View Full Version : Digital Refractometer

7th January 2011, 12:58 AM
On the subject of kidney failure, this is what I ordered today:


I've wanted this for about two years, and I am very excited to finally be getting it. With this, I can easily measure my dogs' urine specific gravity (from first morning samples) at home without having to rush urine samples to the lab. With multiple senior dogs, it will pay for itself. My friends with dogs are also pretty excited that I've finally ordered one.

You can purchase less expensive refractometers that are not digital, but I thought this one was so cool that I waited until I could get what I really wanted!


7th January 2011, 09:19 AM
That looks brilliant Pat, and yes with several oldies, I think that would pay for itself very quickly - and you can keep a regular watch on their healthy without stressing them out with vets visits.

It would be brilliant for anyone with a dog on diuretics - Teddy got quite dehydrated one time :(

18th January 2011, 05:48 PM
I received my digital refractometer a few days ago, and of course I immediately started testing everyone's urine!

I have a 13 year old shih tzu who seems perfectly fine and has no symptoms at all of kidney failure. But her urine specific gravity measurements immediately told me that she has chronic kidney disease. I took her (and another shih tzu and a Cavalier) to the vet's office yesterday and ran full blood chemistry and urinalysis which was sent to Antech Labs. Got the results back early this morning, and, sure enough, she is in early kidney failure. I will now change her diet and start some subq fluids at home. Vet also confirmed yesterday that she is heart clear, which means that I can be more aggressive with fluid therapy. The USG measurements from the lab were exactly the same as the measurements that I took at home (using the same urine specimens).

Soooooooo...........this refractometer has already proven to be a good investment since I can monitor USG for all of my seniors as often as I want to without having to pay a fee or travel to the vet's office. By the time there are symptoms, the disease would be far more advanced than it is for my girl currently. Kidney disease would be found on routine wellness checks, but we usually don't do those but once a year or so. As I mentioned before, you can get a refractometer for much less money that is not digital so don't let the price stop any of you other proactive pet owners!


Cathy T
18th January 2011, 08:11 PM
Wow Pat....sounds like it's already paid for itself in catching early kidney failure. That's great!

18th January 2011, 09:10 PM
oh goodness Pat that is brilliant, sorry about your wee Shih Tzu but it's great that you have recognised it so early and can start treatment.

Hope the other two were ok?

I need to look into this further - just doing a quick google the ones that are coming up are for marine aquariums...

18th January 2011, 11:04 PM
Google "urine refractometer" or "urine specific gravity refractometer" - here is a link with a wide variety.


The pen type (non digital) is less pricey, and you can find them on ebay also. I wanted one that was a no-brainer to use that gave a non-subjective reading - so that led me to wanting a digital unit.

19th January 2011, 10:09 AM
Thank you Pat that's better!! I wasn't searching with the right terms! I can't quite run to the digital one but even the basic one should give me an idea - want to keep an eye on hubby too as his readings were borderline a year ago, and they seem to have lost the recent results and I can't get through to them that really I want to know what is going on :bang::bang: