SDMA: Diagnose kidney disease earlier

Earlier intervention for more effective management of canine and feline kidney disease

Content gray-and-white kitty having ears scratched

Over their lifetime, 1 in 3 cats1 and 1 in 10 dogs2 could develop chronic kidney disease (CKD)—a leading cause of death, particularly in cats. The IDEXX SDMA test* is a revolutionary new kidney function test that will enable veterinarians to diagnose CKD in cats and dogs months or even years earlier than traditional methods, making it possible to intervene earlier and more effectively manage kidney disease.

Investigate, Manage, and Monitor Kidney Disease Earlier with SDMA

SDMA is a methylated form of the amino acid arginine, which is produced in every cell and released into the body’s circulation during protein degradation. SDMA is excreted almost exclusively by the kidneys, making it a good marker for estimating kidney function. Research has shown that SDMA can identify CKD an average of 9 months earlier in dogs3 and 17 months sooner in cats—in one cat 4 years earlier.4 In addition, SDMA is not impacted by muscle mass, thereby providing practitioners a better tool for diagnosing and monitoring CKD in thin geriatric animals, especially cats and animals with other diseases that cause muscle wasting.5,6

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NEW - Case Study: Kidney Disease Can Be Treated with Early Intervention

Scarlet - SDMA allows for early intervention to treat and impact early-stage kidney disease.

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SDMA informational videos
The IDEXX SDMA test is now included on all routine IDEXX Reference Laboratories profiles.

Learn more about the IDEXX SDMA test, how it can help you diagnose chronic kidney disease earlier, and what to do next for patients with an increased result.

View short video snippets (3–5 minutes). (U.S.)
Watch an archived webinar at your convenience. (U.S.)
Share how the IDEXX SDMA test is helping your patients.

*Symmetric dimethylarginine


  1. Lulich JP, Osborne CA, O’Brien TD, Polzin DJ. Feline renal failure: questions, answers, questions. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet. 1992;14(2):127–153.
  2. Brown SA. Renal dysfunction in small animals. The Merck Veterinary Manual website. Updated October 2013. Accessed January 14, 2015.
  3. Yerramilli M, Yerramilli M, Obare E, Jewell DE, Hall JA. Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) increases earlier than serum creatinine in dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD). [ACVIM Abstract NU-42]. J Vet Intern Med. 2014;28(3):1084–1085. Accessed January 14, 2015.
  4. Hall JA, Yerramilli M, Obare E, Yerramilli M, Jewell DE. Comparison of serum concentrations of symmetric dimethylarginine and creatinine as kidney function biomarkers in cats with chronic kidney disease. J Vet Intern Med. 2014;28(6):1676–1683.
  5. Hall JA, Yerramilli M, Obare E, Yerramilli M, Yu S, Jewell DE. Comparison of serum concentrations of symmetric dimethylarginine and creatinine as kidney function biomarkers in healthy geriatric cats fed reduced protein foods enriched with fish oil, L-carnitine, and medium-chain triglycerides. Vet J. 2014;202(3):588–596.
  6. Hall JA, Yerramilli M, Obare E, et al. Relationship between lean body mass and serum renal biomarkers in healthy dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2015;29(3): 808-814.