OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of blood contamination on dipstick results, specific gravity (SG), and urine protein-to-urine creatinine ratio (UPCR) for urine samples from dogs and cats.
SAMPLE Urine samples collected from 279 dogs and 120 cats.
PROCEDURES Urine pools were made for each species (dogs [n = 60] and cats ). Blood was added to an aliquot of a pool, and serial dilutions were prepared with the remaining urine. Color and dipstick variables were recorded, and SG and UPCR were measured. For cats, 1 set of pools was used; for dogs, 2 sets were used. Comparisons were made between undiluted urine and spiked urine samples for individual colors. Repeated-measures ANOVA on ranks was used to compare dipstick scores and UPCR results; χ2 tests were used to compare proteinuria categorizations (nonproteinuric, borderline, or proteinuric).
RESULTS Any blood in the urine resulted in significantly increased dipstick scores for blood. In both species, scores for bilirubin and ketones, pH, and SG were affected by visible blood contamination. No significant difference for the dipstick protein reagent results was evident until a sample was visibly hematuric. The UPCR was significantly increased in dark yellow samples of both species. Proteinuria categorizations differed significantly between undiluted urine and urine of all colors, except light yellow.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Any degree of blood contamination affected results of dipstick analysis. Effects depended on urine color and the variable measured. Microscopic blood contamination may affect the UPCR; thus, blood contamination may be a differential diagnosis for proteinuria in yellow urine samples.