Noninvasive sampling method for urinalysis and urine protein profile in captive giraffes

Urinalysis could be helpful to investigate the health status of giraffes held in captivity using noninvasive methods to avoid animal handling or anesthesia. We collected 52 voided urine samples from 20 giraffes of different ages, sexes, and subspecies from the ground. To evaluate potential interference by soil contaminants, a pilot study was performed using 20 urine samples obtained from 10 cows. All bovine and 29 giraffe samples were subjected to routine urinalysis including urine specific gravity (USG). All samples were analyzed for urine total protein (uTP), urine creatinine (uCrea) concentration, and urine protein-to-urine creatinine ratio (UPC). Urinary proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis. No significant differences were determined between free-catch and urine sampled from the ground in cows. Giraffe urine was pale-yellow, with alkaline pH (>8.0) and a mean USG of 1.035 ± 0.013. The uTP, uCrea, and UPC expressed as median (range) were 0.20 (0.08–0.47) g/L, 2.36 (0.62–5.2) g/L, and 0.08 (0.05–0.15), respectively. SDS-PAGE allowed the separation of protein bands with different molecular masses, including putative uromodulin at 90 kD, putative albumin at 64 kD, and putative immunoglobulin heavy and light chains at 49 kD and 25 kD, respectively. Urine collection from the ground appears to be a reliable technique for urinalysis and urine electrophoresis in giraffes.

Last Updated
March 3, 2021