A while back I ran across a company called Petnostics. I was floored by the idea and really wanted to a) try out the product and b) share it with all of you, so I contacted the company and asked if they would be interested in sending me a sample to test out. They agreed. The delay in my post is because I had a few complications while using the product which I will share with you below, but all in all I still love the idea of the product, and they seem to think my situation was a fluke. Maybe it was, maybe it was my phone being older, I don't know, but I still support the company.
So Petnostics is a home diagnostic test kit. You collect a urine sample and use their test kit along with an app on your phone to take a photo of the results and do the diagnostics.
Can you understand why I love this? I am a HUGE fan of anything that puts more information in the hands of the pet owner to help them understand their pet and get a handle on what is going on with them. It started out for me when I learned years after the initial diagnosis that I could test my diabetic cat with a human glucometer to find out what her blood sugar levels were instead of having to trapse her down to the vet every time I wanted to know.
I originally contacted them back in May and Stephen was very receptive to my inquiry and sent three samples out to me via FedEx. In each box is a collection cup, a pair of plastic gloves and the diagnostic cover. The cover comes with a multi pad strip on it that once the urine touches it will give you a diagnostic result - much like a PH strip (and urine PH is one of the things measured on here). The app allows your phone to use a photo you take of the cover - you need to line up the squares on the cover with the squares in the app - and it interprets the findings.
|The box with everything in side|
|the diagnostic cover, sealed tight to keep it from being contaminated.|
|My phone and the app|
|I was so lucky that Jack just gave me a sample.|
|waiting the 60 seconds after exposing the strip to the urine.|
The app even does the counting for you
I had a bit of an issue getting the squares on the cover (see the ones with the black outline and black square in the middle?) to align where they needed to go in the app, but it probably only took me 10 seconds. Once I got it right, it took the photo automatically for me, and then gave me the results.
Each results is three images long, so I'm keeping the images small so you can see them all together.
This initial result freaked me right out. I was testing Jack because he is my boy with the urinary issues and was peeing inappropriately. I had recently given him a supplement to lower his urine, so I was concerned but not overly so about the very low PH. Ideally it should be somewhere in the 6 range. When Jack starts peeing around the house his PH is usually up near 8. (7.0 is neutral)
What I didn't know was why his bilirubin was 'large'.. and not only large but with three +++'s.. arrgh! So I had to put on my big girl pants and find myself a vet. I know 'too much' and really have severe issues with several vets I have been to in the past, and trusting someone was hard, but I picked one finally and got Jack in. We did a urinalysis on him and his bilirubin was fine. I asked the vet if there was any way he got the above reading (after explaining to her what it was and what was going on) and she did not think it was likely. Jack was still having issues though, he was still peeing on the bathroom floor so I had the vet do a full work up on him and it turned out my boy is hyperthyroid!
So who knew that being hyperthyroid could cause a cat to pee inappropriately? (doesn't raise hand) well I do now.. cause except for a few incidents that are all mostly or partially explainable, my boy has been pee free since I started him on medication.
But, this is about Petnostics. So I wondered why the result was off. I wrote to Stephen and told him what was going on, and he asked me which version of the app I was using because they did have some issues with an earlier version of the app. I checked and I was using the current version. See one of the technical aspects of this product is that it can accurately read the results no matter what the lighting situation is. So wondering if that was a one time thing, I set about getting another sample from my boy who will not pee in a box if he is locked in a room with it, but who will apparently pee in a box he doesn't think he is allowed to use, so using the same trick the first time I got a second sample.
This time I got this first result, and I thought it odd. So to see if it was the test, the app, or the urine, I immediately set about getting another photo of the diagnostics on a different surface - the black of the stove - and then I went and took one in direct sunlight on a white painted windowsill. As you can see I got three pretty different results.
I wrote to Stephen and explained what happened, and at first he thought I waited several minutes between diagnostics, but once I explained it was mere seconds, he was at a bit of a loss. Maybe it is that I have an iPhone 4s and the colors were a bit off because it is older, I do not know. There have been a lot of people who were very happy with the results and who then went to their vet and got similar results from the professional tests.
I still recommend this product. Anything that can get more information into the hand of the pet owner and help them make informed decisions about their pet is a good thing. I do not know why my results were so far off from the norm, but I am glad they occurred because this test does not test for hyperthyroid and I might have gone on for who knows how long lamenting about what was going on with my boy and freaked that I could not fix it. I still have two more test kits, and I can't wait to try them out once I upgrade my phone.
Would you like to learn more about Petnostics? Check out their website, their Facebook page, their twitter feed, or their blog. They even have an Instagram account! :)