Feline Diabetes: Part Three Monitoring Glucose Levels

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 7th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

There are several different ways to track you loved pet's glucose level—PU/PD, Dipsticks and Blood Tests. After learning about these three methods, you will need to chose the one that you are most comfortable using because, as the caretaker of a diabetic cat, you will have to monitor its blood glucose level closely.

The PU/PD Method of Monitoring Glucose Levels.

The PU/PD method of monitoring your pet's diabetes is by-far the easiest but also the most unreliable method. Using the PU/PD method, all you do is observe how much you cat drinks and how much he urinates. You measure how much water you set out in the morning and then you determine how much water remains in the bowl 12 hours later. Subtract the amount left from the amount set out to see the amount consumed by your pet. A normal cat will drink 4-ounces of water in 12-hours.

The PU/PD method is not only inaccurate, it can be dangerous. Any amount of insulin will reduce PD/PU, but all you will know is that there is an improvement. With the PU/PD method of monitoring, you will never know if you give too much insulin until your furry companion has an insulin reaction. An insulin reaction is dangerous. An insulin reaction can be fatal if not treated promptly.

The PU/PD method of monitoring glucose level is the least desirable method and not one that I or most veterinarians would recommend.

The Dipstick Method of Monitoring Glucose Levels.

Many veterinarians considered the dipstick method better than the PU/PD method but still unreliable. This method involves testing the urine with regent strips, or “Dipsticks”. The dipsticks are available at any drugstore, over-the-counter. These are same dipsticks used by humans for monitoring glucose levels, no dipstick has been designed for pets. Human dipsticks have never been tested for measuring the glucose levels in pet urine. Most veterinarians consider the use of dipsticks as being useless since no one has ever conducted any studies to determine how similar or dissimilar pet and human urine are to one another. You need to be extremely cautious when adjusting insulin dosage based on dipstick readings. You also need to read and follow the use and storage instructions that come with the dipsticks.

Blood Testing for Glucose Level Monitoring

This is the preferred method for monitoring blood sugar levels. This is an accurate test that allows adjusting, with confidence, the quantity of insulin to be injected.
Testing at the Veterinarians
This is the method chosen by many people who are uncomfortable doing blood testing at home. Testing at the veterinarians can become quite expensive. There is the office visit fee to pay, typically the office call fee averages $35. On top of the “Office Call” fee is the “Spot” fee or the “Glucose Curve” fees. A “Spot” test, or single blood test, costs between $15 – 20. A “Glucose Curve”, a series of blood tests, will cost between $50 – 60. These fees can mount up real quickly, but if you cannot handle the home blood testing routine, it is still the best option to choose.
Long Term Testing
These tests too are conducted by a vet in his office. The Long Term Test gives the vet much valuable information but does little to help the pet's caregiver who has to stay on top of things on a day to day bases. Therefore, I am not going to go into detail about them here.
Home Blood Testing
This is the least expensive of the blood testing methods but it does require the caregiver to learn how to take a blood sample by pricking the skin somewhere on the pet's body. Home blood testing is also the most accurate. Stress causes the blood sugar level to spike, spiking anywhere from 50 to several hundred mg/dl (Milligrams per Deciliter), which makes the blood glucose readings useless. The ride to the veterinarians stresses a cat out.

Most loving pet parents are afraid of causing their furry baby pain, but the truth is that pricking a cats ears to take a blood sample is less painful then a mosquito bite. The wait in the waiting room stresses the cat out even more. The most accurate readings are taken at home when the cat is most relaxed.

Next time, in Part four of this series, I will cover how to do an ear prick in detail. It is not difficult to learn. I will also talk about syringes and Glucometers, the meter used to take the blood sugar level reading.

Have not read the first two parts to this series, why not read them now. Here are the links.
Feline Diabetes: Part One What Is Diabetes?
Feline Diabetes: Part two The Initial Diagnosis
Feline Diabetes: Part Four Testing the Blood Glucose (BC) Levels

Join me on Wikinut and get paid for what you write.

Tags

Blood, Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Cat, Cat Care, Cat Health, Cat Owners, Cats, Feline, Feline Diabetes, Glucose, Glucose Curve, Insulin, Insulin For Diabetes

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

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Feb 2011 (#)

wow an excellent guide for cat owners. Thanks for sharing this information on diabetes in cats.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Feb 2011 (#)

Your welcome Mark. There will be at least two or three more parts to this series before I'm finished with the topic.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Feb 2011 (#)

Oops! Typo. I meant to type "you're" and not "your".

Reply to this comment

author avatar James R. Coffey
8th Feb 2011 (#)

Wow. So much to know!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Feb 2011 (#)

True, good buddy, very true. Pets are just like children and just like we seek knowledge to care for a human child we need to do the same for our furry children.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Melissa Dawn
8th Feb 2011 (#)

Wow! Now I have to go read the first two parts :-) Jerry! Honestly this was something I knew nothing about. A great read and thanks for educationg me.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
8th Feb 2011 (#)

You're most welcome Melissa. There's still more to come on feline diabetes. There will be at least another two or three parts to this series.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Denise O
9th Feb 2011 (#)

Jerry, As I have written in my article about Max and his diabetes, if I ever have another dog that is a diabetic, I will not go by what most vets recommend and that is the regent strips, they are 'very' unreliable. I say do the blood test, I will next time I promise you. Now max was monitored but, my best way of telling how his sugar was, was by watching him. If you know your pet, you will be able to start telling if their sugar is high or low but, please, please, please...use a blood gluclose monitor.
As I have said before, just a great series my friend.
As always, thank you for sharing.:)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
9th Feb 2011 (#)

Nice to have you back on the site Denise.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
10th Feb 2011 (#)

Excellent read...if I ever have a cat with diabetes, I will know where to look.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Greenfaol
10th Feb 2011 (#)

Brilliant article, another earned star. You are a true master and expert in pet care :D

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
10th Feb 2011 (#)

Thank you Norma.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
12th Feb 2011 (#)

Your knowledge continues to shine.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Jerry Walch
12th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks Martin.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password