Pets suffering glucose fluctuations demand a strong commitment and consistency for their treatment. A common trend that you will notice in diabetic pet care these days, is an increase in home-based treatment, which is justified too. Carrying out the treatment at home doesn’t only reduce yours but your pet’s stress too. Pets like to stay in a homelike environment, and are probable to respond better to the testing and treatment.
Pet owners have become more interested in doing most of the chores of treatment at home, as it becomes nearly impossible to visit a veterinarian so often. There are a number of things one has to manage for their diabetic pets from the disease’s monitoring to its treatment.
The integral part of diabetes management is keeping track of the pet’s glucose levels. Fortunately, this has become as easy as a few clicks – thanks to the latest, easy functioning blood glucose monitoring systems offered by numerous vendors.
But before jumping right into using a pet blood glucose monitoring system, you need to understand that a pet specific system and a human glucometer are two different things. People often confuse the two together which is devastating. Using a pet specific glucose monitor is crucial for accurate results.
Why Need a Pet Specific Glucometer
Animals and humans do have similar kinds of diseases. But there are significant differences too, which every pet owner needs to understand. The frontline reason is that humans and animals have different distribution of glucose in the blood. Moreover, they have different sizes of red blood cells as well. These factors can greatly impact the readings made by the glucometer. The way the device treats the samples may not be open to a normal observation, but it can seriously variate the results.
The statistics about the distribution of glucose in the blood can help you better understand the level of severity of the case. A dog has 87.5% of its glucose located in the plasma, a cat 93%, while a human’s plasma contains 58% of the total glucose present in the blood.
Other than those which may distort the results, there are difficulties handing the equipment too. You can’t test a pet’s glucose level without a blood sample of it. The lancet made for human skin is not that suitable to that of the animals’. It irritates the pet more, yet troubles the tester too. The lancet takes more effort reaching deep into the blood and hardly collects a sample that is sufficient.
What Precautions You Should Take
Testing for glucose in a pet can be tricky since the results may be altered due to small reasons. Take care of a few things before you execute the test for the results to be accurate.
Ensure Everything around You Is Clean and Orderly
Before you start with the test, make sure you have washed your hands with an antibacterial agent. Other than that, look around to check the things are put in order to avoid a mishap. You should better be using a towel or something to put under the equipment. It helps you quickly wrap up the test without creating a panic at the place.
Select the Prick Site Very Carefully
The pet is surely not going to like the pricking. To make it easy to you and the pet, select a site where it is easy to prick and the pet feels less irritated. It varies from animal to animal, like, dogs are mostly pricked on the inside of their lip. While for cats, pricking is made on their ear.
Before you go to prick the pet, make sure the prick site is dry and warm. It helps the blood flow in easily. The presence of moisture will dilute and spoil the blood sample. In such a case, the results will not be legitimate.
Gently Calm the Pet Down
As soon as you prick the pet, it may create a mess. After you have collected a blood sample, restrain the pet by gently pressing the prick site for a few seconds. Don’t give it a strong push or it can develop into a swollen wound. Hold it with a piece of cotton until it stops bleeding.
Determining the Time of the Test
There are many factors that influence the result of the test. One of those is the time the test is conducted at. Diet before the test can misrepresent the results. The glucose level sways as the pet eats, or does some work. If you choose a time that is immediately before or after the pet eats something, or has burnt his calories with some activity with his muscles, don’t blame the glucometer for misleading results.
Consult your veterinarian to determine the best time to conduct the test. Don’t make irregular variations in the test timing. A regular timing makes the results more reliable to prescribe a better treatment for the pet.