The debate between using a human meter vs the AlphaTrak has been floating around the internet for a while now. Most of the theories I’ve read about is the dog/cat meters just cost more due to the fact that the meter is for a dog/cat (just a marketing ploy). But I’ve never seen any hard evidence that proves a human meter works just as well as the AlphaTrak for testing glucose levels on a dog.
As recommended by my Vet I’ve always used the AlphaTrak. As an inexpensive way of testing glucose levels for patients they tried several human meters before the AlphaTrak came out. The human meters all provided a rough accuracy but not the accuracy of the AlphaTrak.
To get to the bottom of this debate and see if human meters do stand up to the AlphaTrak I’ll be conducting tests and write a series of article over the next coming months. My friends over at American Diabetes Wholesale have sent me four meters to start testing with. FreeStyle Lite (made by Abbott, same as the AlphaTrak), Glucocard Vital, Nova Max Link, and Bayer Contour.
Unboxing and Reviewing.
After reading the instructions and testing out each meter, all of them pretty much function the same way. The test strip is inserted into the meter, meter turns on, blood sample is applied to the test strip, and then wait for results. All measurements are done in mg/dl. Some have advanced features such as downloadable results, meal timers, and more but I won’t be going into any of that.
I was able to do an all day test of Bender with the AlphaTrak and FreeStyle Lite. Here are the results.
These results don’t tell the whole story. This is the first test and I was only able to test 5 times. With that in mind… Looking at the results the FreeStyle lite is off by roughly 50-75 points at these numbers. But what about higher numbers? or really low numbers?
You will also see I’m missing a few things. I wasn’t able to get enough blood from Bender after exercising him to test both the AlphaTrak and FreeStyle Lite. I try not to lance Bender too much, and after several tries I just stop. Especially since I only lance his ears. Which is why there isn’t a reading at 6:00pm when I feed Bender. I couldn’t get any blood out of him.
I will continue to test Bender over the coming months with all the meters vs my AlphaTrak and post the results. In the mean time if you have any results for the AlphaTrak vs other meters please share them.
HI, No mention here about feeding raw food to diabetic dog. My dog has been on a raw commercial diet since young and had been doing well until just recently she was diagnosed with diabetes and very high ketones in her liver. By looking at her you’d never know she’s sick however, the only signs are drinking and peeing too much and hunger without gaining weight. The vet is of course against raw food and wants me to put her on prescription kibble to which I said a definite NO. She won’t even eat it anyway. So we are trying to get her stabilized with the raw diet. She’s on Caninsulin. My vet also insists that it would be hard to stabilize her without the fiber that is missing in her diet. Her raw food has ratios of protein 19%, carbs 0%, fat 7% and fiber 0% (rabbit blend of meat:muscle, bone,etc). She also gets one dehydrated rabbit ear daily which has 5% fiber. Can anyone tell me if I’m on the right track with her food or not? Thanks
What are the ingredients of the raw dog food?
I would read my Getting Started Post: http://www.diabeticdogblog.com/getting-started/ to understand why you might be having trouble regulating your dog. While I don’t talk about raw foods. I also agree that having some fiber in your dogs diet is good. Is the 5% fiber in a rabbit ear, daily amount of recommended fiber or the ear has 5% fiber?
There’s a much better meter currently on the market that not only test blood glucose but also ketone levels. An indicator of many other disease states, and in excess, quite deadly.
Check out the CentriVet GK meter by Acon Labs, Inc.
Can anyone tell me that uses a human meter to check dogs gluclose if they are basically the same?
Ann, you can definitely use a raw diet for a dog with diabetes. The book “Raw and natural nutrition for Dogs” by Lew Olson has a section on diets for diabetes – and the book was highly recommended by my vet! As you know, the ingredients in prescription diabetes dog food are really low quality. But most vets actually know very little about nutrition, so they just recommend the commercial diabetes diets. You should be able to use the raw diet you’re already using. But if you want/need to add more fiber, you can add chia or ground flax seed. Fiber is more important when the diet contains carbohydrate, because the fiber slows the absorption of the carbohydrate. Another option would be to get the “ground whole carcass rabbit” at hare-today.com. It has the whole rabbit, fur and all, which provides fiber.
There’s something very wrong with that calculation. Your raw food calculation is only coming in at 26% total. What’s in the other 74%?
I appreciate your testing and review of bender’s BG reults BUT I am confused (or concerned)over your results. I always use Alphatrak as I am not willing to chance my dog’s health. However, I have been researching the Alphatrak vs Freestyle Lite results for 2 years. I have 3 AT meters and use the same gtt of blood..but do at times change the sequence of testing with AT first or last, change and compare meter results…If interested you may review much of my 2 year testing..AlphaTrak is written in bold where Freestyle lite is NOT. or the test is listed. I see no such drastic changes though whether BG results are higher or lower with Freestyle Lite can be baffling.
Fran Munschauer….. Your chart is so helpful. Thank you
Our 10 yr Labrador is on 16 units of insulin twice a day. We’ve been taking her glucose level with a Freestyle Libre (calibrated for humans) for about 2 weeks and have taken it with the AlphaTrak (calibrated for dogs) a couple times. On Aug 11, 2020 the AlphaTrak was 83 and seconds later the FreeStyle was 115, that’s a difference of 28%. On Aug 13th FS was 105 and a couple mins later the AT was 43, YIKES, this was a difference of 60%. For the last 2 weeks we have been taking Katie’s glucose levels A LOT and with this we have learned that a dogs glucose level can change drastically within mins. I hope this helps out for all that are going through the same issues as we are. It’s been pretty scary when our Kate’s levels are lower than 40 and as high as 388.
I just wanted to mention my experience with a diabetic cat in hope my story helps others. Three weeks ago my 10 year old cat started walking funny on his back legs so I took him to the Vet and they diagnosed him with diabetes, his glucose level was almost 500. The Vet put him on 1unit of ProZinc insulin two times a day. So I immediately took him off dry food and gave him a combination of MD pate, Weruva pate, Stella & Chewys freeze-dried raw (which you mix with water) and a little Fancy Feast pate because he got into the other cats food. He has always been a good eater so no problem with which food. I also sprinkle and mix in a little tumeric. All my pets are grazers, eat a little throughout the day, I believe it’s a healthier way then stuffing them once or twice a day. A week later went to the Vet and his glucose was down to 234. The Vet was suprised it dropped. The following week 190-210. At that point I got the Alphatrak2 so I could take readings at home because I was worried his glucose would drop too low. I continued with the wet pate food and tumeric. At the begining of the third week his glucose was 102 at a time when his level should of been the highest. I was told by the Vet to leave out that dose of insulin. Then the next dose his level was 163, so left out another dose. The Vet said they have never seen a cat go into remission so quickly, let alone on ProZinc. I’ve had 3 days of 104-118 throughout the day. The lesson I learned from my experience is the dry cat food is garbage and is making are pets sick. I don’t know if just switching food or the combination of the tumeric did the trick but would love to hear somebody else try it and see if it helps.
Our 10yr old dog, Stoner, was just diagnosed with diabetes this week. Today was his first day on insulin, His vet reccommended 8cc of Novalin N. We tried 10 times today to take his glucose, using his ear, as they showed us at the vet’s office yesterday, no success.He is very cooperative but we get no blood to test. Any help would be appreciated.
Try using the inside of his lip.