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Lab Anim. 2004 Oct;38(4):333-61.

Experimental animal urine collection: a review.

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Arthritis and Immunology Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, OK 73104, USA.


Animal urine collection is a vital part of veterinary practice for ascertaining animal health and in scientific investigations for assessing the results of experimental manipulations. Untainted animal urine collection is very challenging, especially with small rodents, and is an almost impossible task under conditions of microgravity. The fundamental aspects of urine collection are: (1) ease of collection, (2) quality of sample, (3) prevention of contamination, (4) severity of procedures used, (5) levels of pain caused to the animal and (6) refinement of methods to reduce stress, pain or distress. This review addresses the collection of urine for qualitative and quantitative purposes from rodents, rabbits, felines, canines, avian species, equines, porcines, ungulates and certain non-human primates, with animal welfare in mind. Special emphasis has been given to rodents, canines and non-human primates, since they are the animals of choice for research purposes. Free catch (voluntary voiding), methods with mild intervention, surgical methods, modified restraint, cage and special requirement methods have been reviewed here. Efforts need to be taken to provide appropriate animal husbandry and to nurture the animals in as natural an environment as possible since experimental results obtained from these research subjects are, to a great extent, dependent upon their well-being. A continuous refinement in the procedures for collecting urine from experimental animals will be the most efficient way of proceeding in obtaining pure urine specimens for obtaining reliable research data.

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