Having doubts about your glucose monitoring system for your pets?
Managing diabetes can be very complicated.
The blood glucose measurements of your pet can change with factors like their food consumption, their stress level, exercise they get, and other usual daily fluctuations.
Moreover, it is possible that some other disease or problem is affecting your pets’ health.
Hence, it is important you are using home glucose monitoring system after consulting your veterinarian.
Why pet owners need home-based blood glucose monitoring system?
The home-based blood glucose monitoring system is a useful tool; it helps your veterinarian regulate your pet’s diabetes better.
It can help you find out how well your current insulin type and dosage is doing for your pet’s diabetes.
However, this system works best under regular conditions, when the pet’s feeding, stress, and exercise levels are standard.
One common problem when doing blood glucose test at the veterinarians is that a lot of pets get severely stressed, and they lose their appetite when restricted to a cage for a considerable period than they are used to.
These living conditions are not normal for a pet and blood glucose measurements taken at the time may not reflect the accurate picture of what blood glucose on a regular day is.
A home blood glucose monitoring system is a good idea and is suited to be used at occasional times to check the blood glucose level if your pet’s diabetes is quite well regulated.
Furthermore, you will be able to perform a home blood glucose test at a time of your linking, conveniently and rather quickly.
However, if your pet’s diabetes is a bit hard to regulate, then a home blood glucose monitoring system can still be useful to get some information that may be needed by your veterinarian to make informed, necessary adjustments to your pet’s insulin therapy.
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Concerns of a Pet Owner
No matter what medical procedure may be, one of the major concern of pet owners is that will their pet hate them if perform the test on them.
At times even veterinarians discourage pet owners not to do blood glucose monitoring tests at home because the use of pricks might cause their pet to start disliking its owner.
However, it is hard to find any pet owner to themselves has experienced this problem first hand.
It is not your pet’s favorite thing of the day, but the process is reasonably fast and painless.
Moreover, it also varies from one pet to another, as all pets won’t have the same level of tolerance for getting restrained or getting a prick done on them.
If your pet particularly hates to be handed, gently restrained or is uncooperative, home blood glucose test may be not the best option in your condition.
Hence, make sure you sit with your vet and discuss how much of home blood glucose testing is appropriate in your pet’s condition. Despite what some vet believe, home blood glucose monitoring system provide adequately accurate results.
These kinds of testing meters are regularly used by humans to manage their diabetic condition, and they seem to work well for them.
Another common concern of pet owners is that if they will hurt their pets.
However, under normal circumstance, you are probably not going to hurt your pets in any way.
Unintentionally you might cause your pet a bruise, or it may catch an infection or a more severe injury, which may require proper medical attention.
Despite that, you would hardly find someone who would have experienced any issues with bruising, excessive bleeding, infection, or any issue.
Moreover, if you take proper precautions, a home blood glucose monitoring system can be very safe for your pet.
In case of any problem make sure to get in touch with your veterinarian and discuss your situation.
Basic precautions pet owners should be taking
1. Keep it all clean.
Make sure your hands are properly washed using antibacterial soap and have a hygienic workspace or use a washed towel to put things on.
2. The chosen site for prick needs to be clean, as well as dry.
If the area where you prick is dirty, make sure you have washed it with some warm water. Before you perform the prick, take time and make sure the area is properly dry. If you perform prick on an even slightly wet area, moisture will make the blood drop you took spread out, making it hard to continue performing the test. Moreover, the presence of moisture is likely to dilute the blood sample, leading to an inaccurate blood glucose reading.
Furthermore, when you are about to prick a dogs ear, make sure it is warm. It will be very difficult to draw a blood drop from a cold ear. You can massage the dog’s ears or head to make them warm. You can also use of a warm cloth in any plastic bag, or you can heat a bag of rice using the microwave. Whichever way you decide to go, be careful not to burn your dog by mistake.
3. Try to restrain your pet gently.
Successfully completely test process you will need to keep your pet still, calm and relaxed for few minutes.
If you restrain your pet too hard and you may cause too much stress, you might not get an accurate blood glucose reading. There definitely will be some struggling but you have to make sure not to make your pet highly agitated but if something like this does happen, make sure to wait 15 to 30 minutes before trying again. Try to be more careful with a cat, as they are quick to get stressed.
4. Control bleeding.
Once you have put the blood sample in the glucose meter, attend to your pet’s ear, and the meter can do its work. Have a strong hold of a gauze square on the prick site, not too tight, for around 30 seconds. The bleeding should stop by then. However, if the bleeding continues, make sure you are applying light pressure for next minute and try to make your pet as calm as possible. If the site is still bleeding, call your vet for advice.
It is normal for a slight red spot to get formed at the prick site. A little bruise, around a rice grain’s size, is ok and it should fade away in time of a day or two. In case of any large bruise, fluid accumulation, swelling, warmth in the prick area or any infection, visit the vet immediately.