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#24598 - 08/07/04 01:35 AM Normal UA

I was wondering if anyone happened to have the norms for a glider UA that they would be willing to share. My vet couldn't seem to locate any. Thanks!

#24599 - 08/07/04 10:40 AM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

My vet couldn't locate any either, much to her frustration. She said that her exotic animal books only had blood values, and as we already know, if you have a smaller glider, you cannot safely draw blood. Also, if you have a sicker glider you cannot safely anesthesize them to draw blood. Anybody out there who has a vet who keeps records of "normal" values that would be willing to share?

One other option would be that if as many people as possible could send me normal urinalysis values from their healthy gliders, I'd be willing to put them into a spreadsheet and create the averages.

This is the one body fluid we can get from gliders in a non-invasive manner -- it would be helpful to create this!!!

Anyone else have ideas on how to get this?


#24600 - 08/07/04 11:23 AM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

Your vet must have been pulling her hair out, especially when you consider everything that Ozzy went through. It sounds like many people here have awesome vets who will share that info with the rest of us.......gotta get as many vets glider educated as we can! Especially the ones that want to know! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/agree.gif" alt="" />

#24601 - 08/09/04 08:32 PM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

Just hoping for some info!

#24602 - 08/09/04 09:19 PM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]
Lucy Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 02/14/01
Posts: 7354
Loc: Lexington, KY
I think the best they can do is go by other mammals and marsupials, and extrapolate norms from those levels. To the best of my knowledge, there are none. Hopefully this is something additional research can tell. However, by looking at other mammal and marsupial levels, they can probably tell if something is disproportionate and elevated. To be honest, I've never had a UA done on a glider, so I don't have any first hand knowledge.

#24603 - 08/10/04 10:04 AM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

I was serious when I said I'd be willing to start a spreadsheet of urine values from healthy and/or sick gliders. Just don't know where to start to have this happen. Or maybe there is something already published that the standard vet (non-exotic vet who sees gliders and is learning) doesn't have access to. My other question is if someone could post this thread onto the vet board and see what kind of response there is, these values may be available somewhere.

The problem with urine, according to one of the vets I spoke with, is that you have much more variable results than with blood. The body works to keep blood in homeostasis -- if, for example, a glider is dehydrated, the urine will be more concentrated because all extra fluids will go to maintain stability in the blood so the specific gravity of the urine will change.

That being said, we were able to monitor Ozzy's bilirubin through urine. I'm not a pathologist, so I can't say how sick a glider has to be with liver issues to have bilirubin show in the urine, but this would be worth exploring because maybe you could catch liver malfunction earlier through urine.

With a urinalysis you also get values for protein and glucose, although my vet said she had no way to tell what was normal or not. Also, in my research about aflatoxins, I found out that there is an ELISA test using human urine to test for aflatoxin antibodies.


#24604 - 08/10/04 07:56 PM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]


sounds to me like even though you guys lost Ozzy <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/gliderangel.gif" alt="" />, you gathered quite a bit of useful info for the rest of us.....might save another glider someday! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/agree.gif" alt="" />

#24605 - 08/12/04 08:55 PM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/littleglider.gif" alt="" /> [:"magenta"] lynn, i think to get that spreadsheet started, you should contact a moderator or owner. i would love to see it materialize, as the more we learn, the better for our suggies.[/]

#24606 - 08/13/04 10:07 PM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

There really aren't normals for a UA in the sense like blood chemistries. Everyone will have a blood sodium level, or sugar level, or whatever you are measuring. The result is not zero, and the body tries to keep the level within some range of "normal."

What our human blood lab does is ask a bunch of us to come in and get blood drawn. The amount of blood needed to run the tests is negligible to how much we have in our body. They will draw blood specimens from many non-sick people, and then calculate a mean, standard deviation, and determine a range of normal within the bell curve for each of the tests in question.

For urine, many of the "normal" results are zero. One should not be spilling protein, sugar, ketones, leukocyte esterase, blood and the like in urine. As noted in a previous post, the specific gravity (a measure of the concentration or diluteness of the urine) will vary depending on recent drinking and hydration state. White blood cells and red blood cells would ideally be absent. The pH changes depending on various factors, and the lungs and kidney combine to keep the acidity (or alkalinity) within a range in the blood. Different days and circumstances and diets would call for different urine pH's in the normal state.

Urobilinogen would be almost absent or near zero normally. For all practical purposes, the amount is so low usually that it will be interpreted on the dipstick as zero. If the glider is very jaundiced, it is true that the degree of jaundice appearing in the urine could be tracked in a general sense by how the urobilinogen level is changing, but that is not very accurate. If the glider is dehydrated, the "level" will appear higher, and if the same glider with the same amount of bili products drinks a lot and is well-hydrated, the "level" will appear lower.

This occurs because the water input and output changes so much. These levels are a ratio of an amount of solute like sugar in the numerator compared to a solution like water (or urine) in the denominator. In blood, the solution or denominator is held pretty constant, so measures of the numerator changing matter and are helpful. With urine, the denominator (or water amount) can vastly change and make big differences in the numerator values hidden or worthless and very little changes appear significant. Urinalysis only makes sense because the levels watched are usually zero. Any non-zero result is abnormal and tells you what you need to know regardless of the water content. The "levels" are relatively meaningless. I'm afraid your spreadsheet effort will not yield much useful information.

Blood levels for gliders would be very helpful. If all glider owners would pool the results of their blood tests when done, that would have merit. The difficult part is getting the normals, as reviewed above. Comparing your sick glider's level of some test to other sick gliders' levels isn't really what we want to know. We want to compare our potentially sick glider's level to normals. Not many of us would be willing or able to have our healthy, non-sick glider get blood drawn just to determine normal levels. And, we need a big number of normal volunteers to get statistically valid results. And lastly, the toughest part is that the amount of blood needed to run blood chemistries is a lot compared to the amount that a glider has. These days, we are getting down to very small quantities of blood taken from preemies, and some specialized labs can do more tests with less blood. It won't be long and blood work for our pets will become more practical.

The idea mentioned above about ELISA tests (enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay) on urine for aflatoxin is intriguing. I would like to check and see what collection method the lab would want us to use to send in the specimen, and also I would like to see if this is affordable. More later...

#24607 - 08/14/04 09:07 AM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

Schlep, Thanks for the urinalysis update! I appreciate your knowlege. Let me make sure I'm understanding.

So, what I'm hearing is that on a urinalysis if there is blood, white blood cells, protein, glucose or bilirubin there is cause for concern but the levels can't be accurately measured for diagnostic purposes. Am I correct?

My glider's urine was analyzed using a machine versus the dipstick compared to a bottle. My assumption is that most vets would do the dipstick method, versus the analyzer. Once again giving different results.

sounds like I had a great, but not very useful idea! I'll see if I can locate that article about ELISA testing for aflatoxins.


BTW, normal blood levels are listing in the exotic vet manuals. We were never able to have any blood work done because the lab my vet used couldn't process the small amount it was safe to draw and the exotic vet tried, but couldn't get enough.

#24608 - 08/14/04 12:17 PM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

That all makes sense.....would it be of any use to collect urine from my gliders on a routine basis, use a commercially available dipstick and just keep notes on the results I obtain? Seems like several weeks of certain results and then a spike of any levels (or drop) could be a good early indicator of issues. Just a thought!

#24609 - 08/15/04 02:21 AM Re: Normal UA [Re: ]

You are right, there shouldn't be any of most of the things measured in urine present. (Except pH and specific gravity, which will have some value.) Since gliders have a cloaca, there is mixing of urinary tract output with gastrointestinal tract output. The urine should be free of protein, blood, bacteria, white blood cells, bacteria, etc. The stool has most all of those, and since the cloaca mixes the two, I wouldn't go so far as to say any of those things being present means you have a problem. But I can't predetermine a normal range in urine of what shouldn't be there.

One can find normal levels of blood chemistries in books. They are pretty close in general. The process described above about how normals are determined is done at each and every lab. Every community hospital determines its own range. That is necessary because each lab has different reagents, different brand of analyzers, different people and different processes. At least slightly different, and different enough that the range of normals has some variation lab to lab.

Our clinic lab and the hospital lab are close on many things, different on others. Probably one that varies a lot is a newborn baby's bilirubin. After discharge from the hospital, if I assume the difference between the office level just done and the one done before discharge at the hospital is an upward change for the worse, then I'll admit junior for treatment needlessly. The ER also does bloodwork on sick children a lot, and then sees levels not in their "normal" ranges. Of course, they never drew children's blood for normal determinations. So I get consulted to review children's normal lab work. Age matters for certain tests. That stuff isn't accounted for in textbook normals.


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