Monitoring blood glucose at home

A stable diabetic dog should have a blood glucose range of about 5 -12 mmol/l (90-216 mg/dl) for most of a 24 hour period.

Your veterinary surgeon may ask if you are prepared to monitor blood glucose levels at home. This can be done in two ways and your veterinary surgeon will discuss the best option with you.

  1. Blood test strips similar to those used for testing urine can be used.
  2. A handheld glucometer can be used. Although not essential, handheld glucometers are easy to use and well worth the investment.Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on what model best suits you and your dog's needs.

Collecting and testing a blood sample

During home monitoring, blood is usually collected from the earflap (pinna) of your dog.

  1. Make sure that your dog’s ear is warm. If not, hold it between your hands for about one minute. Warming the earflap makes collecting a drop of blood easier.
  2. Quickly prick a clean, hairless part of the ear with a sterile hypodermic needle or lancet.
  3. A small drop of blood will appear. Collect the drop onto the glucose test strip.
  4. Gently but firmly press some cottonwool onto your pet’s ear until it stops bleeding.
  5. Read the test strip or insert the sample into the glucometer as instructed.

Blood glucose test strips

blood glucose test strips

Blood glucose strips are used to measure blood glucose concentration. A drop of blood is placed on the pad at the end of the strip. After the specified amount of time the pad is wiped and the colour is checked against the chart on the container. Read the instructions provided before use.

Using a glucometer

glucometer and test strips

A drop of blood is placed on the provided strips, the strip is then inserted into the glucometer, and the blood glucose concentration is shown. Read the instructions provided before use.

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