Specific gravity Specific gravity

The single most important screening test for renal insufficiency is urine specific gravity, which can be measured using an hydrometer or refractometer. The latter are in common use and give reliable results.


Cat Normal range: 1.03-1.060
Dog Normal range: 1.015-1.045


A pale coloured urine with a low specific gravity indicates increased water excretion (polyuria) and is seen in many of the clinical conditions which are common in older cats and dogs, e.g. renal failure, diabetes, hyperadrenocorticism (dogs), canine pyometra, hypercalcaemia, and liver disease.

A high urine specific gravity indicates urine concentration and may be caused by decreased renal perfusion as in shock, dehydration or cardiac disease.