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Jo
May 16th 11, 06:30 PM
I have an interest in veterinary medicine and am actually in the
process of applying for a job as a veterinary assistant. In my
curiosity, I managed to get an old (1-4 weeks) sample of urine that
had been sitting on a vinyl mat. The urine looked like it had
crystallized. I looked at it under a microscope at 50-100x power and I
saw things that looked like needle shaped crystals. In my research,
the only thing this could be are calcium oxalate monohydrate or
hippurate crystals. Unless, these needle shaped crystals are simply
what crystallized urine looks like.

Does anyone have any idea as to what these needle shaped crystals
might actually be? The urine was produced by one of seven cats so if
there is a problem with the urine, I need to try to find out which cat
it came from.

Phil P.
May 17th 11, 06:03 AM
"Jo" > wrote in message
...
> I have an interest in veterinary medicine and am actually in the
> process of applying for a job as a veterinary assistant. In my
> curiosity, I managed to get an old (1-4 weeks) sample of urine that
> had been sitting on a vinyl mat. The urine looked like it had
> crystallized.


It did. If urine stands for prolonged periods of time crystals can form in
a clean sample, and/or the number of crystals already in the sample can
greatly
increase and/or morph and distort -- this is called "in vitro
crystallization" - meaning the crystals formed outside the body and are of
no diagnostic value whatsoever.



I looked at it under a microscope at 50-100x power and I
> saw things that looked like needle shaped crystals. In my research,
> the only thing this could be are calcium oxalate monohydrate or
> hippurate crystals.

.....tyrosine crystals look like needles - sometimes found in cats with liver
disease.


Unless, these needle shaped crystals are simply
> what crystallized urine looks like.
>
> Does anyone have any idea as to what these needle shaped crystals
> might actually be? The urine was produced by one of seven cats so if
> there is a problem with the urine, I need to try to find out which cat
> it came from.

The urine sat for a week to a month- its practically impossible to determine
what affect in vitro changes (evaporation, pH changes, etc) had on the
sample. You'd need to send the sample to a lab for optical crystallography,
thermal analysis, electron microprobe analysis, x-ray diffraction, infrared
spectrophotometry or all of the above..and you probably still wouldn't get a
definitive answer.


You need to analyze fresh urine from each cat. If would be a lot easier and
cheaper.

at
May 17th 11, 12:23 PM
On Mon, 16 May 2011 10:30:52 -0700 (PDT), Jo >
wrote:

>I have an interest in veterinary medicine and am actually in the
>process of applying for a job as a veterinary assistant. In my
>curiosity, I managed to get an old (1-4 weeks) sample of urine that
>had been sitting on a vinyl mat. The urine looked like it had
>crystallized. I looked at it under a microscope at 50-100x power and I
>saw things that looked like needle shaped crystals. In my research,
>the only thing this could be are calcium oxalate monohydrate or
>hippurate crystals. Unless, these needle shaped crystals are simply
>what crystallized urine looks like.
>
>Does anyone have any idea as to what these needle shaped crystals
>might actually be? The urine was produced by one of seven cats so if
>there is a problem with the urine, I need to try to find out which cat
>it came from.


You need a fresh sample of urine, in order to do a proper microscopic
examination.

A sample that is 1-4 weeks old, in the open air, is really worse than
useless.

I can't say what the crystals are, but given the urine had over a WEEK
to evaporate, I'd be surprised if there WASN'T a precipitate formed, of
all the various dissolved salts found in cat urine.

But, I'll give you credit for attempting to analyse the sample you had.

Most jobs in veterinary clinics require certification as a Veterinary
Technician, which is a great deal of college level course work, followed
by training (internship) in all of the many specialties of veterinary
medicine. In other words, rotations through s number of specialty
clinics.

I am not familiar with the educational requirements for a veterinary
assistant.

How is it, if I may ask, that you have access to a microscope, and the
other supplies necessary for microscopy?

Good luck with your plans.