Freestyle Lite vs. Alpha Trak 2 strips

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by AshS, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. AshS

    AshS New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    I heard that Freestyle Lite strips can be used in the Alpha Trak 2 meter. Also, that no code was needed for freestyle. I just tested the FS strips all to find out that I do need a code and that my AT meter won't let me select the code needed (it skips the # for some reason). Has anyone experienced this problem?

    So I tested the FS strips using the code for the AT strips. AT was 5.4 and FS was 6.4. A second time AT was 4.8 and FS 5.2. Are the FS readings reliable enough or should I stop using them? Trying to save money on strips but don't want to compromise my kitty's health.

    Can anyone suggest where I can buy affordable Alpha Trak 2 strips in Canada or alternatively a good pet meter with inexpensive strips? I'm new to all this. Thanks
     
  2. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2015
    I would suggest getting a human meter, unless there is a reason you specifically need to have a pet meter. Most of our protocols here are geared to using human meters. The meters and strips are much less expensive and the strips are much more readily-available!
     
  3. Pati

    Pati Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2016
    Set your Alphatrak meter on the code for the Alphatrak strips and leave it there. The code on the Freestyle Lite strips is for humans. (Which is why your Alphatrak skips over that code.) My Alphatrak is set on code 38. My Freestyle Lite strips are code 16. Ignore the 16 and use the 38.

    Any strip will vary as you see with the two tests of your Alphatrak or your two with the Freestyle Lite. (Same with a human meter.) Both are reliable enough. It is trends you are looking for. The Alphatrak strips are very expensive as you have found out and are just not sustainable for most of us for testing as much as we do.
     
  4. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Hello and welcome to FDMB from a fellow Canadian and one who has used both a pet and human meter. So glad to know you are planning to home test your extra sweet kitty as that will keep kitty safe and make it much easier for you to get your kitty regulated.

    I assume you got the AT2 meter at the suggestion of your vet. The AT2 meter is designed to provide you with readings that approximate animal lab values and if that's what your vet is accustomed to using, that's what they will recommend. Some vets don't even know you can use a human meter for a cat. While there are other pet meters out there, the strips for most of them are still more expensive than those for human meters and can only be obtained either online, through your vet (additional costs usually) or through specialty pharmacies. I use to get my AT2 strips at a pet pharmacy but the price just increased by about $13 per vial recently so I have now switched to a human meter myself. Most folks here use a human meter and all the documentation reference numbers on this site are based on use of a human glucometer.

    While I am not advocating using the FS strips in the AT2 meter, they can be used and there are a number of members on this board doing so.

    Having thoroughly investigated the FS vs. AT strips (checking patents, manufacturing location, assay used in the strips, calling both human and animal divisions of Abbott etc.) I am 99.9% sure the FS strips and AT strips are identical in their physical composition. The AT strips however have been batch tested to determine what code on the AT meter will produce a reading closest to animal lab values. Without the AT code for each vial of FS strips, your results will not be as accurate as those using AT strips with the meter set to the appropriate code. My own cross checking elicited results within 10% of the AT strips. Others have indicated their results were within 5 to 8%. The difference may depend on how high or low the reading being compared is as well as the AT2 code set on the meter.

    If you choose to do use FS strips, it is imperative that you have your AT meter set on one of the cat codes (known codes are 07,08, 37, 38, 92 and 93) to get a reasonably accurate result. The code on the FS strip vial is for use only with older versions of the FS human meters.

    It is also imperative that you keep some AT strips on hand to do baseline checks of your results with the same drop of blood, each time you open a new vial of FS strips or alternately, use AT meter control solution to ensure the strips are readings within the expected range. Also double check any unexpected, especially low FS strip readings using an AT strip.

    All meters have an allowed variance in their results of up to +/- 20% and using the FS strips in the AT meter adds another variance into the picture so your results, while in the ballpark, may not be as accurate as is possible.
     
    Kris & Teasel likes this.
  5. Marlena

    Marlena Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2015
    I started using FF lite test strips recently due to cost and I'm quite happy with results. I have done many comparison before switching and the numbers were pretty close.
     
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Freestyle Lite strips can be had at 20% off and no tax at Shoppers Drug Mart on Seniors' Day. If you're not in that demographic you could ask an older friend or relative to buy them for you. We can't get the Walmart meter and it's cheaper test strips here in Canada.

    FYI - I use FS strips in my AT meter and leave my meter set at the cat code on my current vial of AT strips. I so same drop comparisons when I open a new vial, either AT or FS. They always give quite close readings.
     
  7. AshS

    AshS New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    Thanks guys for all your help. I will keep my Alpha Trak 2 meter on cat code 38 to use for both strips. I think I'll use AT strips for curves and FS strips for spot checks for now.

    I was given the Alpha Trak 2 meter from the shelter where I adopted my cat and my vet prefers that I use a pet meter due to falsely low readings from a lot of human meters. However, I will consider getting a human meter in the future when I've used up the FS strips that I bought.

    Wondering if anyone can recommend a good human meter that I can purchase in Canada. I don't mind buying strips online as long as it's a Canadian website/currency.
     
  8. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    I got the Freestyle Lite meter as my backup. That way I always had strips I could use in both meters. While the FS Lite meter is a bit smaller it's otherwise the same as the AT2 but with a light at the strip end for testing in the dark I guess. Most meter strips are end loading and I find the side loading strips much easier to use but that's just personal preference. If you decide to go with the FS Lite or any other meter for that matter, check the websites because sometimes you can get the meter free just by buying the strips. The important thing is to get a meter that requires a very small blood sample.
     
  9. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Your plan to do curves for your vet with the AT2 will work fine but be aware of is that there is no conversion formula for AT2 meter to human meter readings or vice versa.

    It's not that the human meter gives falsely low readings. Its that it is calibrated to read human blood which has a different composition than cat blood and for that reason it will read lower than a pet meter. In low range or normal numbers the difference in readings is relatively small but as BG gets higher the difference between the readings gets progressively larger. A high reading is high no matter which meter you are using. It's only at low readings when you need to be aware of the difference and reference numbers here have that information so you can safely use a human meter without endangering your cat.
     
  10. AshS

    AshS New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2017
    I was attracted to Freestyle Lite because the strips can be used with the Alphatrak 2 meter and because of how little blood is needed, however the strips are still quite expensive. Online and Shoppers Drug Mart sells for $89.99 (don't really want to rely on Seniors day for discounts).

    Was hoping for suggestions on other human monitors with strips that are more affordable and don't require a lot of blood.
     
  11. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Walmart is cheaper for FS strips.... about $73 for 100 the last time I picked them up. The only meter that I know of with cheaper strips in Canada is HERE. Meter and strips are only available online but it takes a bigger bead of blood for testing although how much bigger I am not sure. I know a few people have used it here and someone is selling one in the Supply cupboard right now.
     
  12. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Where do you live in Canada? I live 1/2 hour from the border and got a post box in the US. Then I ordered cheaper strips on line to be delivered to the post box. The most I got from the border guards was a serious eye roll when I explained that I was bringing across diabetic tests strips for my cat. :p

    Accucheck Aviva and Bayer Next are popular meters I have seen used here. You can get good strip prices on eBay. My vet used the Onetouch meter in her office and really liked how close it was to the lab values. At first she just told me to buy the meter that needed the smallest blood drop. Several months later she asked if I wanted to buy the AT. No sale, she didn't even use it herself. :p
     
  13. ELLIOTT & Fran Munschauer

    ELLIOTT & Fran Munschauer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    I'm sorry if the following account is confusing but I have tried testing in every manner EXCEPT having "TWO" A.T monitors and testing the same blood gtt with the AT strips and both AT and FS strips. First, I "thought" I had issues with AlphaTrak and Freestyle Lite strips back before Elliott went into remission. However, because I now have a diabetic DOG and have changed from NPH to a trial of Lantus, which is not often recommended, I have done a lot more research for safety reasons to assure accurate BG results (dealing with Zoetis and consulting BG monitoring techs)..but not about the different strips..about the different "monitor"results if you repeat the BG test (with either strips) The Zoetis tech said, "Do not ever repeat a test." WHAT???? I am aware that different results are common but is it the "machine" or the strips if testing during the same time period ? I have ordered a second AlphaTrak2 monitor to repeat the SAME test done on my own AlphaTrak2 monitor. If anyone else has already done this, I'd like to know..If not I will let all know my results..I miss all of you..You all were so good to Elliott..He's fine thanks to FDMB members...Dog people are nice helpful but not like all of you "cat people"..
     
  14. donnalea

    donnalea Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    There can be as much as 20% difference in the results in any of the meters, even if you use the same meter,same type of strip using the same drop of blood. I do repeat a test if I get a number that is different than I expected. Sometime you might get a wonkey strip, or not enough blood. It does not hurt to recheck.
     
  15. LuanneP

    LuanneP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    I was using the AT2 but it was way too costly to buy the strips so for a short time I used the FSLite strips in the AT2 but when I decided to follow the Tight Regulation protocol the numbers that are referenced in the guidelines are based on using a human meter so I switched to the FSLite meter. A couple members also mentioned to me that it was ok to use the FSLite strips in the AT2 at one time but now it's not because they are no longer the same company (or something like that). I don't remember who it was now but it was more than 1 member, hopefully one of them will see your post & give you their thoughts as well. I buy my FSLite strips from Walmart, they're cheaper than Shoppers by about $10 or so and I also got a free FSLite meter from Walmart. When you buy the strips you just have to ask for the free meter. I really like the FSLite meter, takes just a wee drop of blood & is very quick to give a reading.
     
  16. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Hey, Luanne, I've never checked the price of FS Lite strips at Walmart. I'm an old f--t so I buy my FS strips at Shoppers on Seniors' Day and get 20% off plus accumulate points. Every so often I cash in points to get the strips almost free. I agree that the FS meter is very easy to use and the strips register with even a very tiny blood drop. :)
     
    Critter Mom and LuanneP like this.
  17. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Luanne

    I’ve used an AT2 but I would never use human strips (no matter how identical I thought they might be) in a pet meter. The FSL strips and the AT2/strips are no longer made by the same company. I see many members doing this and if they want to risk that “one” test that there is a big difference, then it’s up to them but Gracie’s health and well being was not worth it to me.

    I always ask people, if the tables were flipped and you were diabetic and the pet strips were cheaper than identical looking human strips were for your human meter, would you test your blood with a test strip made for pets?

    I also had a conversation with representatives from Arkray and ReliOn. Arkray makes both meters and strips but they told me they should not be interchanged even between the meters that look alike. Both human meters.

    That’s just my opinion. I bought ReliOn Micro meters and primarily used those. I did comparison tests between the human meter and my AT2 just so members could see why you shouldn’t compare them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  18. ELLIOTT & Fran Munschauer

    ELLIOTT & Fran Munschauer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Thank you...Of course... However, if I did not make it clear, I want to perform original test on #1 and if repeat needed( due to "wonkiness? or whatever) I will use #2 AT monitor. I was asking if anyone has used 2 AT monitors for same blood gtt with AT strips..Freestyle lite..or both?
     
  19. ELLIOTT & Fran Munschauer

    ELLIOTT & Fran Munschauer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2016
    Finally, I have 4 different brand monitors and would never use human one's unless I was desperate and suddenly out of AT2 = no comparison in results= dangerous IMHO. However, when taking my AT2 to DVM office (to check accuracy), the tech used her meter while I used mine on the same gtt and got virtually exact results...even the Freestyle lite gave the same results when monitors used ONLY ONCE. I have never obtained the same or similar results if repeating a BG test on the same AT2 monitor...This started me thinking about BP cuffs (manual and electronic) that are known to read higher if BP taken within a minute of last....Have a great day!!
     

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