As soon as I found out Alpha Track came out with a dog/cat blood glucose meter, I bought it. Along with test strips and lancets It was about $165 + shipping. But to get Bender’s blood sugar tested at the Vet is $18 plus the visit, $42. So after just a few times the meter and strips are paid for. Plus I can test when ever I want. Just testing his blood sugar every now and then at the Vet is rather useless because it doesn’t give you a clear picture of his glucose cycle.
Amazon is about the cheapest place I could find the meter. But the strips, after the first box I bought from Amazon, I started buying them through my Vet. They give me a deal. Doesn’t hurt to ask your Vet if they can give you a deal on these supplies. You are, after all locked into buying these supplies for your dog or cat.
Testing is a pain but some thing you should do on a regular basis. I try to test once every month to two months for a full day. I would love to test daily or even weekly but Bender isn’t too fond of it and lets face it the strips are $50+ for a box of 50.
I test right when we get up. Then every 2-4 hours after that till we go to bed. I keep a log. I write down the time I tested, when he ate, how much he ate, how much insulin he got, and his blood sugar levels. This will show over time a clear picture of your dog’s blood sugar levels, how well the insulin is working, and if you need to adjust insulin or even change food.
I’ve found that for Bender his blood sugar will spike really high. Then come back to normal. Its a 6-7 hour cycle. For your dog, it will be different. But it will help you and your vet understand your dog’s cycle and how to create a schedule for feeding and shots.
As always ask your Vet before doing any thing. I take blood from Bender’s ear. There is a vein that runs along the edge. There are other places. But the ear seems the easiest.
I prepare every thing first. Put the test strip in the meter. Get a tissue for the blood. I shave the edge of his ear, if not already shaved. I use my hands to warm up his ear a bit. Pet him and get him relaxed. Have him lay down. I made a thimble out of cardboard and tape to protect my finger. It also gives me a firm back to poke to. Trust me, you can poke through the ear and poke your finger. I use a lancet and poke him. Some times, well a lot of times I miss the vein. And some times I poke him and no blood comes out, then after messing with his ear a bit, some does. You don’t need much blood, but make sure to shave the ear where you are poking. Makes it easier to get the blood.
For my meter I need about a grain of rice’s worth of blood. Hit the button on the meter wait for it to load, while your dog lays there (hopefully) and once the meter is ready, lightly touch the strip to the blood. You get once chance, you can’t reuse strips. If you get any blood on it and don’t get enough for a reading, that’s it. You can’t use the other side. $1 gone.
Then use the tissue to clean up the ear. Give Bender a small treat. This process is repeated every 2-4 hours.
Bender is pretty awesome and just lays there. He understands that all this is helping him. But if I accidentally hurt him, he lets me know.
This is some thing that has to be done for proper management of your dog’s diabetes. If you can’t take your dog’s blood sugar level find some one who can.