Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum
 

Go Back   Diabetes in Dogs: The k9diabetes.com Forum > Diabetes Discussion: Your Dog

Diabetes Discussion: Your Dog Anything related to your diabetic dog.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-13-2013, 07:11 AM
Auddog's Avatar
Auddog Auddog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Utah
Posts: 486
Default Bazzle - Cherished Companion from 2002 - 2016

Hi Everyone! I wanted to introduce myself and my dog Bazzle.
Bazzle is my fixed male Shepherd / Chow mix who is 11 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes at the tail end of December 2012. Since his diagnosis we've been on quite the rollar coaster with his blood sugar. I found this website in July 2013, and after much reading I think it's time I get a glucose meter and start my own testing at home. I tried doing some research on the different kinds of meters available, and now I'm feeling overwhelmed. Any suggestions on what kind of meter I should get? Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-13-2013, 07:20 AM
Abby's Mom's Avatar
Abby's Mom Abby's Mom is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,563
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Welcome to you and Bazzle!

I am sure Craig, will be posting soon. He is a resident meter man....

But in the nutshell. I would get a meter that you are comfortable with in purchasing the strips. The strips are what is expensive, and not the meter. Alot of folks have had much success with the OneTouch, as well as the Relion. The AlphaTrak is a glucometer for pets, and this is the most accurate, but that is not to say that you can take a human meter, find the percentage that they are off, and apply it to get a good reading. In any meter you get, it is wise to compare to the lab results from the vet to test the Glucose.

It comes down to cost and being comfortable with the meter.

Barb
__________________
Barb & Abby 12/24/1999-12/31/2013 ~ dx 5/10/2011 ~ Forever in my heart ~
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-13-2013, 10:19 AM
CraigM's Avatar
CraigM CraigM is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,017
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Welcome!
We all know your confusion, we all had it in the beginning.

I guess my first suggestion is to just get a meter and dive in. After you get a little experience home testing you might decide to try a different meter. Generally, if purchased online (I frequently shop through Amazon) the meters / test strips are much less expensive than through local stores. Here's part of my meter collection! https://www.dropbox.com/s/uncfbu5tmzsbnwb/P4100002.JPG

I've recently seen a TV ad for a free FreeStyle Freedom Lite test kit, and free is a great price! https://www.freestylepromise.com/enr...akesiteasy.com If you try to order a free meter you might not want to indicate that it is for a dog. Here is a pretty good price on the FreeStyle Freedom Lite kit if you want to just buy the kit and not go through the possible hassle of a free meter. I'm not really pushing this meter, just showing you can get a good price shopping online because I'm pretty sure you would pay $60+ at a local store. The nice thing about this meter is that it only requires a very small blood droplet.

Several on the forum like the One Touch Ultra2 meter. I snagged my OTU2 for about $10 early this year on sale. The good thing about the OTU2 is that it seems to read dog blood just a little lower than true. Seems to read dog blood closer than any of the other human meters that I've tried. The possible downside for a new user is that it requires the largest blood sample, but this probably wouldn't be a major problem after you learn where to get the best blood droplet for your pup.

The least expensive way in the long term might be the Walmart Relion PRIME meter. It costs about $17 in your local Walmart. The savings come in the test strips that only cost about 18 cents each. The other meter's strips may cost 50+ cents each (online, much more at a local store). I generally test 2-3 times a day, every day, so the cost of the test strips can add up. Others may test less frequent, but you will probably test more frequently in the first few months. As with most (all?) human meters, the PRIME will read dog blood low. Some of us have developed a little math solution that will get the human meter reading closer to true

Then there is the AlphaTrak2 meter. This meter is designed specifically for dogs. Many vet clinics use the AT2, and it is probably the closest to perfection you can get in a consumer hand held meter. The problem is with the cost. The normal retail price is about $150, but we've seen sales for at low as $60. The real expense is with the test strips: about $1 each. Here's a link to the AlphaTrak. Of course they are trying to sell the AlphaTrak2, but the website contains good info and videos http://www.alphatrakmeter.com/index.html

What I, and a few others, that have the AlphaTrak2 do is to compare the AT2 reading with a reading from a less expensive meter and determine a percentage difference. Once or twice a month I load test strips into my AT2 and Walmart PRIME meter and test the same blood droplet within a second or two. I then use the less expensive PRIME for most daily testing.

Of course there are other meters, these are just the ones I use most often.

I probably didn't help your confusion much! As I first said, just jump into testing. Seems all the meters have pros & cons: start a collection!

Craig
(Testing is fun!)
__________________
Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9 years.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-13-2013, 10:50 AM
Judi's Avatar
Judi Judi is offline
Founding Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 5,280
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

I use the human one touch ultra meter because it was the first one that I bought and I've compared it to my vet so I have a feel for it.

A lot of us use the One Touch but it does take more blood than some of the other meters. So, if that is an issue you may want to try something else!
__________________
Jenny: 6/6/2000 - 11/10/2014 She lived with diabetes and cushings for 3 1/2 years. She was one of a kind and we miss her.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-13-2013, 01:02 PM
Eddie's Avatar
Eddie Eddie is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,210
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Hello and welcome!
I use a One Touch as well, mainly because a very kind lady on this forum sent it to me (so I had no excuses for not home testing after that!).
We get on with it ok after a few false starts at first and getting over the fear that I was hurting him (I wasn't and he now paws at me to do his test if I get the kit out because he know he will get a treat afterwards). I very rarely don't get a big enough drop to fill the strip.
We compared our meter to the vet's lab analyser and it showed ours was accurate to within 0.2 units of the analyser. It turned out that our meter was more accurate than the one he used in the surgery....

I get the strips online and they are not too expensive (but we're in England so probably not a very useful comparison for you!).

Hope the testing goes well!
Antonia
__________________
Eddie - Lab x golden retriever. Weighed 63lbs. Ate Canagan. Diagnosed October 2012. 13units of Caninsulin twice a day. Had EPI as well as diabetes. Died 20 June 2017. Loved forever.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-13-2013, 08:07 PM
Auddog's Avatar
Auddog Auddog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Utah
Posts: 486
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Thank you all for the suggestions!! Bazzle's normal vet uses the AlphaTrak 2 and the few times we had to go to the animal ER, they used the AlphaTrak. I will probably start with a people meter for now. Either way, I'll let you know how it goes
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-13-2013, 08:54 PM
CraigM's Avatar
CraigM CraigM is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 6,017
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Just saw in another thread that you are using Novolin 70/30. Was this recommended by your vet? This is not common, although I used it two years or so ago for a months test. I am concerned with your 70/30 because you aren't home testing yet, and the fast acting 30% could drive the BGs low.

I'm one of the few (only one?) that routinely mixes a tiny amount of "R" with "N". I normally use 1/4 or 1/2 unit of "R" mixed with 7 units of "N". There are times, like when Annie is below 100ish, that I omit the "R" all together. I'm afraid if I gave any "R" when Annie's fasting was below 100ish, it would drive her into very low hypoglycemia. Be careful!!

Craig
__________________
Annie was an 18 pound Lhasa Apso that crossed the rainbow bridge on 10-5-17. She was nearly 17 years old and diabetic for 9 years.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-13-2013, 08:56 PM
CarolW's Avatar
CarolW CarolW is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,968
Arrow Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auddog View Post
Thank you all for the suggestions!! Bazzle's normal vet uses the AlphaTrak 2 and the few times we had to go to the animal ER, they used the AlphaTrak. I will probably start with a people meter for now. Either way, I'll let you know how it goes
I'm pleased you're brave enough to go ahead with this. It just takes a little practice, I used the OneTouch Ultra, and later, the OneTouch Ultra2. I used the "lip" (really, the inner lining of Kumbi's cheek, access obtained by folding the upper lip up against the jaw and holding it there) to get my blood samples (rather, Kumbi's ) - my vet showed me how, and said there are so few nerve endings in that area, the dog doesn't feel pain - how true that is. Kumbi always let me know if I hurt him. I think I hurt him about twice in thousands of pricks!

I did have to warm the prick-site first with a "hot" (quite warm) paper towel soaked in tap-water; then dry the area; then prick, to get a reliable sample. The only time I did NOT have to do that was when I found and bought 200 21-gauge lancets. With those, I got a reliable sample every time, on the first prick. Too bad I couldn't find any more of them!

To make sure of getting a sample, as well as warming the site; I used 25-gauge lancets. Apart from the fabulous 21-gauge ones, those were the thickest I could get. (Same as with syringes - the lower the number, the thicker the needles.)

Kumbi died in 2010, of cancer, not diabetes.

Wishing you lots of luck! And welcome to the forum!
__________________
http://www.coherentdog.org/
CarolW
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-14-2013, 12:53 AM
Auddog's Avatar
Auddog Auddog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Utah
Posts: 486
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigM View Post
Just saw in another thread that you are using Novolin 70/30. Was this recommended by your vet? This is not common, although I used it two years or so ago for a months test. I am concerned with your 70/30 because you aren't home testing yet, and the fast acting 30% could drive the BGs low.

Craig
Sorry to worry you! We are aware of the fast acting 30% with the 70% keeping it low. I should have shared our story on the first post:

When Bazzle dog was first diagnosed we started him on just the normal NPH. He started out at 7 units twice a day, then we gradually bumped him up based on numerous glucose curves at the vet's office. After about 2 months of in and out of the vet's office and 2 ER visits he ended up at 12 units twice a day, and that worked really well for him until late April 2013.

I'm sure this is going to sound weird but I ended up getting a phone call from my dad while I was at work telling me Bazz had been stung by a bee and was having a sever allergic reaction. I was really confused at first because he'd never had any reactions to bee stings before, and the only difference this time was that he was diabetic. To make a long story short, he got over the bee sting allergy quickly enough but it threw his blood sugar out of control.

After another trip to the ER (where his glucose was in the upper 600's), more trips to his normal vet, and even a vile of blood being sent to a specialist of internal medicine we found out that the sting made his cortisol levels shoot up which made him resist the NPH, and that the "damage" was permanent.

This is when we (his normal vet and I) switched him over to the 70/30, and started another long process of in and out of the office to do glucose curves and to see if this was going to be the right choice for him. At first we weren't sure if it was going to work because his numbers always seemed to be on the high side, but once we got him to 17 units twice a day of the 70/30 he was consistently back in the normal range.

That's about the time I found this website (beginning of July 2013), and started wishing I had access to it when Bazz was first diagnosed. There were a lot of tears when we first started dealing with this whole process. I found a lot of comfort just knowing there were other devoted dog owners going through some of the same problems. It was also nice to be able to read up and educate myself on canine diabetes. I didn't register or join the forum right away because I thought we found his "magic-cruise-control-number".

It wasn't long ago that we ran into his next issue. Bazzle woke me up on a Sunday morning at 1:30am whimpering. I turned on the light and saw him twitching all over. I called him over to me and he tried, but I quickly learned he didn't have enough muscle control to walk. I woke up my dad and we rushed him down to the ER where we found out his blood sugar was below 20. The ER vets got him stabilized using a dextrose drip but he had to stay there until Monday morning, when I took him from the ER back to his normal vet. Of course I got grilled by the ER vet and our normal vet about if I accidentally gave him too much insulin causing the hypoglycemia, but I'm super careful about it!

After some convincing them that I did not overdose him, our normal vet started laying out the plan that would put Bazz back on insulin. He started off with high blood sugar because of the dextrose drip and his body's attempt at re-regulating, but this time our goal was to step him down really slowly so he didn't go off the cliff again. This is how it went:
started at 5 units twice a day for 2 days then did a curve; averaged him in the upper 470's
changed to 7 units twice a day for 3 days then did a curve (averaged him in the low 70's)
dropped back to 4 units twice a day for 3 days then did a curve (averaged him in the upper 480's)
changed back to 7 units twice a day for 4 days then did a curve (averaged him in the lower 430's)
upped the dose to 10 units twice a day for 5 days then vet glucose curve (averaged him in the upper 380's)
so we upped the dose to 12 units twice a day (this was just last Wednesday 9/4/13). We were happy to see he was going in the right direction so the plan was not to take him back to the vet for a curve until Tuesday (9/10/13).

Unfortunately, we were back at the ER Sunday evening... Bazz was giving me a lot of mixed signals starting Sunday morning. He was drinking a lot of water (the classic high blood sugar red flag) but he was also really lethargic and with our recent experience with hypoglycemia I was absolutely terrified he was going off the cliff again. It was because I don't have a meter at home that I decided to take him to the ER. His blood sugar came out to be 350 so we went home thinking he would probably be okay until his appointment on Tuesday. The next morning I could barely get Bazz to wake up and he refused to eat any food, not even the small bits of carrots we give him as treats. We skipped the morning dose of insulin, I called in to work sick, and then rushed him down to the vet's office.

His blood sugar had jumped up to 456, his white blood cell count was really high, and his albumin levels were really low. The vet gave him 18 units of the 70/30 which brought his sugar down to 250, gave him a shot of high strength antibiotics because of the white count and low albumin levels, and was able to get him to start eating again. I took him home, but I was an absolute wreck Monday night! I was so afraid I was going to wake up and find him dead, I don't think I slept more than an hour or so. I took him back to the vet Tuesday morning (as ordered) to get his sugar, white count, and albumin levels checked again. It took a total of 17 units of the 70/30 to get his sugar to where it needed to be, but luckily the shot of antibiotics he got was working it's magic on the white count and the albumin.

The vet and I talked about the home glucose testing during this Tuesday meeting of ours. After talking about the fact that we don't know why Bazz dropped off the proverbial cliff in the first place, and the fact that we live in a very rural area (30 min from the vet, and 40 min from the ER), and that there are a number of people who do home testing without any problems, I convinced him that it would be a very good option for us. He also said he would get one of his staff to see if they can get a better price on the AlphaTrak2 through one of their suppliers. That's when I'd made up my mind to register for this site and ask my meter question on the forum. I feel a bit sheepish for asking now that I've had some time to explore and get to know the forum, and realized that a lot of other users have asked the same question. Though, I still really appreciate the help and support.

I'm happy to report that Bazzle's health is definately improving, and he is starting to get his energy back. He gets to go back to the vet on Monday (9/16/13) for another sugar, white count, and albumin check. I've pretty much convinced myself that I'm going to go buy the One Touch Ultra and see if I can get a few readings before we go talk to the vet.

Anyway, that's our story! I'll keep you guys updated on what happens in the next few days, but now that I've practically written a novel I'm gonna go get some sleep

Thanks Again!!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-14-2013, 04:44 AM
Patty's Avatar
Patty Patty is offline
Senior Member and Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central CO
Posts: 8,324
Default Re: newbie looking for suggestions

What an adorable picture! Extending my welcome to you.
I think you'll find a great peace of mind in being able to home test. It took me awhile to find my dog's "sweet spot" but it saved her life on a number of occasions. There are some videos here of various places you can test your dog http://www.k9diabetes.com/bgtestvideos.html An elbow callus often works well for larger dogs. I found the inner lip stick to be our best spot.

Also, if you do have an episode of low blood sugar, you can rub some honey, karo syrup, or regular pancake syrup on your dog's gums then follow with some food that will stay in the system longer.

Glad to have you here!
Patty
__________________
Patty and Ali 13.5yrs 47lbs diagnosed May '08 Ali earned her wings October 27, 2012, 4 months after diagnosis of a meningioma ~ Time is precious ~
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Disclaimer -- The content on this site is provided for informational and educational purposes only. While we make every effort to present information that is accurate and reliable, the views expressed here are not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by a licensed veterinarian. Please consult with your veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your pet and before administering any medication or pursuing any course of treatment that you may read about on this site.

The views and opinions expressed by contributors to this forum are strictly their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the owners, administrators, or moderators of this forum and the k9diabetes.com website.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2009, 2010 k9diabetes.com. All rights reserved.