Is it possible to detect bacteria by urinalysis?

The practice of using a urine test as a tool for detecting bacteria may be ineffective or even lead to erroneous conclusions. And such mistakes can cost the health of the pet.

Veterinarians use urinalysis to quickly determine the signs of hidden diseases in an animal. In addition, such an analysis allows to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and see that the chosen method of therapy works and helps the pet recover. And of course, a urinalysis is one of the most frequent tests prescribed by a veterinarian.

However, it has already been proven that this study cannot be used as an effective and objective way of detecting the presence of UTI. Using the microscope, many other particles could look like bacteria, but some bacteria could look like something else. So the proven efficiency of urinalysis to detect bacteria is very low, and, of course, it won’t answer the kind of bacteria, which is crucial to deciding on antibiotic therapy.

The industry-standard test to detect bacteria is Urine Culture. This allows the detection of even a small number of bacteria and will provide detailed information about the exact type of bacteria. However, there 2 main cons to Urine Culture. The first one is time; in most cases, it takes about 48 hours but can vary from 24 to 76 and even more hours. In some cases, the pet doesn’t have a couple of days. The second disadvantage is the cost. Urine Culture is highly expensive, with the lowest number starting at just a bit below 200$. So that’s why many veterinarians are trying to save some time for their patients and save some money for the pet owners are using urinalysis to try to see bacteria.

An alternative to urine culture is the Lateral Flow Immunoassay (LFA) RapidBac Vet test utilizes a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies targeting a panel of bacterial surface proteins. It can not only determine the presence of bacteria it also gives precise information about the type of bacteria, which helps the veterinarian choose the proper treatment in a matter of minutes and in a fraction of the cost.

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