Treatment Type: Medical Devices
Rated for: Pug / Pekingese Mix
Elizabeth, Illinois, United States
Posted Mar. 13, 2018
If you really want to gain control of your diabetic dog's blood sugar, a glucometer is a worthwhile investment. Many of my clients are initially hesitant to even inject their dogs with insulin, but once they get the hang of it, I start to show them how to monitor their dog's blood glucose at home. Naturally no one likes jabbing their pet more than necessary, but your pet's overall health relies on stable blood glucose readings at different times throughout the day.
Glucometers: There are many different brands of hand-held glucometers that are inexpensive and readily available. The main expense is not the actual glucometer (which is generally 30-50 dollars), but rather the glucose test strips. Usually when you buy your glucometer it will come with 10 sample strips. If you're serious about regulating your dog, I recommend you by strips in bottles of 50 (you'll use them). Be sure to buy strips that are compatible with your glucometer and check that the bold number on the bottle matches the number that first appears on your glucometer when you turn it on. Although I haven't used them, there are now phone apps for glucose measurements on the go. How fun is that?
Collecting the blood: There are many different places to collect your sample; the tip of your dog's ear, the pads of his feet, the mucus membranes of his gum line, or - my preferred method- any vein you can get to. Please, never collect your sample by trimming a nail too short! How would you like it if someone did this to you? Ouch. I prefer a very small gauge needle over the lancets that are offered for sale.
Glucometer use: This depends on your machine. The way I do it, is before collecting the sample, I partially insert a strip in the machine (shallow enough that it doesn't quite turn on), collect the sample, completely insert the strip in the machine to turn it on, and either directly deposit the blood in the upper shallow groove of the strip, or squirt a drop on your finger and bring the glucometer to your finger, to allow the sample to be wicked into the strip, and TA-DA!! It takes a little practice, but most people catch on pretty quickly.
Occasionally, glucometers will give false readings. Read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure your reading is correct.