Updated: Apr 9, 2020
The best thing that you can do for your diabetic dog or cat is get a FreeStyle Libre glucose reading sensor. This is a sensor that will attach to your pet and take continuous glucose readings from the interstitial space which directly correlates with capillary blood glucose readings. Attaching this device with or without the help of your veterinary (you will need a prescription from your veterinarian to get at a human pharmacy) will allow you to save money and time so that you do not have to bring your pet in to the veterinarian for blood glucose curves. The information this delivers will also be more accurate than a blood glucose curve in a veterinary office because stress can elevate blood glucose levels, and many pets stress at the veterinary office. This device is used OFF LABEL on pets (it was not designed for dogs and cats, however, the readings have the same accuracy as the AlphaTrak which is a blood glucose monitor, that you should also have in conjunction with the FreeStyle in case your sensor stops working at a critical moment). Please visit the TWO links below to know more. Using this blood glucose system will save you money as a Blood Glucose Curve can cost up to $150 for one day stay in an office and buying BOTH the AlphaTrak and the Freestyle is less than $150 for two weeks of regular use. Many time Blood Glucose Curves need to be repeated in the office as well.
Link One: This is what it is:
Link Two: This is how you put one on your pet:
This is what you will need to get one at a local pharmacy:
You'll need a prescription that looks like this:
Rx: FreeStyle Libre 14 day glucose monitoring system sensor #1 Use as directed.
IF YOU HAVE A SMART PHONE (Android or IOS) You will download the FreeStyle Libre Link App, as directed to do in the instructions of the device.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SMART PHONE You will need to also get a prescription for a FreeStyle Libre Reader that will look like this:
Rx: FreeStyle Libre 14 day glucose monitoring system reader #1 Use as directed.
SO THAT YOU PAY LESS for your FreeStyle Libre monitor make sure you use a GoodRx Coupon. Do this by using this site:
But don't forget that AT TIMES - sometimes at critical times, your FreeStyle sensor may not work OR you may need to verify the readings from time to time. Therefore you will also need this device (No prescription required):
You will use this device to verify any readings that seem off, or you will use this to get blood glucose readings if the FreeStyle Libre sensor stops working. This is a traditional prick system (you prick the bottom of the ear and use that capillary blood to measure a BG reading). Some pets may be more amenable to being pricked than others, so make sure that you research this and watch YouTube videos to make sure this is something that you can do.
Here's a YouTube video on the AlphaTrak:
There's many videos on YouTube so watch as many as you need to feel comfortable.
It's that easy!!!
Tips and Tricks:
#1 You can share your blood glucose readings with whomever you want that has a smartphone: They will have to download the Librelink up App.
#2 If you are planning on applying this device without the help of your veterinary, who likely has access to tissue glue, you may want to consider getting these patches to help keep the sensor on at all times:
Veterinary colleague approved - This can go over the sensor to help protect it from any meddling and you'll have plenty of extra in case you want to replace it once the edges are worn.
#3 The sensor is $80 so you NEED to prevent your pet from chewing or scratching (with a back leg) the device off. Here are a few options:
Get a soft cone and make sure it fits appropriately so that your pet cannot reach the reader with their mouth. This should be used in conjunction with a piece of clothing that your pet will wear to cover the device.
You can also get a hard cone if your pet is a Houdini that will find it's way around a soft cone or find a way to flip the cone backwards.
If your pet does not like cones or goes crazy with a cone, you can always try one of these which stops your pet from being able to use their neck to crank around and reach their back. I would have both types of cones on hand, just in case one works and the other does not. Take lots of pictures with this one, as your pet will look like a little tourist with a neck pillow.
This can be used for cats and there are other surgical recovery suits that can be used for dogs. Your smartphone can read the device thru the cloth so that you should not have to remove this every time you want a reading. To keep the suit clean, you can use it however you need, i.e. you may not need to put both legs thru the leg holes and it will still serve the purpose of blocking your pet from scratching off the device.
This may also work for cats if you have a hard time fitting your cat for a surgical recover suit. I am unsure whether or not you will have to take this off for each reading or if the sensor will work with this thicker material.
Surely by now, you understand the point. Cover your FreeStyle Libre Sensor up for better protection from scratching or chewing. You can use a Onsie from Wal-Mart and tailor it to your pet, you can use your old clothing and tailor that. But you do need to cover the sensor or you may find that your pet has removed it and there are no refunds. Better safe than sorry.
KNOW THIS!!!! And know it well. There are TWO types of Insulin and there are TWO types of insulin syringes! Tell all your friends so that you may know it better!
If your insulin bottle itself says U-100 on it, you will need to use U-100 syringes.
Examples of insulin that is CURRENTLY U-100 (This changes) - Novolin & Basaglar
If your insulin bottle itself says U-40 on it, you will need to use U-40 syringes.
Examples of insulin that is CURRENTLY U-40 (This changes) - Prozinc & Vetsulin
The Difference is LIFE AND DEATH for your pet. If you use a U-40 syringe for a U-100 insulin your pet will get overdosed on insulin and could die. Sadly this happens ALL THE TIME. Please don't let it happen to you!
U-40 Insulin Syringes:
Make sure you choose the option of syringes "With 1/2 Unit Markings" so that you may better fine tune your insulin dose if necessary.
U-100 Insulin Syringes:
For diabetic pets on U-100 insulin ONLY. Such as Basaglar (insulin glargine), this syringe will measure up to the 0.5 unit, making it extremely precise when dosing the insulin. Not many U-100 syringes will dose to the 0.5 unit and eyeballing it isn't accurate when dealing with half units and finicky insulin needs.
Diet Recommendations and why: Low Carb
Nutraceuticals that may help with glucose control:
Always check with your veterinarian to make sure you are on track!