Many of you already know the story of our golden retriever Sheba’s recent UTI. We first became aware of it when I happened to notice blood in her urine. What bothered me the most was that she had been feeling a bit out of sorts for a while before that. Her appetite wasn’t great, but we attributed it to her cancer progressing. But I now think she may have had the UTI for a while before we became aware of it, and that’s why her appetite hadn’t been good (that can be a normal symptom).
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Petnostics. We were compensated to share their product, but we only share products that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Petnostics is not responsible for the content of this article, all opinions are our own.
It was kind of ironic that the same evening after she had her visit to the vet and they diagnosed the UTI, we sat down to watch TV and I chose an episode of Shark Tank that I had recorded. I had actually recorded it quite a while ago after reading about the company Petnostics on our friend Melissa’s blog, Barking from the Bayou. I had been curious about the urine test kits that they made for pets, but had kind of forgotten about it.
It occurred to me now just how useful this kit could be, especially since dogs can be very good at hiding symptoms when they are not feeling well; or if in the case of a dog with another illness like Sheba, you might just attribute it to that like we did. Earlier my interest had been mostly because of Luke, who will not let any strangers near him, including the vet. I could see that being able to run this at home test for him might at least let us monitor his health somewhat and know if there was some issue that would mean we had to take him in and deal with the drama.
Now I can see how useful it could also be when you have senior dogs, to monitor them in between vet visits; so things like this might not go missed.
I asked the company if we could give their product a try and write a review, and they agreed. The kit includes everything you need: disposable cup, lid with integrated urine test strip, glove, and you can also buy their urine collector separately, which is very convenient; or you can also use the cup itself to collect. The only issue I had with the urine collector is that it’s smaller than the containers I’ve used for Sheba. If you have a long haired female dog like Sheba, it’s hard to see where you’re getting the collecting cup! So with her I need to use a larger bowl so I have a better chance of catching it when I can’t really see under there (I just shove it under and hope for the best!). But it works great for the other dogs, and that’s less containers of my own I have to dispose of.
Collecting the urine is easier than I thought it would be. Cricket did act a little bit like I was stalking her when I followed her around the yard with the collector, but she got over that. I was afraid Luke might be freaked out by it, because he can be that way; but he was fine too.
It works like this: you download an app to your phone (available at App Store and Google Play), and it only takes a couple minutes to add your pet’s information. I got all three dogs and our cat entered in there in no time. The app walks you through the steps to collect the urine and test it. It’s basically easy: collect urine, put in cup, secure lid with test strip on, flip cup over briefly to wet the strip and then back. Then line your phone up with the lid for it to read the results. Simple!
Once you have done that the results will show on your phone screen, and you can click on each detail for more information. It also makes it super easy to email the results to your vet or to yourself. I emailed them to myself so I could just print them out to take to my vet’s. Cricket had one high value, but as you can see it reassured me that this is nothing to panic over and a little research confirmed that. But I will still discuss it with our vet at her next appointment.
I found it funny when watching Shark Tank that Ashton Kutcher took himself out of the running to invest in this company, because he couldn’t see people wanting to collect their pets’ urine (this can be used for cats too!). Since I’ve now been there, done that, I totally disagree. We pet parents will do whatever we have to do to be assured of our pets’ health. Petnostics can provide some peace of mind in between your regular vet visits.
What if your pet is just a little under the weather and it’s the weekend or off hours for your vet’s office? We all know that’s exactly when our pets will get sick! Maybe it doesn’t seem like an emergency but running this test might give you an idea if anything is going on that you think your vet should check immediately. If all comes up clear, then maybe you can feel safer waiting until office hours because it may just be a bug or something (always take your pet in if you have any doubt though).
Dogs that get UTI’s can be prone to getting them again. So once Sheba is done with her treatment and we know she’s all better, we’ll still want to monitor her in the future to be sure she doesn’t get another one. This will really be a great tool for that; and less expensive than taking a sample to our vet periodically (less than a third of the cost to be exact, and you can buy the kits in bundles of 4 or 12 as well). Psssttt….they are actually on sale as of this date!
How might you use this tool to monitor your pets’ health?
You can learn more about Petnostics on their website, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – @Petnostics.
I saw that episode and also thought Ashton Kutcher clearly doesn’t understand pet people! I’m definitely going to have to look into this because I love Shark Tank stuff, but I wasn’t sure if this would work or not. Now that I know a real person has tried it, I’m even more curious! But I am pretty sure I will never be able to get a sample from Soth since even our vet hasn’t been successful at that in 5 years of trying!
I’m not sure I’ll ever to dare to try it with Samantha. We have enough issues with getting her to use the litter box….I wouldn’t want to add any other reasons to her list of why she doesn’t like to every time! LOL
2 Brown Dawgs says
That is such a good idea especially if you have a senior dog and want to keep an eye on their health.
Groovy Goldendoodles says
That’s incredible. I’ve never heard of this. I’d like to have a kit on hand in the event I think there’s a problem. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
I wish that I’d known about this years ago! My two previous female dogs had many UTI’s in their lives. They were so frequent that my vet gave me supplies of the antibiotics used for UTIs so that I could start them at home, as soon as I saw signs of distress (I live somewhat remotely). The downside to that is that you cannot test the urine after giving the antibiotics. I will be asking my vet about this at our next visit!!!!
You’re welcome! We hadn’t seen a lot of UTI’s in our female dogs up until Sheba’s now. I wonder what it is that makes some dogs so much more prone to them?
I can definitely see where something like this would come in even more handy for people like you that don’t have easy access to their vet. We are very lucky that we live in a nice quiet, private location, and yet our vet is still less than 10 minutes away!
I love this idea! Just like with us humans, we have to be involved and proactive in protecting our health and this is a wonderful way of keeping an eye on signs of a problem with our pups. Love the idea and great review! 🙂
I totally agree, Elaine, and thank you!
Dolly the Doxie says
Looks like a great tool especially if you have ill dogs like Sheba. Not sure about the ladle thing though! Love Dolly
I imagine some dogs might be put off by the ladle, but I suppose they might be put off by anything we try to stick under them to collect their pee. LOL I was really, really surprised that my crew didn’t mind!
This a wonderful tool for all pet owners, but it would be especially helpful for people with paraplegic dogs and cats. The majority are incontinent and prone to getting repeated UTIs. It would save them so much time and worry if they could do an at-home test. I will share with my readers. Thank you.
You’re welcome, Sharon. I’m so glad to know that this could really be a help to people with special needs dogs too. Thank you for sharing.
THIS is amazing! I had to drop off Delilah’s urine on Monday ($48) and the vet will want to check again about five days after she finishes the anti-biotic (another $48). I love this idea for all the ways you mentioned. At least if you notice something after hours, you can check and if necessary leave a message requesting an early or emergency appointment.
Where has this been all my life? 🙂
OH, I just went to their page. You weren’t kidding when you said it wasn’t expensive! OMG this is amazing! Thank you Jan, thank you!!
You are very welcome, Jodi, I’m so glad you’re excited about this! I knew Sheba was going to need one more test before she finishes her antibiotics, but I didn’t know there would be another one after too – yikes – it adds up, doesn’t it? And our vet is a bit cheaper – $35 – but I imagine that’s just because of the area we live in compared to you.
Two French Bulldogs says
This is awesome! We really want to try this
Lily & Edward
M. K. Clinton says
I am so glad that you were able to try Petnostics! I was impressed with how simple it was to use. The pee catcher is brilliant! Bentley doesn’t lift his leg at all and Pierre hikes his but both were easy to capture urine with the extended arm of the catcher. Ashton Kutcher doesn’t know many devoted pet parents or ones that can’t afford to run to the vet all of the time for testing LOL! Thanks so much for the shout-out.
Our beagle Kobi almost never lifted his leg either, but Luke always does. Cricket is the first female dog I ever saw that lifted her leg though – even if it is oddly in the other direction. And the times she does squat? Her back legs are spread about a mile apart! LOL
I’m sure Ashton Kutcher and his friends would just hire someone to collect their pets urine, but you’re right, they don’t need to save money like the rest of us anyway! 🙂
You’re welcome for the shout-out!
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Shadow and Ducky haven’t had a UTI in a long time – Ducky before Callie got sick and Shadow about a month after Callie got her angel wings – so I’m not too concerned about either one of them. Since recovering from the last IBS episode, Shadow has been doing great (except for the inflamed CCL). And so has Ducky. Amazing what NO people food can do for a dog’s digestive system. (Hint, hint Dog-daddy! ????)
It sounds like the Dog-Daddy has finally been behaving himself, or is that only because of his circumstances? 🙂
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Actually, he HAS been behaving himself since Shadow’s last visit to the vet due to the IBS issues. How long it will last is anybody’s guess; but so far it’s been about 2 months. She’s been refluxing a bit more lately; but I really think it’s the stress from Sam’s situation because she was barely refluxing at all before he hurt himself that day.
Sand spring chesapeakes says
We use urine dip sticks like this in the clinic. We don’t report nitrates as it doesn’t correlate and significant to animals, leukocytes We don’t report either as its not accurate. I will get leukocyte on the dipstick and nothing in the sediment so we wouldn’t treat that as a UTI its a false reading. I would want to use these dipsticks at home to check glucose and ketones. Ketones usually only show up in diabetic animals that are in a crises, it’s a serious condition do if my diabetic dog wasn’t acting quite right I would check the urine for ketones and if there I would be rushing them to the vet.
The paperwork does say that most vets would not rely on nitrite or leucocytes to detect an infection, but that they would most likely want to do further/different tests. It sounds like this would definitely be useful if you had a diabetic dog then.
The Island Cats says
What a great idea! Does this work for cats as well?
Yes, this is for cats too!
I’m the one who sometimes gets a UTI, but I don’t see my mom having much success checking my urine on her own. I’m very private about my private areas and probably wouldn’t allow her to get close with that thing. It is an interesting idea, though. I think it would work fine for Bailie.
I really expected at least one of them to refuse to cooperate with it, so I was surprised. In fact, when I first saw the blood in Sheba’s urine and the vet wanted a sample, I thought there was no way I would ever get one!
easy rider says
I like this idea… specially the pee-sample catcher is great… much better than to stalk a dog with a plastic mug and to get a yellow shower :o)
It has a very long handle, so that is definitely a big help to keep us dry! LOL