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Why Is My Dog's Urine Cortisol:Creatinine Ratio Abnormal ?

Why Is My Cat's Urine Cortisol:Creatinine Ratio Abnormal ?

To see what normal blood and urine values are for your pet, go here

For an explanation of causes of most abnormal blood and urine tests go here

To see how tests are often grouped, go here

Ron Hines DVM PhD

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The Cortisol:Creatinine Ratio In Your Pet's Urine (UC:Cr Index)

The cortisol:creatinine ratio in your pet’s urine (first urine of the morning taken at home, broght in to the vet by you) gives veterinarians considerably more information than a single blood cortisol level regarding the condition of your pet’s adrenal glands and the pituitary gland, which it relies for instructions. Whereas blood levels of cortisol fluctuate rapidly, urine levels are more constant; having taken time to accumulate. However the varying concentration of your pet’s urine make urine cortisol levels difficult to interpret. That concentration or specific gravity varies depending on the amount of water your pet drinks and the acitivity of its kidneys. Creatinine, however, is released into your pet’s urine at a much more steady rate. So by comparing the concentration of one to the other, veterinarians make sence of the data they obtain.

Although this test is not as accurate as the ACTH stimulation or Dexamethasone supression test in judging your pet’s adrenal gland function, it is a simple initial screeing test for adrenal gland problems like Cushing’s disease that is much simpler and economical to perform. When the test is normal, Cushing’s disease is unlikely to be your pet’s problem. But when the results are elevated, there are other stress-related and non-adrenal gland diseases that could account for it. In those cases, an ACTH stimulation or Dexamethasone supression test will still have to be performed to confirm that the initial results were meaningful.

What Conditions Could Cause My Pet’s Cortisol:Creatinine ratio to be elevated ?

Cushing’s disease
False-positive elevations can be due to diseases of the stomach/intestinal, kidney, lower urinary tract, liver, neurologic, immune-mediated diseases or congestive heart failure.

Complimentary Tests :

CBC/WBC and blood chemistry profile, ACTH stimulation test and/or dexamethasone suppression test

.................... DxMe