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IDEXX UA* Strips

This page contains information on IDEXX UA* Strips for veterinary use.
The information provided typically includes the following:
  • IDEXX UA* Strips Indications
  • Warnings and cautions for IDEXX UA* Strips
  • Direction and dosage information for IDEXX UA* Strips

IDEXX UA* Strips

This treatment applies to the following species:
Company: Idexx Labs.

Intended Use

IDEXX UA* Strips are intended for use visually or on the IDEXX VetLab* UA* Analyzer for the testing of cat, dog or horse urine.

For veterinary use only.


IDEXX UA Strips are multi-parameter tests used to aid in the screening of apparently healthy patients for subclinical disorders, diagnosing disease, prognosticating biologic behavior of disease and monitoring therapy. Urine parameters measured by the IDEXX UA Strips include pH, leukocytes, protein, glucose, ketones, urobilinogen, bilirubin and blood (hemoglobin and erythrocytes). The test strips have unique features that provide for rapid and even wetting of test pads, prevent urine run over with an inert absorbent insert, and protect the reagent pads during testing.

Sample Preparation

Use only clean, well-rinsed vessels to collect urine. False-positive readings, particularly for glucose, protein and blood, can result from residues of detergent or strongly oxidizing disinfectants in the specimen collection vessel.

Do not add stabilizers to the urine. Do not expose urine specimens to sunlight as this induces oxidation of bilirubin and urobilinogen, which leads to artificially low results for these two parameters. Drugs that turn red in an acid environment (e.g., phenazopyridine) may produce false-positive readings or reddish discolorations on the test pads for nitrite, protein, urobilinogen and bilirubin.


Store the IDEXX UA Strips at 2°C-25°C (35°F-77°F). In the original container, the test strips are stable up to the date printed on the container.


Dispose of used test strips according to the safety regulations applicable at your facility.

The stopper of the test strip container is filled with a nontoxic silicate-based desiccant. If inadvertently ingested, drink copious amounts of water.

Test Procedure

1. Use fresh uncentrifuged urine that is at room temperature (20°C-26°C /68°F-78°F).

NOTE: If testing is delayed for more than one hour, the urine sample should be refrigerated.

2. Open the IDEXX UA Strip container, remove a test strip and immediately close the container.

IMPORTANT: Immediately close the container with the original desiccant stopper to keep the IDEXX UA Strips’ test pads from becoming discolored due to moisture. Exposure to moisture can cause invalid results.

3. Use a pipette to flood the IDEXX UA Strip with the urine sample, making sure that all the test pads are moistened. Do not bend the strip.

4. Briefly (about one second) dab the long edge and then the back of the test strip on an absorbent surface (e.g., a paper towel).

5. Do one of the following:

• IDEXX VetLab UA Analyzer: Immediately insert the test strip into the tray on the analyzer as directed in the IDEXX VetLab UA Analyzer Operator’s Guide.

• Visual analysis: Wait 60 seconds and then compare the reaction colors of the test pads with the reference colors on the vial label.

Any color changes appearing only along the edges of the test pads, or developing after more than two minutes, do not have any diagnostic significance.

Evaluation Of Results

The IDEXX VetLab UA Analyzer uses reflectance photometry to read the test pads on the IDEXX UA Strip. Results are printed on the report form as negative (neg.), positive (pos.), trace (tr.), or as a concentration value. Like the results obtained by visual color comparison, the values appearing on the report correspond to specific concentration ranges.

NOTE: For instructions on the evaluation of the IDEXX UA Strips with the IDEXX VetLab UA Analyzer, refer to the operator’s guide.

Caution is warranted when comparing the subjective spectral light sensitivities of the human eye to the optical system of the analyzer.

Test Pad Information

Specific gravity (SG): IDEXX UA Strips should not be used to measure specific gravity in veterinary samples. Use a refractometer to obtain this test result.

pH: In fresh urine samples from healthy dogs and cats, the pH range is 5.5-8.5. This parameter is specific for the detection of hydronium ions, with the pH being the negative common logarithm of the hydronium ion concentration. The test pad contains the indicators methyl red, phenolphthalein and bromthymol blue.

Leukocytes (LEU): The reaction detects the presence of esterases that occur in granulocytes. These enzymes cleave an indoxyl ester, and the indoxyl reacts with a diazonium salt to produce a violet dye. Both intact and lysed leukocytes are detected. The reaction is not affected by bacteria, trichomonads or erythrocytes present in the urine. Formaldehyde (stabilizer) and medication with antibiotics containing imipenem, meropenem or clavulanic acid may cause false-positive reactions. If the urine specimen is strongly colored (for example, due to the presence of bilirubin or nitrofurantoin), the reaction color may be masked. Urinary protein excretion in excess of 500 mg/dL and urinary glucose excretion in excess of 2 g/dL may diminish the intensity of the reaction color, as can medication with antibiotics containing cephalexin or gentamicin if administered in high daily doses.

NOTE: The leukocyte parameter should not be used to test urine from cats. All test results for dogs should be confirmed with microscopy due to a high number of false negatives.

Nitrite (NIT): This parameter is not valid for veterinary samples due to a high number of false negatives.

Protein (PRO): This test is based on the principle that proteins bind to an acid-base indicator dye. The test is particularly sensitive to albumin but may react with hemoglobin and globulins. Quinine, quinidine, chloroquine and tolbutamide do not affect the test nor does a high pH (up to pH 9). False-positive results may be obtained after infusion of hemoglobin-based oxygen-carrying solutions (blood substitute) or if the urine specimen collection vessel contains residues of disinfectants based on quaternary ammonium compounds or chlorhexidine.

Glucose (GLU): The determination of glucose is based on the specific glucose-oxidase/peroxidase reaction. This test is independent of pH and specific gravity of the urine and is not affected by the presence of ketone bodies. The effect of ascorbic acid has been largely eliminated, such that false negatives are unlikely to occur at glucose concentrations of 100 mg/dL (5.5 mmol/L) and above.

Ketones (KET): This test is based on the reaction of nitroprusside with acetoacetic acid and acetone. This test does not detect beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Captopril, mesna (2-mercaptoethanesulfonic acid sodium salt) and other substances containing sulfhydryl groups may produce false-positive results.

Urobilinogen (UBG): A stable diazonium salt reacts almost immediately with urobilinogen to give a red azo dye. No discoloration of the test pad or colors lighter than that shown for 1 mg/dL (17 µmol/L) constitute a normal finding. The test is specific for urobilinogen and is not susceptible to the interfering factors known to affect Ehrlich’s test. Larger amounts of bilirubin produce momentary yellow coloration of the test pad that may turn green to blue after about 60 seconds.

Bilirubin (BIL): The test for bilirubin is based on the coupling of bilirubin with a diazonium salt to give a color change. Even the slightest pink coloration constitutes a positive result. Large quantities of ascorbic acid can lead to low or false-negative results for bilirubin.

Blood/Hemoglobin (BLD/HGB): Hemoglobin and myoglobin catalyze the oxidation of the indicator by an organic hydroperoxide contained in the test pad. The values appearing on the report refer to intact erythrocytes or, when free hemoglobin is present, the approximate density of RBCs that might have contributed a similar hemoglobin concentration. In other words, the value of 50 RBCs/µL also applies to hemoglobin for 50 RBCs/µL.

Separate color scales for erythrocytes and hemoglobin are given on the label of the test strip container. Individual to closely packed green dots on the yellow test pad are indicative of intact erythrocytes. Hemoglobin or hemolyzed erythrocytes and myoglobin are indicated by a uniform green coloration of the test pad. Concentrations of 20-30 RBCs/µL and above lead to values that are higher than the corresponding concentrations given for intact erythrocytes. Ascorbic acid has virtually no effect on the test.

Compensation pad (COMP): This white pad, which is not impregnated with reagents, is used by the IDEXX VetLab UA Analyzer to compensate for the intensive intrinsic color of the urine that might affect the evaluation of the parameters for leukocytes, protein, glucose, ketone bodies, urobilinogen and bilirubin.

Reactive components per cm2:

• pH: bromthymol blue 13.9 µg, methyl red 1.2 µg, phenolphthalein 8.6 µg

• Leukocytes: indoxyl ester 15.5 µg, methoxy-morpholinobenzene diazonium salt 5.5 µg

• Protein: tetrachlorophenoltetrabromosulfophthalein 13.9 µg

• Glucose: tetramethylbenzidine 103.5 µg, GOD 6 U, POD 35 U

• Ketones: nitroprusside sodium 157.2 µg, glycine 4.2 mg

• Urobilinogen: methoxybenzene diazonium salt 67.7 µg

• Bilirubin: dichlorobenzene diazonium salt 16.7 µg

• Blood: tetramethylbenzidine 52.8 µg, dimethyldihydroperoxyhexane 297.2 µg

NOTE: Diagnosis or therapy should never be based on one test result alone but should be established in the context of all other medical findings.

Not all effects of drugs or their metabolites upon the individual tests are known. In doubtful cases, it is therefore advisable to repeat the test after discontinuation of the medication.

Idexx Technical Support

USA/Canada 1-800-248-2483

Europe 00800-1234-3399

© 2011 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.


*IDEXX VetLab and IDEXX UA are trademarks or registered trademarks of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.

IDEXX LABORATORIES, One IDEXX Drive, Westbrook, Maine 04092 USA

IDEXX Europe B.V., P.O. Box 1334, 2130 EK Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

Presentation: 100 test strips per vial.

CPN: 1116064.2

Telephone:   207-556-0300
Fax:   207-556-4346
Pet Diagnostics/Order Desk:   800-248-2483
Poultry/Livestock Diagnostics:   800-548-9997
Poultry/Livestock Order Desk:   800-943-3999
THIS SERVICE AND DATA ARE PROVIDED "AS IS". DVMetrics assumes no liability, and each user assumes full risk, responsibility, and liability, related to its use of the DVMetrics service and data. See the Terms of Use for further details.

Copyright © 2023 Animalytix LLC. Updated: 2023-05-30