Alpha Trak2 - frustrated

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Sean & Rufus, Jan 21, 2018.

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  1. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2018
    Hi all-

    Sorry for asking and posting so many questions lately. Trying to get a feel for all of this. My newest frustration is my Alpha Trak2. I just got it last week. Done numerous tests. Yesterday morning accidentally had a fur shot. Have no idea how because I'm so careful. Anyways, Rufus' bg was 607. I was kind of worried because yes that's high. Last night around 5 I did another test. 658. Out of curiosity I called the emegency vet about the numbers and they were freaked out and told me to come in. I get there, after his stress in the car (which may or may not raise bg), and they get him at 533. Ugh. By no means is 533 great or significatnly better, but wow waht a difference. I read somewhere there is a 20% allowed variance. That is HUGE! Just now I do an other test. 486. Ugh. Seconds later I try another test strip. 388. WTF?!? Now I've wasted another dollar for that.

    So anyways, I'll give Alpha Trak a call tomorrow, but they'll probably say that it's acceptable. My concern is when he gets into normal levels (please for the love of God soon), that how can I trust that his numbers are "correct"?

    Any advice or is it is what is is? Are human devices more accurate?
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Maybe this chart will help clarify the differences you are getting in numbers. 4E3FF4F2-35A3-4920-B375-FB54594EF24A.jpeg
     
  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    There is much less wiggle room at lower numbers as you can see.
     
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  4. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Have you confirmed that the code on the meter is the same as the cat code on your current vial of strips? Always worth double checking if you think the numbers are wonky. It may also be worth doing a test with the control solution to make sure the meter is reading within the range it should. It is important to have full drop of fresh blood each time you test and to make sure hands and the strip are clean and completely dry. Not saying you are not doing these things, just pointing out the things the manufacturer says can cause 'bad' results. Exposure to extreme heat or cold can also damage strips.

    AlphaTrak is the most accurate meter you can get for a cat/dog. The documentation that comes with their strips says the average coefficient of variation for a cat is 5.3%. I use one and have found it to be very consistent in cases where I got a number that was well outside of what I expected so I did another test to confirm it.
     
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  5. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2018
    Hi, yes I set it up with the control solution and the code is correct. Everything else you listed I am doing too. I guess I'll just see what they say and accept the fact of variations. Thanks
     
  6. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    Just to throw another variable into the mix....not all cats respond to stress by increasing numbers!!

    Some actually go down in response to stress! China got some of her best numbers after the drive to the vet or in a hotel room she'd never been in when my mom was having heart surgery.
     
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  7. Christie & Maverick

    Christie & Maverick Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2017
    So, just to clarify, the control solution shows a range of numbers that are allowable, but it doesn't necessarily correlate to the "code" on the test strips. I've had AT2 bottles with 37, 38, 8, and 93. When you first turn your meter on, make sure the number that is shown is the same as the number on the bottle of strips you are using.
     
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  8. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2018
    That is interesting! Never heard that before!
     
  9. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    When I turn on the machine it says 22. The bottle says 22 too. I have new strips and the code is 22. Do I need to use the control solution again?
     
  10. Christie & Maverick

    Christie & Maverick Well-Known Member

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    Nope, sounds like you are good :), hang in there, I know there is a lot to process. And keep asking questions if you need help, everyone here tries to help where they can ;).
     
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  11. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    They say you're supposed to check with the control solution every time you open a new bottle, but I don't think it's necessary unless you're getting wonky numbers all the sudden
     
  12. Christie & Maverick

    Christie & Maverick Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's true, I've had a string of bottles with 37 on them, so I only checked when I thought something might be weird with the reading. It was never the meter :rolleyes:.
     
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  13. Juliet

    Juliet Guest

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    Sep 8, 2017
    Could you pop into Silver’s condo on the Lantus forum and see the variance I got today? Concerned.
     
  14. JL and Chip

    JL and Chip Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Make sure you are getting plenty of blood on the strip. Sometimes I'll see wonky numbers if there's too little blood but there's just enough that it doesn't throw an error.

    I too had a cat who gave me lower numbers after traveling to the vet or getting a bath. I always had to stop and check midway of it was a long trip just to make sure he wasn't going unexpectedly low.

    Finally, you might think about getting another meter as a backup. I used a human meter for day-to-day testing but had an AlphaTrak I'd pull out for a "second opinion" so to speak. You have to keep in mind that human meters and ATs have different "normal" ranges (which you have to wrap your head around beforehand or it'll stress you out even more) ... but if you can focus on the general results and not on the exact numbers, it might give you a feel for what's going on and whether you might be having meter issues. Plus, those meter batteries last forever but have a way of going out at the worst time, making a backup meter very handy. I'd occasionally do side-by-side tests of my human meter and AT just to have the data, so I had a feel for what the variation was between them. And as others have said, always remember that +/- 20 percent is a much bigger difference at high numbers than at low numbers.
     
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  15. JL and Chip

    JL and Chip Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    By the way, that one unit of "R" that they administered at the ER (on top of 4u Lantus) is a pretty whopping dose. Has he ever had R before?

    I'm not following your case so am not sure where you're at in the process... or what input you've already received ... but has anyone mentioned testing for IAA or acromegaly at some point? I'm not sure you're there yet, but if you continue working methodically up the dosing scale and the numbers stay high, you might want to consider it. That he handled an entire unit of R (which would crash many cats), is a red flag to me.
     
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  16. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2018
    I think the best number he had was with a teeny amount of sample blood. Usually he bleeds pretty good. It's just really frustrating to take 2 side by side tests and be that big of difference. I guess it really doens't matter at this point because either way the numbers are good. My brain just doesn't like the huge difference :)
     
  17. Sean & Rufus

    Sean & Rufus Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2018
    No, he's never had regular insulin before. The ER vet said she wanted to me to test at +2 and +4 and wanted to see a 350 both times. Well the first was close, the second was higher. I called them back and spoke with the receptionist who in turn spoke with her. She said she was absolutley happy with the numbers, and I'm like 437 isn't close to 350. Ugh. Yes, someone mentioned in my other thread about the fur shot to get him checked for insulin resistance. The ER vet thinks I need to see a specialist because of underlying issues, my regular vet thinks once we get to 7 u then we might change course. She then suggested having him stay in a hospital to get him regulated and could take a day or 3 or 5. Again ugh. I think it might be time to see a specialist. I'm preety sure he has dental issues, but his rehgular vet and a dentist specialist don't see anything, but say we can't do anythin g until his numbers are better. It's a real catch 22.
     
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