If your dog has diabetes mellitus, a blood glucose curve is an essential part of evaluating his progress and health. Your veterinarian may ask you to do a blood glucose sample for your pet at home for several reasons.
Reasons To Do a Blood Glucose Curve at Home
In many cases, when an animal visits the veterinary hospital, his or her behavior changes. Many pets become frightened and stressed. This stress can adversely affect the blood glucose levels, causing the levels to increase solely because of the physiological effects of stress on the body (this is especially true of cats). A blood glucose curve performed at home is done in a less stressful environment, and it's likely to produce a curve that is more representative of the actual blood glucose levels.
In addition, blood glucose curves must be performed while feeding your pet as you normally would. In a hospital environment, many animals are reluctant to eat normally, which may also negatively affect the results of a blood glucose curve.
How To Perform a Blood Glucose Curve
Feed your dog or cat normally. Take the first blood sample just before giving the insulin injection, measure the blood glucose and record it. Give the insulin injection as you normally would. Be sure to consult your veterinarian for specific instructions regarding how often to measure your pet's blood glucose. You should never change your pet's insulin dosage without consulting with your dog or cat's veterinarian first.
- In general, you should repeat taking blood samples at two-hour intervals and recording the blood glucose measurements until your pet's blood glucose level falls below 150 to 200 mg/dl.
- Once the blood glucose level falls below 150 to 200 mg/dl, take blood samples, measure and record the blood glucose every hour.
- Continue taking blood samples and measuring your pet's blood glucose every hour until the blood glucose readings begin to increase. An increase in the blood glucose level means that the effects of the insulin have worn off.
How To Obtain and Measure Blood Samples
Only a very small blood sample is necessary to measure your dog or cat's blood glucose level. Veterinary Partner presents a helpful video showing how to collect a blood sample by pricking your pet's ear. This is the easiest method to obtain the blood samples.
There are various blood glucose meters that be used at home to measure your pet's blood glucose. One example is the AlphaTRACK blood glucose monitor. Your veterinarian can help you choose an appropriate meter.