Home Pet Glucose Meters 101
I sometimes get emails questioning the accuracy of home pet glucose meters. Some folks get upset if their meter is 20 points off from what their vet’s lab work reveals. I think some people have unrealistic expectations about how accurate a meter can be. I can tell you first-hand that pet glucose meters are actually quite reliable, particularly the meters that are calibrated for pets.
If veterinarians say home glucose testing with handheld glucose meters isn’t as accurate as fancier blood analyzers they may be correct. But, I think they may forget that when glucose testing is run at home we remove the chance of stress hyperglycemia. Stress from being anxious in the vet clinic, commonly known as “white coat syndrome”, can significantly elevate a pet’s blood glucose levels. I personally have seen a couple of non-diabetic cats and small dogs have blood glucose levels up in the low 200’s just from anxiety in a clinic over the years. Even though the diagnostic lab equipment at your vet clinic is likely a bit more accurate than a handheld glucose meter, by taking your pet to the clinic you then introduce error from stress hyperglycemia in most pets. Unless your pet is cool as a cucumber in a vet clinic, the risk of stress hyperglycemia is high. Additionally, having a home glucose meter yields information at that moment in time that can affect our actions even in the middle of the night rather than waiting until you can get your pet to the vet. If your pet is acting goofy, you could check to see if the blood glucose is low. I can’t imagine having a diabetic pet withou Continue reading