A sensitive radioimmunoassay for canine C peptide (CCP) was established using synthetic CCP, a specific antiserum, and rabbit anti-guinea pig serum. Radioiodination was performed according to a modified chloramine T method. Tracer preparations have been used for 6 weeks after iodination. The standard curve ranges from 0.028 to 3.0 nmol/l. The intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) was 3-5% and the inter-assay CV was 6-9% in the optimal range between 0.3 and 0.8 nmol/l. The average recovery of CCP added to plasma samples was 100.6% (n = 9). Canine insulin, porcine proinsulin, bovine proinsulin, and human C peptide exhibited no cross-reactivity. The mean fasting plasma CCP concentration was 0.089 +- 0.021 nmol/l in normal dogs and -0.005 +- 0.007 nmol/l (mean +- SEM) in diabetic dogs, respectively.