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-   -   My experience with the Freestyle Libre (http://k9diabetes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8151)

sibhus 06-10-2020 09:57 PM

My experience with the Freestyle Libre
Thought id post this in case someone considers using this system as it has its pros and cons and wanted to share my experience as ive learned so much from others on this site.

I decided to use this system as I wanted to get an idea of my dogs bg curves since he is a one time eater and therefore requires different amounts of insulin, as well as I wanted to see the effects of how exercise, and certain treats or medicine impact as these can been seen in real time as to their effects on the bg slope/curve.

If your going to buy this and want to do it cost effectively, the Libre is available sensor only from Costco and Walmart for under $70. You do not need to buy the reader as your iPhone or Android phone can be used via the Libre App. The App is very straight forward. Also a prescription is required and my vet wanted to charge me 75 to install this which I didn't do as any determined dog owner can install this themselves in about ten minutes.

Installation- So the first thing I did was to shave a 2x2 inch square using a pet shaver just behind the front shoulder but in my case I did it off to the side as my dog had a flatter region to work with. After shaving, I then used a razor and some shaving cream to go down to bare skin, as this is very important especially as my dog whom has a thick double coat. You'll then want to clean the area using the alcohol pad supplied with the sensor. Afterwards, you'll need to acquire 3M Vetbond which can be bought from Amazon. Apply about 6-8 small drops equally spaced across the diameter of the sensor area which will adhere to the dog. Then you simply engage the sensor catheter into its attachment housing and then line up the housing against your dog and gently push it in and hold for about 30 seconds. I read a lot of people have had this sensor fall off but mine held up for the entire 2 weeks and fell off on day 16. I believe you must attach the sensor to bare skin and also apply a generous amount of the vet bond which is effectively super glue but approved for surgical use.

Getting readings: After installing the sensor, download the app on your phone, you simply take your phone and literally place it upon the top of the sensor (within one inch) and activate the sensor. After 15 minutes, you will get your first reading. The unit has a 1 minute sampling rate and will retain upto 8 hours of preceding readings in its memory. Also to note, the sensor uses a very low power and low RF frequency signal which is far safer than a cell phone against your ear. Im an electrical engineer by profession and was pretty happy to see they have used this protocol as there is no risk of organ or tissue damage to your dog due to rf energy.

After 8 hours the unit will discard the retained data therefore you must be diligent about scanning at least every 8 hours to see your past plots. The app is very intuitive and displays 24 hour bg curves for up to 14 days.

Accuracy- So heres where things got interesting for me. On day one I read an offset error of 100 points compared to my AT2, Im not sure if this is due to a calibration the sensor undergoes. However, on day 2 it was within 35 points and held at that pretty much the whole duration as I performed random spot checks using my AT2 over the two weeks it was installed. Basically the Libre read lower than the AT2. Conversely now im questioning the accuracy of my AT2 with the Freestyle lite strips and hopefully will get a CBC test done soon and can compare it at that time. I believe some of the error is due to the special plating on the sensors catheter which is optimized for human glucose. Ive seen that some vet papers state where no error was found but there are others whom have reported offset errors.

So accounting for the accuracy issue, I was able to get some great relative data and see the effects of exercise, food, supplements and medicine, as you'll see this in the bg slope as either a immediate dip or spike. I found that glucosamine supplements didn't effect bg levels, a big slice of apple cause a 10 point rise, a 30 minute walk caused a 120 point drop and giving my dog an NSAID supplement for joint problem caused a 30 point decline in his bg. My dog hates thunder and noticed it caused a 100 point spike! My other main concern was im using Novolin 70-30 and was concerned about the first spike which proved to be safe.

In the end my dogs not perfectly regulated (currently at 150-240 for morning and 170-260 for evening) but was able to use this to help me dial in the amount of insulin to get in the right direction. I think the best thing about this system is your dog will love you for not pricking him. Its so easy to get a reading and get a generalized feel for the pattern of the curve and to see the day to day variation(in my case i go for different length walks). The accuracy of this unit is questionable. Accounting for this I was at least able to get relative readings of the various things which effect bg fluctuations. I will probably use it again in a few months but have decided to stick to the AT2 with freestyle lite strips.


jesse girl 06-11-2020 06:29 AM

Re: My experience with the Freestyle Libre
Very interesting and thanks for the information .

Annemieke 08-18-2020 06:05 AM

Re: My experience with the Freestyle Libre
We also use the sensors. We bought the reader also because our phones are not able to install the app, because you need a newer phone than we have.:)

We pay 60 euro for 1 sensor and the reader was thesame amount. We put it on the dog ourselves. That was not difficult. Shaved with a dog shaving machine a kind of circle about 8 cm, cleaned the area with the alcohol pads delivered with the sensor. Then we used Skin Tac Wipe. This are little cloths, you wipe them on the skin and the skin becomes tacky. Put the sensor on. Bart didn't mind. and then a little piece of toiletpaper cut in a circle as grand as the sensor. put it on the sensor and at last cover the whole with a round cut adhesive sporting tape. just to protect it while walking under the branches of bush or schratching.

It was so helpfull for us to learn how bloodglucose levels work. I like to see your graphics, can we exchange them?

Riliey and Mo 08-21-2020 05:28 PM

Re: Freestyle Libre sensor glucose meter in diabetic dogs
freedom meters read blood glucose in dogs differently compared to the dog Alphtrack meter.

these glucose sensors are for humans so we need to gather more info using them on dogs.

it might be a good idea to do curves and include all readings from all glucose meters.

seeings the glucose sensor readings seem to be in regulation territory they may not be accurate.

side by side curve with the sensor and Alphatrack would be nice to see.

good work

k9diabetes 10-22-2020 04:23 PM

Re: My experience with the Freestyle Libre

Originally Posted by sibhus (Post 168256)
Accuracy- So heres where things got interesting for me. On day one I read an offset error of 100 points compared to my AT2, Im not sure if this is due to a calibration the sensor undergoes. However, on day 2 it was within 35 points and held at that pretty much the whole duration as I performed random spot checks using my AT2 over the two weeks it was installed.


Our OneTouch Ultra meter consistently read the blood sugar about 35 points lower on average than the AlphaTrak when I did a similar test of blood drops over time tested with both meters.


Keep in mind that every meter reading is an estimate. Meters use algorithms to calculate the blood sugar readings. You never truly know exactly what your dog's blood sugar is.

But you don't have to know exactly. It's the average levels and the peaks and valleys that are important. Except for avoiding low blood sugar, a difference of 35 or 50 points doesn't have an impact on dosing.

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