inflammation, often caused by urinary tract infection
  • Fatty casts –uncommon, but they may suggest diabetes
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Causes of Particles in the Urine in Dogs

These are some of the conditions that could be associated with particles in the urine.

  • Severe dehydration
  • Poisoning by a substance that affects the kidneys (ethylene glycol, grapes or raisins, NSAID’s, ACE-Inhibitors)
  • Drug toxicity (Gentamicin which is an antibiotic, Amphotericin B. which is an anti-fungal medication)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Kidney cancer
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Endocarditis (bacterial heart infection)
  • Amyloidosis – protein deposits in the kidneys; this is a hereditary condition in Chinese Shar-Peis, but it can also be caused by long term inflammation
  • Pyelonephritis (acute kidney infection)
  • Leptospirosis – a systemic bacterial infection that can be transferable to humans
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Diagnosis of Particles in the Urine in Dogs

The veterinarian will order a urine test because your dog is showing unusual symptoms or in the course of a regular exam. If your dog is unable to void normally, a catheter could be required in order to obtain a urine sample. The number of casts in your dog’s urine, as well as the type of casts present will help to show what is causing the problem. Other abnormalities may also be detectable in the urine, such as a high protein levels, abnormal acidity, blood cells or a bacterial infection. Bloodwork can help to show the degree of kidney failure, as well as blood toxicity, acidosis and blood coagulation levels.

The veterinarian will want to know your dog’s complete medical history, as well as any past or present medications, and recent exposures to toxins or infection. An accurate description of your dog’s symptoms is extremely important. Any known condition such as kidney dysfunction, diabetes, or  hereditary abnormalities is also relevant. If the problem remains unidentifiable, a kidney biopsy could be necessary.

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Treatment of Particles in the Urine in Dogs

Treatment will focus on keeping your dog hydrated. Fluids and electrolytes can help dilute the urine and reduce toxicity levels. In mild cases, dehydration could be the only problem. If your dog is unable to drink properly, fluids may need to be administered intravenously. This is important with poisoning as well as kidney failure from leptospirosis. Antibiotics may be prescribed to deal with a bacterial infection. For poisoning, activated charcoal is often given to reduce absorption.

Adequate fluids can also help decrease blood toxicity and reduce hyper-coagulation. Blood thinners may also need to be prescribed and in severe cases your dog might need blood transfusions or additional oxygen.

Chronic kidney disease is primarily managed with a diet change to reduce stress on the kidneys and extra fluids. Depending on what stage the disease is in, other medications could be prescribed. The veterinarian might recommend dialysis to prolong your dog’s life. Kidney cancer could require surgery, or chemotherapy to reduce metastasis.

Cylindruria without other symptoms is sometimes a sign of drug toxicity. If your dog is taking a medication that can cause kidney damage, the veterinarian might reduce the dosage or prescribe a different medication.

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Recovery of Particles in the Urine in Dogs

Recovery will depend on the condition that is causing the particles in dog’s urine. Cylindruria alone isn’t necessarily serious, but it can be indicative of many problems some of which could be life-threatening. The likelihood of recovery will be determined by a veterinarian. Your dog might need to stay on a strict diet to manage kidney deterioration. This could involve a prescribed dogfood, or the veterinarian might recommend a homemade diet. Extra fluids are always important.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be zoonotic (transferrable to humans), so care should be taken with handling urine and any other infectious fluids if your dog is diagnosed with this condition. All infected dogs should be quarantined. Dogs can be vaccinated against the disease to help prevent infection.

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Particles in the Urine Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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Particles in the Urine Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Chocolate lab

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5 months

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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White Stuff In Urine

Hi, I have a porch potty where my dog urinates and I empty a basin that catches it. Today, I noticed white stuff floating in it. She’s showing no signs of any pain or discomfort and is acting like herself, but should I be concerned?

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Sometimes urine can be a little bit foamy, depending on what your dog ate. If she is not showing any signs have distressed for urinating more frequently, then I think it would be okay to monitor. If it is something that continues to happen, it would be best to have her seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine her and see if anything might be going on. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Terrier mix

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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Where She Pees Is Bothering Her

I'm just wondering if I need to take my dog to the vet. She is acting like where she pees is bothering her some how. She's not whining though. I attached 2 pictures

July 17, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If her vulva is inflamed or red, or she is licking at it and won't stop or leave it alone, those are reasons to have her seen by a veterinarian, yes. If she is not spayed, she may have a uterine infection. If she is spayed she may have a bladder infection or irritation. If the problem continues, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, yes. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 17, 2020

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Coco

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Bischon

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Excessive Thirst, Low Appetite,

My 12 yr old Bischon started drinking excessive amounts of water about 2 weeks ago. Blood tests show slightly elevated creatine 1.8 but his BUN is normal. His urine sample shows some granular casts and protein. Is this kidney failure or kidney disease?

April 22, 2018

Coco's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Without knowing the rest of his lab work, and being able to see Coco, I can't comment on the status of his kidneys. If his urine is still concentrating, then he is most likely suffering from kidney disease.

April 22, 2018

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RIGGS

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Pit bull

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10 Months

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Moderate severity

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HELLO. 10 MONTH OLD STRAY RESCUE, PROBABLY A PIT MIX. RECENTLY HAS BEEN DRINKING AND URINATION EXCESSIVELY IN VERY LARGE AMOUNTS. HAS BEEN HAVING ACCIDENTS IN THE HOUSE TOO. URINALYSIS SHOWS LOW SPECIFIC GRAVITY, SLIGHTLY ELEVATED PH, GRANULAR CASTS, ROUND CELL EPITHELIA, WBC OF 5/40X AND RBC 2/40X AND A FEW COCCI. LABS SHOWED ELEVATED WBC, NEUTROPHILS,MO%, MCH, MCHC, RDWC, PCT AND PDWC. ALL KIDNEY FUNCTION LEVELS WERE NORMAL. DR THINKS IT MIGHT BE KIDNEY ISSUES, BUT PUT HIM ON ANTIBIOTICS AND WILL RETEST HIM. IF LEVELS ARE STILL HIGH, THEN WE'LL DO FURTHER TESTING. HE JUST STARTED HAVING NIGHT TERRORS OVER THE PAST WEEK AND I'M NOT SURE IF HE'S IN PAIN OR IT'S RELATED TO WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIM MEDICALLY. I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR A SECOND OPINION BECAUSE I'M WORRIED ABOUT THIS POOR PUP.

April 8, 2018

RIGGS' Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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I'm glad that you are taking care of Riggs! Low specific gravity and granular casts do indicate that there may be some kidney damage, but if his blood values were normal, it seems reasonable to treat for the UTI that is there and retest once they are finished. Without examining him, I am not sure if the night terrors are related to his urinary issues, but that isn't a common effect of infection, and they may be more related to the fact that he is in a new house, with an unknown background, and may be getting more comfortable. It would be a good idea to call your veterinarian, as they have seen him recently, and ask if they think he might need some medication for the episodes at night to help him. It might also help to make sure that he is tired when you go to bed, whether that means a long walk, or an active play session. I hope that he is okay.

April 8, 2018

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Diamond

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pitbull

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16 Weeks

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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White Bits In Pee

Hello I have a pitbull puppy and when I look in her cage I seen she had peed in there so as I was going to clean it , I noticed stuff in it . This is the 2 time I’ve seen it and I’m just worried bc she urinates a lot and drinks as if she never has before .

Dec. 29, 2017

Diamond's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

There are many causes for particles in the urine, more commonly urinary crystals may become apparent whilst a urine stain is drying; ask your Veterinarian for a sample tube and then take a sample into be checked to be on the safe side as they will be able to look for crystals, infections, inflammation, casts etc… Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Dec. 29, 2017

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Winston

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Maltese

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15 Months

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Increased Urination

15 month old Maltese, has been having accidents in his crate at night. Appears to be a large amount of urine also with little white things in it. When I clean the crate they are not visible on the paper towel. Dog appears to be acting normal - eating, drinking, playing as usual. Just an increase in accidents and have noticed on a few occasions these "white bits". These accidents are only happening at night in the crate and not any other time in the home.

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Sabrina

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Pug

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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Frequent Urination

I have a 4 yr old pug. She has been perfectly healthy. She now has a large quantity of sediment in her urine. She has been treated 25 days with antibiotics and meds for her bladder spasms. Took another urine in today, no high PH, or UTI, but sediment still exists. Vet says to watch. I need answers. Anyone experiences this.

Particles in the Urine Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $300 - $2,500

Average Cost

$850

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