Feline Diabetes: Part Four Testing the Blood Glucose (BC) Levels

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 13th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

You do not have to be a veterinarian or a veterinarian technician to check your furry friends BG level at home. You will need some basic supplies and you will have to learn how to use them, but you can do the practicing on yourself to minimize the discomfort for your furry companion. The happy news is that doing the testing on your furry buddy will cause you more pain than it will cause him or her.

The Things That You Will Need for Home Testing.

  • Glucometer—there are many excellent glucometers on the market, but I recommend the Ames Glucometer Elite meter. The Ames Glucometer Elite meter is an expensive glucometers, but it is also one of the easiest meters to use. The Ames Glucometer Elite meter is available in most drug stores as are the testing strips.
  • Test strips—there will be a supply of test strips that come with the Ames Glucometer Elite meter kit. Additional test strips will cost you about $2 per strip, and they come in 25, 50, 75 and 100 strip quantities.
  • Lancets-replacement lancets for the lancet pen that comes with the Ames Glucometer Elite meter kit. Some people do a free hand stick with the lancets, but I highly recommend using the lancet pen because the pen allows you to control the depth of lancet penetration with precision.
  • Warm washcloth or warm rice-filled sock—the need for these items will become clear later on in this article.
  • Facial tissue or cotton balls.
  • A small flashlight.

Set-Up A Treatment Room.

If you have a furry friend requiring daily medical attention set-up a medical treatment room, if at all possible, in your home. Our furry companions have no medical needs, but we have a treatment room anyway. We presently use the medical treatment room as a grooming room. If you do not have a room that you can dedicate to caring for your companion, try and dedicate a small area in another room for that purpose. This is important for both you and your companion.

Place a small table in the treatment room/area that is waist high. Placing you pet level with your waist will make it easier for you and more comfortable for him or her. Have a little table to the right of the treatment table where you can place all you supplies.

Practice on Yourself.

You need to have confidence when you go to test the BC Levels of your furry companion. Your confidence or your uncertainty will transfer to your little buddy. If your buddy becomes stressed because he or she senses that you are stressed, will make the BG reading invalid. Stress will cause the BC level to spike. Practice using the glucometer on yourself until you can perform the test with your eyes closed.

Prepping the Patient—Dos and Don'ts.

  • Place the patient on the treatment table and spend a few minutes petting and talking to him or her. Petting and talking to your furry patient will relax both of you. When your furry buddy is purring contently, proceed to the next step.
  • Inspect the ear you intend to stick for cleanliness. You want the ear to be clean, but do not use alcohol to clean the ear. Alcohol will make the BG reading invalid.
  • Use the warm washcloth or the warmed rice-filled sock to warm the ear. The rice-filled sock can be warmed in a microwave oven. Test the sock on your wrist before applying it to your companions ear. Warming the ear increases the blood flow in the ear. Alternatively, you can increase blood flow by a gental massaging of the ear with your fingertips.

Performing an Ear Prick.

  • Shine the light through the ear to locate the vein near the edge of the ear. With the light shining through it, the vein will look like a red string.
  • Use the warm washcloth or rice-filled sock to increase the blood flow through the ear.
  • Prepare the glucometer by placing a test strip in the meter. The meter will announce when it is ready to accept a blood sample.
  • Position the lancet-pen over the vein's sweet spot and squarely against the ear before pushing the release button.
  • When the blood appears, place the test strip against the top of the drop at a slight angle. If necessary, apply a little pressure to the sides of the puncture mark to make the blood appear.
  • Note the glucometer reading and mark it down in your record book. The glucometer will store a vast amount of data, but it is always a good idea to record it in a notebook as a back-up.
  • If necessary, use a cotton ball or a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding.

Praise Your Furry Companion for Being A Good Sport and Offer A Treat.

Praise your companion for being a good patient and reward him or her with a diabetic safe treat.

Next time, I will talk about syringes and explain how to give the insulin.

Related articles:

Feline Diabetes: Part One
Feline Diabetes: Part Two
Feline Diabetes: Part Three

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Bg Levels, Blood, Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Blood Vessel, Diabetes, Diabetes Control, Diabetic, Diabetic Cat, Diabetic Cats, Diabetic Dog, Diabetic Dogs, Ear Prick, Feline, Feline Diabetes, Glucometer, Glucometers, Lancet, Lancet Pen, Test Strips

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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author avatar Carol
14th Feb 2011 (#)

This is a very helpful article, and I love the big cat picture

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author avatar Jerry Walch
14th Feb 2011 (#)

The big cat picture is my cat Furball

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author avatar Denise O
15th Feb 2011 (#)

Love your cat jerry, just gorgeous. What a wonderful Step by stpe article for those that will be having to do this. Jerry, once again, thank you for writng about this. So many of us went for years without knowing all of this. I hope and pray that others read this so they do not think they're alone. As I did many of times. I mean even some Vets are clueless on explaining it straight forward like you just did. Great work my friend.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Retired
15th Feb 2011 (#)

This is outstanding info., Jerry as usual.

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author avatar Angelique Newman
16th Feb 2011 (#)

Wonderful article Jerry--with information like this I'm sure it will ease some of the anxiety people have when dealing with a pet with diabetes. Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Love the picture of your cat Furball (also like the name) too cute :)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks Martin and Angelique.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
16th Feb 2011 (#)

Wow! So much to know!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Feb 2011 (#)

Still more to come James.

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author avatar Retired
23rd Feb 2011 (#)

Good info to know...keep them coming!

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author avatar Greenfaol
3rd Mar 2011 (#)

Excellent work as always. Maybe you missed your caling - perhaps a vet would have been apt :D Very well said my friend, much love,
Norma x

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