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.
My dog Silkie has the origonal Alpha Track, and I ordered strips for the New Alpha Track 2. Abbot says the only difference in the code 7, and a 10% difference in reading. Any thoughts experiences with this?
I do use the AlphaTrak I but I don’t use the AlphaTrak II strips. However I do use the FreeStlye Lite strips and those do have a difference, roughly 10-30 points.
Being aware of that difference is key to helping keeping your pup regulated.
If you think about it, a difference of 130 (alphatrak I strips) vs 160 (alphatrak II strips), isn’t bad, that is still a good level. But if you have numbers like 270 vs 300, you know, no matter what you have to adjust insulin dosage.
I know with using Freestyle Lite strips I need to keep Bender under 180 because there is a difference when using them.
Have just spent a good part of my evening reading your blog. We adopted our boy Charlie from the pound about 6 months ago and he has become a very big part of our family. A few weeks ago he ate a prawn off the floor and got very sick, after 4 days in emergency and $3000 later we found out he had diabetes (and pancreatitis and a heart murmur!). It has only been about a month or so since he was diagnosed so we are still in the early stages of getting him controlled. He is back in for his 2nd glucose curve tomorrow. I have just read through all your info regarding the AlphaTrak and am going to ask my vet about it when i see her… my visits are averaging $200 each!
It has been a real struggle to find any kind of information relating to canine diabetes so thank you for continuing to update your blog – it has been so helpful to me!
I’m glad that you have found my blog informative. Thank you. There is lots of information in the posts and the comments. And if you have any questions feel free to ask.
As far as the AlphaTrak, there is a new version out the AlphaTrak II. Get that one. It is the best and will save you money compared going to the Vet. There are coupons all over my site for AmericanDiabetesWholeSale.com. They sell it and a lot of other good canine diabetes related products.
Also having a meter at home will help you regulate the your dog. Again if you have any questions feel free to ask.
My 9 year old Maltese was diagnosed 2 months ago, he is still not regulated. Took him off Hills W/D I think it’s not very good for a diabetic dog. Trying a raw diet
With his kibble an he is on 4units of Humulin N. the problem is that he spikes about 2-3 hours after his morning shot. The Vet wants to switch him to a longer lasting insulin, he mentioned Vetsulin – I thought they discontinued it. He only weighs 9.8 lbs and I am truly afraid of giving him too much. Please help with any information you can share. Thank you for your dedication
Ask about levimeer. My dog had the same issues with insulin spikes, and we switched to levimeer. If you can, go see a specialist. Feed your dog a high quality wet food, and less kibble, as kibble has more carbs. Try wellness. Listen to your vet, and especially if you see a specialist. I dealt with this same issue for three years. Your dog will be fine, just learn all you can.
@Mariana: Finding the right food is key. I’m not a fan of Hill’s Science W/D. Way too much filler. What other foods have you tried? And what is included in your raw diet?
I keep seeing alot of post saying w/d isn’t diabetic friendly. Has anyone heard of avo-derm has avocado in it
I have not heard of that brand but over all it looks to be pretty decent.
This one looks alright: http://amzn.to/2lUIZs2
A little high in fat but over all good.