Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Glucose Test Strips For Cats

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Coding Vs No Coding Required

How I Test our Cat’s Blood Glucose with an AlphaTRAK 2 meter

Some meters require coding strips, meaning you have to put in a specific code to calibrate the results with each new set of testing strips. Its important to enter the correct code otherwise, you will end up with inaccurate results. On the other hand, no coding means the meter calibrates the testing strip for you, and theres no need to enter a code. You simply insert the testing strip, and, viola, the results show on the screen. Most meters nowadays are geared toward a no-code option, but a few still require coding.

Resources To Help Clients Monitor Care

Important Safety Information:Vetsulin® should not be used in dogs known to have a systemic allergy to pork or pork products. Vetsulin is contraindicated during periods of hypoglycemia. Keep out of reach of children. As with all insulin products, careful patient monitoring for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is essential to attain and maintain adequate glycemic control and prevent associated complications. Overdosage can result in profound hypoglycemia and death. The safety and effectiveness of Vetsulin in puppies, breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs has not been evaluated. See package insert for full information regarding contraindications, warnings, and precautions

What To Look For In A Glucose Meter For Your Cat

To make sure you pick the right glucose meter for your and your cats needs, keep these important factors in mind.

How Accurate Is the Meter?

The FDA requires that a home glucose meter needs to be within 20% of a lab test result.

Cats with Type 2 Diabetes are less likely to require insulin, and tracking their blood glucose is less about specific numbers and more about trends. This means a high level of accuracy is less important when considering which meter to use.

However, if your cat is taking insulin and the results of testing inform the amount you give them, it is better to have the most accurate meters available. Simply being within the range required by the FDA might not be accurate enough.

Our top blood glucose meter, the AlphaTRAK 2, has a variance of only 5% and outperforms many high-end human meters.

How Complicated Is It to Use?

Complex meters have a learning curve, in which they need to be calibrated with control solutions, continually coded to testing strips, and used with special attention to contamination in order to obtain accurate results. Others are pre-calibrated and coded for ease of use. Some meters and strips have been specially designed to decrease contamination while others rely on the user alone.

How Reliable Are the Parts?

What Is It Going to Cost?

Our list of the best cat glucose meters caters to every situation, and you are sure to find the perfect fit for your situation.

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Can You Use A Human Glucometer On Cats

You might think that since you have a human glucometer, you dont need to get a pet-specific one for your cat, but that simply isnt true. This has to do with where the glucose is stored in a cats blood cells compared to a humans.

The average human has about 58% of their glucose in the plasma and about 42% in the red blood cells. For the average cat, those numbers are closer to 93% of their glucose being in the plasma and about 7% in the red blood cells.

So, while you can use a human glucometer on cats, it wont be nearly as effective as a cat-specific one that is more accurate at getting the glucose numbers almost exclusively from plasma.

What To Look For If Concerned About Feline Diabetes

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The most common signs that your cat may have diabetes are:

  • Drinking more often from the bowl, or drinking more each time.
  • Urinating more frequently.
  • Wanting to eat more despite gaining weight.
  • Any major weight changes.

If you notice these things in your cat, visit the vet. The sooner diabetes is discovered, the sooner your pet can avoid complications. If you only have minor concerns, consider non-invasive glucose monitoring using the KIT4CAT CheckUp Kit.

More serious signs of diabetes include walking oddly with their hind legs, extra sleeping, and vomiting. If your cat has any of these signs, book a visit to your vet immediately.

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How Much Blood Do You Need For An Accurate Reading

The amount of blood that you need to get an accurate reading entirely depends on the testing kit youre using. Some kits require more blood than others to get an accurate reading, and you can find the specific amount of blood requirements for each testing device in the instruction manual.

However, for most testing kits, you can get accurate results with 0.3 to 0.5 uL of blood on a test strip. This is an extremely small amount, even if you need the full 0.5 uL, which means fewer pricks for your cat and an easier testing experience for you!

What Does A Urine Glucose Test Reveal In Cats

A urine glucose test evaluates the amount of glucose in the urine. Normal pets do not have any glucose. Untreated diabetic pets will have glucosuria or pets with renal disease may also have glucosuria. Treated diabetic pets may have some glucose periodically.

Many veterinarians have pet owners monitor their diabetic pets by testing the urine for sugar and ketones. This used to be one of the better ways to monitor diabetic patients but some problems do occur. The urine test does not correlate perfectly with the blood sugar value at the time the test is done. Urine takes hours to be produced and the sugar level in the voided urine sample reflects sugar concentration hours before.

It is not appropriate to alter the insulin dose based on one urine sugar value. To be accurate, the urine testing needs to be done at least once a day. It is even better if the testing is done even more frequently. If the urine sugar values are consistently high, your veterinarian may recommend increasing the dose of insulin. If the values stay high, other tests may be recommended.

Additional tests may include a complete urinalysis, complete blood count, biochemical profile, blood glucose test, or urine ketone test.

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What Will I Receive

You will receive 50 x CERA-PET Blood Glucose Test Strips. These test strips are solely for use with the CERA-PET Blood Glucose Monitor :

You will also receive full instructions on how to use the strips and the strips will have a minimum of 12 months to expiry and most of the time will have nearly 2 years to expiry.

Testing Procedure

Full instructions are included with the meter which you should read through before use. Here is a quick guide:

  • Insert the supplied code key for either cats or dogs as required.
  • Remove the code key and insert a test strip into the slot on the meter.
  • Use the lancet and lancing device to obtain a blood drop from the ear, lip or paw pad. You only need a small drop of blood.
  • Apply your blood to the absorbent hole of the test strip until the confirmation window is full of blood. The test meter will begin to count down from 5 seconds and a result will be displayed. This result is then automatically stored in the test meters memory.

To read the product instructions please

How To Use A Blood Glucose Meter

Home Blood Glucose Test for Cats

While every blood glucose meter for cats is slightly different, especially in regard to using control solutions and coding, the main technique is the same for everybody. Below is a really good video by the American Animal Hospital Association:

If you are worried about your technique, do not hesitate to visit your vet. Not only can they help you learn how to use your device, but they can also compare its readings to their own, giving you peace of mind.

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Can You Use A Human Glucose Meter On Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions You can use glucose meters designed for people on dogs. Veterinary brand glucose meters are available as well. Both machines require a small sample of blood to be loaded into the glucose meter, which detects the amount of sugar in the blood. What is most important is that both you and your veterinarian feel comfortable using whichever glucose meter you pick. There are many different types of glucose meters and not all of them work in the same way. But when done with care and with veterinary instructions, you can monitor your pet’s glucose levels at home. The glucose meter is a machine that needs to be checked from time to time to ensure its accuracy. The best way to do this is to bring your dog and your glucose meter to your veterinarianâs office. A small blood sample can be drawn and then run simultaneously on your meter and the clinicâs analyzer . Any discrepancies that are found can then be addressed. Remember, never change your dogâs insulin dose without first talking to your veterinarian. Related entries:Continue reading > >

The Problem Of Contamination

Blood Glucose Meters are very sensitive devices that require as little as 0.3ul of blood to create a reading. That is 0.0003 milliliters! One drop of blood should be more than enough to get a good reading, so why do we get told that it sometimes isnt enough? Why does a meter act like it cant read the blood?

The answer is contamination. Contamination simply means that something other than blood is in contact with the sensor part of the testing strip. Dirt, sweat, cat hairs, even a fingerprint is enough to cause the sensitive machines to give an error .

There are many ways to avoid contamination when testing the blood glucose of our cats, from washing our hands and the spot on the cat we will lance, to knowing the correct technique to put blood onto testing strips.

Some blood glucose meters are better than others at helping avoid contamination. Meters that do not need to be calibrated or coded regularly can save steps. Fewer steps, less chance of contamination. Some meters, like the Cera-Pet glucose monitor, have specially designed strips that are less likely to become contaminated.

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Human Meters Vs Pet Meters: Can I Use My Glucometer On My Cat

If you have diabetes, youre already familiar with the features mentioned in this article. You may be wondering if you can use your own meter on your kitty because that would save time and money, right? Sadly, thats not the case. Human meters do not provide accurate results on pets because the distribution of glucose between plasma and red blood cells is different between humans and pets. If you use a human meter on your cat, you will not get accurate results. Pet meters are designed specifically for pets, so its crucial to invest in the right kind of meter for your feline pal.

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Urine Glucose Test For Cats

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A urine glucose test, sometimes used for cats, is a test to determine the amount of glucose in the urine. Glucose in the urine is commonly referred to by veterinarians as glucosuria. The test is generally done by using reagent strip and evaluating the level of color change in the strip which corresponds to different levels of glucose. A urine glucose test is indicated for evaluating pets with signs consistent with diabetes mellitus such as excessive drinking, excessive urination, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. It may also be indicated on pets with urinary abnormalities such as increased urine production, increased urinary frequency, or abnormal color to the urine. This test can also be helpful in cases of symptoms in a search for diabetes mellitus. A urine glucose test may be recommended by your veterinarian to monitor therapy of patients being treated with diabetes.

There is no real contraindication to performing this test. Even normal results help determine health or exclude certain diseases.

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How Do You Use A Glucose Meter

Glucose level recordings all require a similar process. Pricking the animals paw, lip, or ear to draw a small drop of blood, putting that blood on a special testing strip, and then inserting that strip into an electronic meter which analyzes the blood. Each step is a factor that needs to be considered when choosing the correct blood glucose meter.

Is A Urine Glucose Test Painful To Cats

Whether a urine glucose test is painful or not depends on the method by which urine is obtained. Catheterization is uncomfortable in most pets although many male pets tolerate the procedure well. Females are more difficult to catheterize due to the anatomical location of their urethra.

If urine is obtained by cystocentesis, the needle insertion through the skin can be associated with brief pain, just as any injection.

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What Is A Good Glucose Number For Cats

When youre checking your cats glucose levels, you need to know the healthy baseline that they should be at. For cats, that level is anywhere between 80 and 120 mg/dL. While that number might not make much sense if youve never had to deal with diabetes before, its what you need to shoot for.

If youre still confused about the correct glucose number for your cat or what those numbers mean, we highly recommend reaching out to your cats vet to get the most accurate information and ensure that youre treating your cat correctly!

Monitoring With Blood Samples

Performing a blood glucose test on my cat

The term punctual blood samples applies when a limited number of blood samples are taken at different intervals during the day. A regular glucose curve requires blood sampling every 2 hours for a period of 12 to 24 hours.

Spot Glucose Measurement

The first blood sample should be taken early in the morning prior to the first meal and insulin injection. For cats that receive their first injection before the clinic opens, the first measurement should be as close to injection as possible. The second blood sample should be taken approximately 7.5 hours later. When a rapid metabolism is suspected, it can be taken earlier. If the cat receives insulin injections twice a day, blood sampling should be done before each meal.

If slight hyperglycemia is detected, but all other parameters suggest improvement and stability, the insulin dose most likely is appropriate as is. To be certain, repeat the tests the next day. If the results confirm that there is reason for concern, perform a serial blood glucose curve before adjusting the insulin dose.

Precaution

It can be impossible to differentiate a Somogyi overswing from rapid metabolism or resistance to insulin with only a few blood samples.

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Why Cant I Draw Blood

It is extremely unlikely that there is anything wrong with your cat, though some do have thicker skin than others. The most common reason why you cant seem to draw blood is simply that you are too fearful of hurting them, and are therefore not applying enough pressure.

If you think you are being firm enough and are still failing to get that much-needed drop of blood, try the following things:

When Accuracy Is Important In Monitoring Diabetes

A cats blood glucose level can normally be anywhere between 80-120mg/dl. When an accurate reading can be up to 20% away from the actual number, a cat with perfectly normal levels might read on the edge of too low OR too high. While this is not of major concern to a healthy cat, to a cat starting an insulin regime this could be dangerous. Receiving too much insulin can make a cat hypoglycemic and cause immediate problems like weakness, muscle seizures, and even unconsciousness. To avoid this, we need consistent and accurate readings. The most accurate blood glucose meter, backed by multiple scientific studies, is the AlphaTRAK 2.

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How Is A Urine Glucose Test Done In Cats

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A urine glucose test is begun with the collection of a urine sample.

Urine can be obtained by three methods:

Catheterization consists of inserting a flexible plastic tube into the urethra, then up into the bladder .

Cystocentesis is a very common method to obtain urine from dogs and cats. This procedure involves introducing a needle directly into the bladder through the body wall. This is a relatively painless and quick procedure. The pet can be lying or standing. The bladder is palpated and a needle is inserted into the bladder.

Free catch urine samples are obtained by catching a sample when the pet urinates. This is easy in some pets and quite difficult in others. Plastic containers, ladles, scoops and various objects can be used. This is generally adequate for this test and is the recommended method for home monitoring. Because the urine does not need to be sterile for this test, the urine is generally collected by the easiest and least stressful method.

For monitoring cats at home, there are feline urinary glucose detection kits that consist of packets of small pieces of papers that you sprinkle in the litter box. These papers are like small pieces of confetti, odorless and unobtrusive to the cat. The papers acts as reagent strips which changes color when wet indicating the level of glucose in the urine. This is an easy method for doing frequent urine monitoring in cats.

Most veterinary hospitals have the equipment to perform a urine glucose test in their hospitals.

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