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TECH114-1103: The Complete Urinalysis

Joyce Knoll, VMD; PhD, DACVP

November 14 - December 26, 2003
Real Time Sessions: Tuesday evenings; November 18, 25, and December 2, 9, and 16, 2003; 9:00pm - 10:30pm ET (USA)


Urinalysis is most accurate when performed soon after sample collection, and veterinarians often rely on veterinary technicians to perform this analysis. This course is designed to provide the veterinary technician with in-depth, useable knowledge on how to perform a urinalysis, as well as information about factors that affect accuracy of results. In addition, the course will use a case-based approach to introduce information on interpretation of urinalysis results in the context of clinical signs and other supporting laboratory abnormalities (e.g. CBC and chemistry profile).

This course will consist of five (5), ninety (90) minute real-time sessions, detailed presentations with slides when appropriate, and library materials provided on all topics. There will be multiple choice homework quizzes designed to enhance course effectiveness and material retention as well as interactive message board discussions.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:

  1. perform chemistry tests on a urine sample, utilizing both dipstix and other confirmatory tests.
  2. perform a microscopic examination of stained urine sediment and begin developing ability to evaluate unstained urine sediment.
  3. avoid factors that may result in urinalysis artifacts.
  4. interpret common abnormalities in a urinalysis.
  5. understand how the combination of a urinalysis, CBC and chemistry profile can be used to diagnose common diseases in domestic animals.

WEEK 1 - How To Perform a Urinalysis and the effects of Sample Collection
Content: This section of the course will go through the steps of a urinalysis (with a few possibly surprising recommendations along the way), and will review how sample collection can affect results. The emphasis during this session will be on chemical analysis of urine and specific gravity determination. The rationale for using tests such as Ictotest tablets or the sulfasalicyclic acid test to confirm Dipstix� results will be discussed, as well as the "how's" and "why's" of the new Heska� microalbuminemia test.

WEEK 2 - Microscopic evaluation of Urine Sediment
Content: This section will use images to illustrate common and uncommon (but clinically significant) abnormalities that can be found in urine sediment. The discussion will cover common pitfalls when looking at urine sediment, pros and cons of using Sedi-stain, and the clinical significance of certain findings. Guidelines for identification of elements in unstained preparations, and information on additional techniques that can be used to confirm the presence of bacteria or aid in identification of unknown crystals will be provided.

WEEK 3 - Interpretation of Urine Sediment Abnormalities
Content: In this section we will use a series of clinical cases to illustrate how some urine sediment abnormalities can be useful in making a diagnosis. Abnormalities to be discussed will include hematuria, pyuria, casts, and pathologic crystals.

WEEK 4 - Interpretation of Urine Chemistry Abnormalities
Content: In this section we will use a series of clinical cases to illustrate how some urine chemistry abnormalities (in association with findings in the sediment) can be useful in making a diagnosis. Abnormalities to be discussed will include proteinuria, hemoglobinuria, myoglobinuria, glucosuria, and bilirubinuria.

WEEK 5 - Interpretation of Specific Gravity in conjunction with Serum Chemistry Abnormalitie
Content: This session will introduce the concept of azotemia, its causes and its classification scheme. Through a series of cases, we will discuss how urine specific gravity can be used to assess kidney function and distinguish pre-renal azotemia, as a result of blood loss or dehydration, from renal azotemia caused by kidney disease.

Recommended Texts:

  1. Urinalysis: A Clinical Guide to Compassionate Patient Care. Osborne CA & Stevens JB. Published by Bayer (Bayer has graciously donated this book for this course, however, a minimal charge will be added to cover shipping/handling. Click on this link to access the bookstore:
  2. A Handbook of Routine Urinalysis. Sister Laurine Graff; J.B. Lippincott Co, Philadelphia, 1983. (Click on this link to access the bookstore to purchase this book:
TEXTBOOK Recommended - Orders received after 10/31 may not receive the book prior to course open.

Message board discussions regarding the topic presented will begin on the day the course begins and continue for one week following the last real time session. These discussions will be held in the VSPN CE course area.

CE HOURS: 7.5 CE credits

$120 ($108.00 early bird special if registered before October 31, 2003). Full time students of an AVMA accredited Veterinary Technician Program will receive a reduced rate for this course of $60.00 (upon verification of student status)


This Course is being CLOSED for registration; it has reached capacity. We will offer this course again in the future. Please email with your name and email address if you would like to be put on an email notification list so you can be notified about the next time we will offer this course. Thank you for your interest!

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Note: "This course has been submitted for approval for 7.5 hours of continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education. Call VIN/VSPN for further information." (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board.)

COURSE WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND POLICY: Withdrawal prior to the listed start date of a course entitles the registrant to a complete refund or a credit toward a future VIN CE course, whichever is preferred. Withdrawal within 1 week after the listed start date (i.e. including no more than one real-time session) entitles the registrant to a credit toward any future VIN CE course. (Does not apply to courses with only one real-time session.) After the first real-time session, a registrant may withdraw due to special circumstances and receive prorated credit towards a future VIN course. These requests will be handled on an individual basis. The amount of the prorated credit will be determined based on 65% of the time remaining in the course at the time of withdrawal. It is not possible to withdrawal retroactively. Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN office at 1-800-700-INFO.
Nanette R. Walker Smith, RVT, CVT
VSPN Content Director or


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
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