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Need help choosing a new meter

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by A5HLEY, Feb 13, 2011.

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  1. A5HLEY

    A5HLEY New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    I'm Ashley, and I'm new to the forum. My 9 year old cat, Buzz, was diagnosed with diabetes in December 2009, and was on insulin for about two months, after which my vet and I agreed that his glucose levels were low enough that we could continue with a wet, low carb diet (Purina DM) and I stopped giving the insulin. So far, everything has been going quite well (despite the fact that, though he loves his wet food, he pines for my dog's dry food like it's crack cocaine, resulting in strictly monitored food schedules).

    Anyway, I still check his BG every now and then at random, and I'm really starting to hate the meter that I have. My vet suggested the iPet when Buzz was initially diagnosed, which was rather expensive, but I purchased it anyway. My first one gave me nothing but problems, so she took that one back and gave me another. It's still a piece of junk though...sometimes I'll check his BG and it'll say 24, when obviously that can't be right, so I'll do a control test, get it in the correct range, try again, and get something normal, like an 94 or 106. Additionally, replacement sticks etc are not easily accessible, and it has to be coded.

    So, I want to try a different meter. I had his glucose tested the other day when he went to the vet to have his teeth cleaned, and his fasting BG was 124, so I was extremely happy about that. That being said, since he is regulated and I only have to test him every now and then, I really don't want to shell out hundreds for the fancy pet meters. Based on some Internet research that I've done, lots of people seem to use the human meters for their cats. Regardless of what I buy, I plan to compare it with my vets numbers.

    The main three that I've seen repeatedly mentioned are the Accucheck Aviva, the Bayer contour, and the Relion. Do you guys have experience with these? Which do you suggest? I noticed that the boxes on both the Bayer and Relion said no coding, which I'd really prefer. I've never had a non-coded before though, so does that mean I can just take it out of the package, take a sample, and get a reading?

    I would appreciate any input that you guys have regarding the above mentioned meters, or any others that you've had success with. Thanks in advance for your help! Buzz thanks you too...he's really tired of having to be pricked multiple times due to bad readings. :)
     
  2. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    the relion is a nice meter. either the confirm or the micro. uses very small amt blood and strips are cheap. yes. take strip out of package, put in meter and sip the blood. very fast.
    I have also used the other 2 and they are very nice too but stips are more expensive unless you want to shop on e-bay and bid. the both use small amt blood and sip rather quickly.
    can only get strips for relion at walmart so that is easy
     
  3. A5HLEY

    A5HLEY New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, I noticed a definite difference in the price of the Relion, which certainly made it appealing. I just wanted to make sure that the cheap price didn't = poor quality. I'm glad to hear that isn't the case! :) I also like that I can buy their strips in smaller quantities, since I don't have to test him daily (or even weekly). With the iPet, I had to order them 2 vials of 25 at a time, and I always had to throw some away because I couldn't use them all in three months. So, one vote for the Relion! :)
     
  4. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    there are quite a few here that use the relion and like it. good choice since you will not need a large amount of strips and the easy access to strips
    also regarding food. there are better /cheaper choices on low carb wet foods. lol, not that you asked
    http://binkyspage.tripod.com/canfood.html anything 10% carbs or less. I am on a strict budget and my guys get the special kitty from walmart. supper supper,turkey and giblets and mixed grill
    read both new and old lists
     
  5. squeem3

    squeem3 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I love the Aviva :thumbup Very easy to use, takes a teeny drop of blood, and never got any error messages. It's a cat-friendy meter :smile: The test strips are pricey, though, so shop around for good deals. I always bought the "mail order" Aviva test strips from HealthWarehouse.com Other than the labelling on the box, there is no difference between "mail order" test strips or "retail" test strips or "professional" test strips. Mail order ones cost less, too.
     
  6. Emmy & Dude

    Emmy & Dude Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I've used the ReliOn for years now - occasionally, I'll get a reading that doesn't seem right and will re-check and get a different number - usually depending on whether or not a larger than usual bit of blood was on the test strip. My husband is on oral meds for his blood sugar and he uses the ReliOn also. We have one for Dude - one for DH and an extra one - just because.

    The test strips are much less expensive than most others (I've found) - you do have to code each package of test strips. I have the ReliOn Ultra because that's what I had long before the newer ReliOn micro came out. It's a smaller meter and apparently uses even less blood.

    Congrats on being able to go off the insulin and getting your kitty diet controlled. That's fantastic - keep up the good work.

    Emmy & Dude (& Mittsi too)
     
  7. A5HLEY

    A5HLEY New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Thanks so much for your input... I'm so glad to know that, regardless of the meter that I choose, I don't have to spend $200 on a "feline" meter.

    I have one other question, after looking at the carb counts in the Binky's foodlist page as suggested by Dian. I'm currently feeding Buzz the Purina DM, which has around 8.5 %kcal from carbs. I switched my other cat Sophie's food today after looking at that chart. She hasn't had any symptoms of diabetes or anything, but after dealing with Buzz I wanted to switch her to a wet food as a preventative. Let me tell you, that list made me realize that even all wet foods aren't NEARLY created equal. She was on the Science Diet Gourmet Dinner, which I found out has around 26 carbs (!!!!). I switched her over to the Friskie's Chicken and Tuna, which has only six. She is a picky eater, but she scarfed it down without a second thought.

    That being said, I am spending a fortune on the Purina DM. I pay my vet around $32+ for a case, which lasts me less than a month. The Friskie's is only 50 cents a can at Walmart, and it has less carbs than the Purina! BUT, I have read that changing their food can cause a relapse with the diabetes. Is there a chance that Buzz could relapse if I switch his food, even if it is to something with less carbs? I would like to feed him something better for less money (I'm so excited that it is actually possible to buy something better for less... how often does that happen in the real world?!) but I will certainly continue to pay for exorbitantly priced food if it means keeping him away from the insulin.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. Gina & Yittle (GA)

    Gina & Yittle (GA) Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    We loved our Relion Micro meter the year we used it, before we lost Yittle to cancer.

    While he was diabetic, we fed him up to 4 brands a week, and dozens of flavors - everything from 0% carbs up to 10% depending on where his blood sugar was that day. With the Vetsulin we'd feed the curve to keep him from dropping so far so fast (and causing him to rebound), and with Lantus we often skirted hypo while he was going through the dose decreases before he went into full diet-controlled remission.

    Despite feeding him Friskies, 9-Lives, Fancy Feast and Whiskas foods, in varying flavors - it never took him out of remission or had a negative impact on his health. We aimed for mostly 4-7% carbs for most meals, although since ate anywhere from 6-8x a day when in remission and 10-12x a day while unregulated we found we could use the range of carbs to keep him on a more even keel. Then again he was a 20lb cat before diagnosis, lost weight till he was a skeletal 13lbs and then went back up to vet-declared perfect 15lbs. He was part Main Coon we think - had a huge frame and 15lbs was not fat for him at all. He prefered lots of small meals - we'd serve him about 1.25 - 1.5 oz per meal and he'd eat most of it if not all. If we'd been feeding him larger meals I suppose he'd have reacted more to higher carbs but with the small meals he didn't very much.
     
  9. judy and squamee(GA)

    judy and squamee(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    I loved the Freestyle Freedom Lite meter. Took the tiniest amount of blood, beeped to tell you when it got enough blood and kept a history of past tests (great when I forgot to write down the number). I can't imagine why switching foods should make diabetes worse, unless you went to higher carbs or if the cat stopped eating.
     
  10. Helen & Snickers

    Helen & Snickers Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I've used the ReliOn, TruTest and Accuchek Aviva, but I keep going back to the Aviva despite the pricier strips. I check on eBay for good deals.
     
  11. Donna & Buddha

    Donna & Buddha Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    I'm a fan of the Contour. I'm using a Contour TS now because I go through a lot of strips and I can get them cheap on Ebay.

    I think I remember a post from Lori who puts together and sends out Newbie Kits that she had lots of Contours to give away. That was a loooonnnggg time ago though. But you might contact her.

    Also, companies love to give away free meters because then you'll buy their pricey strips. So if you want a new meter, google "free diabetic meter" or "free glucose meter" and choose which one you want. Expect to wait a few weeks for delivery though.

    I also have a ReliOn. Think it was an older model. It required coding and a larger blood sample. It is nice for a backup though because the strips come foil wrapped. So for occassional use they should stay fresh a long time, even if you buy larger quantities. I haven't ever seen free ReliOn meter offers, but they're around $8-$12 at WalMart.
     
  12. dian and wheezer

    dian and wheezer Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    changing to a lower carb food is the best thing you can do for ALL your kitties. Purina DM (excuse me here) is crap food. go for it
     
  13. cjleo

    cjleo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    As Diane so aptly said, the DM is crap. Take a look at the label. By-products and grains.

    Even 9 Lives and Friskies are better quality that Purina DM. Look for the very low carb varieties listed in Binky's List. You will do your cats a favor if they eat all low carb wet food. Just switch them over gradually.

    Good luck,

    Claudia
     
  14. Steph and Java(GA)

    Steph and Java(GA) Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    I just changed my recently diagnosed kitty from DM to Fancy Feast. Not only did I not have any problems, They eat ALL the food instead of leaving half of it. I have a civie that has problems with crystals and I gave my vet the info I got here about diet and he said go for it! Both my guys love it! As far as the meter, I got the Relion micro. My mom is a diet-controlled diabetic and she was seriously impressed with the tiny amt of blood needed. She is switching for herself as soon as she uses up her strips. Welcome from one newbie to another, you will get the best advice here! I am so glad I found this place!
     
  15. JenElliot

    JenElliot Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    I started with a Bayer meter that frustrated me beyond words, then got a Relion - love it! Takes a teeny weeny amount of blood, no coding, and the price is great. The meter is $9 and a pack of 20 strips is $9 (or 50 for $20).

    And I say go for it with switching the food. The expensive stuff the vets tell you to feed your cat is no better (and many times worse) than cheaper food you can buy at regular stores. My kitty lives on Fancy Feast (variety of the CLASSIC style) and 9Lives Tuna (plain, w/ cheese and w/ egg).
     
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