Following on from September’s post entitled Urinalysis: the neglected test, let’s have a look at the dipstick – it’s a very easy part of a urinalysis and essential to perform.

Here are some of my tips in regards to using dipsticks:

Poli_dipstick
Dipstick: despite the name, DON’T DIP!
  • It may sound obvious, but you should always use veterinary-specific dipsticks. Human-specific dipsticks include panels for urobilinogen, nitrates and leukocytes, which we often do not interpret in small animal patients, as they are neither sensitive nor specific.
  • DON’T DIP! Use a syringe and drop samples on to each square, leave for 10 seconds, then flick off the excess.
  • Any amount of protein in dilute urine should raise suspicion. A reasonably large amount of protein has to be present in the urine for it to be positive on a dipstick. A urine protein to creatinine ratio may be the only way to quantify the amount of protein present, but first you must rule out evidence of inflammation or haematuria via a sediment examination.
  • The ketone panel on the dipstick test is only for acetoacetate (and not beta-hydroxybutyrate), although it is extremely rare for diabetic ketoacidosis patients to not produce any acetoacetate.
  • Trace blood can be a common artefact finding, especially during a cystocentesis where needle trauma can contaminate the sample with blood.
  • In our feline patients, any hyperbilirubinuria is abnormal, but this may be normal in a dog depending on urine concentration.
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Urinalysis: dipstick tips"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Rebekah Robinson
Guest
Rebekah Robinson
24 days 13 hours ago

Gerardo, veterinary-specific dipsticks?! I wasn’t aware there were any, can you tell us a manufacturer of these?

wpDiscuz

related content

Louise O'Dwyer takes a look at the relationship between pre-surgery fasting and anaesthesia in December's Nursing Notes.

8 mins

Pam Mosedale explains the responsibilities of suitably qualified persons (SQPs) in practice.

20 mins

BVA figures show one-in-three vets who treat pets have seen puppies they believe to have been illegally imported from overseas in the last year.

6 mins

RVN Samantha Thompson advises on common festive-related items often within reaching distance of pets that can prove toxic if ingested.

23 mins

A series of free webinars from feline specialist Sarah Caney is available to view for free online courtesy of Ceva Animal Health.

2 mins

Cat-only clinics are to be trialled at a veterinary practice in the north-east of England in a bid to reduce patient and client stress during routine check ups and treatment.

3 mins