Standard operating procedures, including World Health Organisation guidelines for packed cell volume, are established for in-clinic laboratory tests. No independent evidence-based guidelines exist for dipstick urinalysis, however manufacturer’s instructions state to dip the stick into urine. In veterinary medicine, small volume urine samples may preclude dipping, therefore a single drip per pad from a pipette or syringe is performed. This study aims to examine differences present between these two methods of urine introduction prior to analysis. The hypothesis being that method would have no effect on test results obtained from dipstick analysis. To standardise the method of strip analysis, a Siemens Clinitek Status+ analyser was used with Multistix10SG dipsticks. Three individuals tested urine from 53 dogs with a range of diseases by both methods. Results were assessed for degree of agreement between methods and within method variability. Overall, agreement between methods was high. Within each method drip variability was higher than dip (p = 0.012). Disagreements between methods were present with pH and blood having the lowest agreement levels. Glucose was more likely to be positive on the drip compared to dip methodology. This study demonstrates potentially clinically relevant differences between the two methods and a higher level of variability within the drip methodology. Therefore, whilst using the drip method may be used for practical reasons (for example low sample volumes), this study supports the manufacturers recommended method of dipping the dip stick into urine rather than dripping urine on to each pad with a pipette or syringe.
- urine dipstick