We monitor pet diabetes by serially checking a pet’s blood glucose levels before and after an injection of insulin. A glucose curve is performed to determine the correct dose of insulin to administer and also to see if the chosen insulin is working in a particular patient.
Pet glucose monitors have advanced dramatically in recent years. Back in the “old days” a veterinarian would use a glucose meter made for humans. Some glucose meters yield better results for pet blood than others, but dog blood and cat blood are not the same as human blood. Glucose meters made for humans are no longer the standard of care for veterinary patients. Instead, we use meters that are designed to test the blood of animals.
To perform a blood glucose curve you will need to take a drop of blood just prior to a regularly scheduled meal. Then your pet should be fed and given insulin. From there, check the blood glucose every 2 hours until the next regularly scheduled dose of insulin. You are looking for the nadir which is when the blood glucose level bottoms out. As a veterinarian, I prefer the nadir to be somewhere around 100 mg/dL and I want most of the glucose results to be close to or under 300. Typically when the blood glucose drops below 150 mg/dL we will then check the blood glucose level hourly until it starts to rise again.
There are a lot of demands on the owner of a diabetic pet. Education will make a dramatic difference in how well your pet’s diabetes is regulated.
In next week’s newsletter we will discuss how you can do your pet’s blood glucose curve at home. This will provide better testing results and could save you money in the long run.
NOTE: Consult your doctor first to make sure my recommendations fit your special health needs.