Urinalysis as a noninvasive health screening procedure in Falconidae.
ABSTRACT Clinical signs of renal disorders in animals, including raptors, are not specific. Furthermore, serum or plasma biochemical parameters change only when 70% of kidney function is lost. In this study, reference values of urine variables were established in clinically healthy falcons. Urine samples were collected from 78 mature (> 1 year) and immature (6-12 months) male and female falcons belonging to 5 species. Droppings were assessed visually for urate color and consistency and color of the liquid urine. The liquid urine was collected by aspiration into a syringe and centrifuged, and the supernatant analyzed by commercial dipstick and by a wet chemistry analysis for alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyl transferase, glucose, chloride, and total protein concentrations. Sex, age, and species did not affect results of biochemical urine values (P > .05). Urine biochemical values did not differ significantly between fasted and fed birds. Total protein levels in urine samples decreased after 24-hour storage at 4 degrees C. Reference ranges for clinically normal birds are reported.