Avian Urinalysis

Tests included:

Gross description, Specific Gravity, Strip Test (pH, Protein, Glucose, Ketones, Bilirubin, Blood (Haem), Leukocytes, Nitrates, Urobilinogen), Sediment Examination






Plain container (yellow top)

Collection Protocol:

Urine collection can be aided by giving water by a crop tube – the bird will often urinate shortly after. Avian urine has a concentrated white to off white uric acid component and clear watery component – the watery fraction is assessed. A fresh or recently refrigerated sample is required. Prolonged storage causes lysis of cells.


pH - Ranges from 6.0-8.0 (diet related)

Protein - Trace amounts normal

Glucose - Trace amounts normal in some species. Will occur if blood glucose is >33.3 mmol/L.

Ketones - Negative in normal birds. Increased with diabetes & increased fat metabolism

Specific gravity - 1.005-1.020

Bilirubin - Not normally present. Biliverdin is the major bile pigment which does not react with the mammalian urine dip stick

Blood - Negative or trace

Nitrates - Unreliable in birds

Urates - White, pale yellow and pale grey are normal

Liver disease - Urates are yellow to green

Sediment - RBC & WBC: normal <3/HPF. Epithelial cells: Normally none present. Casts: Presence is associated with renal disease. Bacteria: False positive with faecal contamination of urine (can proliferate in transit.