Interobserver reliability of canine urine specific gravity assessed by analog or digital refractometers. Academic Article uri icon


  • Refractometry is utilized routinely to evaluate canine urine specific gravity (USG) in veterinary clinical settings. We aimed to determine if the magnitude of interobserver reliability when assessing canine USG via refractometry could impact clinical judgment. USG was determined in 38 dogs by 3 registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) using both an optical analog refractometer and a digital refractometer. Summary statistics were reported, interobserver reliability was assessed via intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis through a 2-way mixed-effects model, and agreement between RVT pairs was compared through Bland-Altman plots. The median analog refractometer USG measurement was 1.018 (range: 1.004-1.040) and for the digital refractometer was 1.0176 (1.0035-1.0357). The analog refractometer average measure ICC was 0.995 (95% CI: 0.992, 0.997; p<0.001). The digital refractometer average measure ICC was 0.999 (95% CI: 0.999, 1.000; p<0.001). Strong agreement between all pairs of RVTs was seen via Bland-Altman plots for both analog and digital refractometers, with 95% CIs spanning no more than 0.002 in either the positive or negative direction for all pairings. The interobserver variability in canine USG measurements by RVTs was trivial and did not impact clinical judgment and decision-making.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Diagn Invest

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Rowe, J. C., Hokamp, J. A., Braatz, J. N., Freitag-Engstrom, J. R., Stephens, N. L., Chew, D. J., Langston, C., & Rudinsky, A. J.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • May 2021