Glucometer: Human vs Pet

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by hmclaughlin1973, Oct 18, 2017.

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  1. hmclaughlin1973

    hmclaughlin1973 Member

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    Oct 3, 2017
    I saw our new vet today (same practice new doctor) and LOVED LOVED LOVED her! She spent so much time and was so helpful, informative and supportive (of homemade food and testing at home, etc). The only thing I am hesitant about and would like some weigh in on is that she is really urging me to get a Pet Glucometer vs a Human Glucometer. PJ had a glucose curve yesterday and they simultaneously test with mine and theirs to have a comparison. The point spread was literally 100-103 difference at each test. Now, in my mind, I can just do the math and know there is a 100 point difference. However, if my human meter reads 389 and their pet one reads 491, how does that work for what his out of range looks like? Meaning: if normal should be 80-120 is he ACTUALLY 129 points over max or 231 points over max (since the larger number is calibrated for feline test)? I would love some weigh in from those who use pet meters and those who use human and those who have the comparison of both! Thanks, everyone!
     
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    There is really no way to convert a pet meter BG value to a human meter value.
    The specs for both pet and human meters is +/- 20%.
    Using a 100 point difference might be a OK for one BG value but as the BG value decreases the 100 point difference would be too great.
    Because of the difference in glucose distribution in the different blood constituents,

    The glucose is in both the serum and red-blood cells (RBC) themselves. However, the distribution of glucose is different between humans and cats (and dog too)1
    In Humans 58% is in plasma/serum and 42% in RBCs
    In cats 93% is in plasma/serum and 7% in RBCs

    a % difference would be more appropriate. However, because of the +/- 20% accuracy there is realyy no good conversion method
     
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  3. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    I get two completely different opinions from vets in the same room. The key (for now at least) is getting consistent readings from a name brand meter with a good battery (when in doubt) and strips you know are good. Everything Larry said is both dead-on accurate and frustrating.
     
  4. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

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    May 9, 2017
    I think the answer that will help you decide this delima, is how much involvement in testing glucose is your vet going to be?
    How often are you visiting?
    Are they doing just once a visit tests or are they also doing curves?
    Does your vet also recommend a fructosamine test each visit?

    For Fabby- we only go to the vet for an issue outside diabetes. We're not regulated with her diabetes yet, rather ups and downs so far. But I understand her readings on my human meter, and use the spreadsheet. When we visit the vet for outside issues the vet takes a look at the spreadsheet, listens to my current plan/path with Fabby and makes suggestions if my plan doesn't work out. But mostly she is thrilled with my diligence in testing at home.

    With your vet pushing a pet meter on you, this really sounds like a vet problem not yours or your cat's problem. The point of the spreadsheet is not to take a look at one number for it's exactness, but to find trends, and see what your cat responds best to (food/timing/insulin/etc). If your vet is not looking through your spreadsheet and able to understand it and interpret it, personally, I would question the vet's competence in managing our care. There are vet's that rarely get a diabetic cat in for treatment, which means their experience with treating diabetic cats is limited. I'm not paying the vet bill to be someone's "experience". I pay the bill for expertise.

    There may also be the factor that the vet wants you to buy the new expensive meter from them and the strips. While the meter isn't a terrible cost when it comes to all of this, the strips will eat away at you. And if you are getting pet strips from the vet you are paying a premium and they are making a repeat customer for life. My diagnosing vet only saw dollar signs, so I'm wary about this, because it does happen.

    So back to the questions...

    How often are you visiting:
    If you are at your vet quite often, it may get uncomfortable challenging your vet on their recommendations. If you're not there often, then you won't have this problem, stick with your ReliOn and your spreadsheet and you'll do just fine watching trends.

    Are they doing just once a visit tests or are they also doing curves?
    Once a visit tests at the vet are almost always useless. Your cat's glucose is already high due to the stress of the carrier/car/vet visit, which means you can't trust this number whether it's on a pet meter or a human one. If you're doing curves at home, there is no reason to pay your vet to do them, the numbers will all be higher and again, it's looking for trends. You'll get more accurate numbers at home, leading to better treatment.
    If you are leaving the curves up to the vet, and treatment is only going to be based off these numbers then the only reason you need to test at home for is in case of a problem (I don't recommend this route) like hypo. Because if you're not testing to enhance your cat's treatment then it is specifically to ensure you don't have a hypo event.

    Does your vet also recommend a fructosamine test each visit?
    This is a 60-80 dollar (U.S.) test (which your vet might charge you a hundred or more for) and it will spit back a number. That number is roughly the average blood glucose your cat is at over a time period of 2-3 weeks. As you can see, it's not very accurate. So these too are useless. I asked this question because vet's like to do them. It makes them feel better I think (the vet, not the cat). You could barter with your vet and say, "I'm going to stick with the human meter for now, and on our next visit we can run a glucosamine test to see if my spreadsheet full of numbers tells you the same info that the test does. If there is a discrepancy, I will then move over to the pet meter." This will prove to your vet that a human meter is at least as accurate as their glucosamine test.

    The reason we use human meters instead of pet specific ones is cost. The difference in the meter purchase isn't really a big deal when it comes to your pet's health... it's the strips. I use 4 strips a day (provided I NEVER mess one up) which means I require a minimum of 120 a month. I use the ReliOn Confirm, so it costs about $45 to get through the month just in strips. If I used a pet meter, it would cost me over $120 a month - just to test her. That doesn't include any treatment supplies. So, if cost isn't an issue and you don't want to challenge your vet, get the pet meter. But otherwise a human meter does the job just fine. (And only use the glucosamine statement if you don't outright feel comfortable telling your vet no. If you feel find telling your vet if you decide to stick with the human meter, then the glucosamine challenge is just more wasted money.)
     
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  5. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Except for the first year neither Nigel or Noah have ever been in a vet's office for a diabetes related matter. Once we demonstrated our capabilities and devotion to our vet that was it! Last week the new partner gave me a long stare because he did not know we had five other cats, never mind a diabetic cat. And we've never had a HYPO episode here because maybe someone is watching over us. The spreadsheet is a guideline; numbers don't lie but they don't tell the whole story. Vets are supposed to sell knowledge and some compassion, not "things".
    Hi Alpha!!!
     
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  6. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

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    May 9, 2017
    I had to learn the long way around that my personal medical doctors that also sell things are not where I need to be either. I learned that lesson before Fabby, and for some reason I had to learn it again with cat diabetes...

    Hi Dickson! I'll go head over to the non-cat posting to chat more. Missed seeing you!
     
  7. hmclaughlin1973

    hmclaughlin1973 Member

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    Oct 3, 2017
    Thank you for all the feedback and information. We are brand new diagnosed and this was his first visit back since diagnosis. She will be as involved as I need her to be until we get him stable. She wasn't "pushing" it on me, she was just suggesting it may be a better option since we were opting to test at home. She was fantastic and super supportive of everything we are doing, but just thought to have a similar comparison while we are figuring this out and for times we may have to bring him in for any emergency that it may be a good investment.
     
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  8. AlphaCat

    AlphaCat Member

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    May 9, 2017
    I'm really glad that your experience has been positive. Then ignore most of that and just refer to the price difference part. ;) lol.
    Welcome to the club (kazoo noise)!!!
    Sorry about drawing the short straw... but the people here are quite amazing, and with home testing you've got PJ on the right track no matter which meter you go with!
     
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  9. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    There is a big difference in numbers at high ranges and a small difference in numbers at the lower end. So a 50 on a human meter might be a 70 on a pet meter, but a 350 on a human meter might be a 450-500 on a pet meter. Either way you will know of you are too high or low. I use a pet meter because I like having the same numbers as my vet, but it is expensive.
     
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  10. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    That's a huge bonus having a supportive vet.
     
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  11. Squeakycats

    Squeakycats Member

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    Mar 22, 2017
    I have both a pet meter (bought before I knew the human ones were an option) and a human one. If I were in your situation, I'd probably mostly use the human one, but collect a second set of data once a week or so with the pet one. And then you could use the pet one in emergencies as well. I had to use mine once when I ran out of strips for the human meter, just to check whether he was going too low--I was glad I had it on hand. (As folks are saying, the big cost of using a pet meter is the strips; if you're not going through them like crazy, getting the meter and one set of strips for occasional use shouldn't be horrifyingly expensive.)
     
  12. rawia

    rawia Member

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    Aug 24, 2017
    I also have them both, change recently to human meter but sometimes at low numbers or very high i do double check with pet meter.
     
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