Urine Glucose Measurements

Urine glucose measurements can be helpful, but it should be remembered that dipsticks have a relatively low accuracy in dogs, often underestimating UG.40 Also, UG concentration is only a reflection of the average BG over the time interval the bladder was filling. Relying solely on UG measurements is not recommended.

Regardless, UG concentration can aid in assessment of a patient when other data conflict. Also, regular determination of UG concentration (at least weekly) can help in assessment of ongoing DM control (see the “Interpreting Urine Glucose Measurements” table below). Consistently negative UG readings may indicate that insulin dosages are excessive. However, a negative UG reading only means that BG was below the renal threshold (i.e., BG could have been 150 mg/dL or 40 mg/dL). The only way to know is to measure BG.41 Lastly, especially for cats for whom stress hyperglycemia prevents obtaining an accurate BGC, UG measurements can be used to adjust the insulin dose. However, such an approach is a last resort because of the potential for causing hypoglycemia. Although far from ideal, there are scenarios where this is the most practical monitoring scheme. Table 3 lists the suggested protocol for using UG test strip readings in cats is based on the Task Force’s clinical experience.

Interpreting Urine Glucose Measurements

No color change negative for glucose
First level color change 100 mg/dL
Second and third level color change 250 and 500 mg/dL
Third, fourth, and fifth level change 1,000–2,000+ mg/dL


Abbreviations: BG, blood glucose; BGC, blood glucose curve; UG, urine glucose.