Newbie pondering meters

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Rochelle, Jan 27, 2017.

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  1. Rochelle

    Rochelle Member

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    Jan 27, 2017
    Hi all,

    My 13 year old male cat, Eddie-puss has just been diagnosed with diabetes and the vet said I should by the Alpha trak glucometer but I've also heard that human ones are fine and the strips are cheaper. The vet said: I don't recommend using strips that are designed for people. The ones we recommend are specific for cats. They have different settings for dogs. The ones for humans are not as accurate.

    Opinions?

    Also, I'm looking for the least expensive way to get Lantus. Has anyone used the Sanofi rx savings program? I signed up as myself, then as my cat, because I have insurance but he doesn't, lol. I don't want to commit fraud and the card says $10/prescription. That would be pretty incredible.
     
  2. Pati

    Pati Member

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    Nov 2, 2016
    Hi Rochelle. Welcome. The Alphatrak is great except for the fact that the strips are $1 each. Figure a minimum of 3 strips per day and you're at $90 a month just in strips. It just isn't really necessary when a human meter can be used just as successfully at a much lower cost. If you go to the main forum - Feline health and post this meter question and one asking about where to get Lantus at a lower cost you will get more replies.
     
  3. Rochelle

    Rochelle Member

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    Jan 27, 2017
    Will do, thanks.
     
  4. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    I love my alphatrak meter but when my cat was still on insulin, no lie, I spent $150 a month in test strips. Although once I started home testing I no longer had the expense of monthly curves at the vet, so I figured it was a wash.... And I liked having the same readings my vet would get.


    If the cost is prohibitive for you then get a human meter. They will still tell you if the cat is high or low and that's what you need to know.
     
  5. Rochelle

    Rochelle Member

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    Jan 27, 2017
    I've been doing more research and I'm pretty comfortable starting out with a human meter. Here's a journal article someone from my foster group pointed me to that shows there is minimal difference:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19951099
     
  6. MrWorfMen's Mom

    MrWorfMen's Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    The article you cited is referring to testing on dogs not cats. Humans, dogs and cats all have different blood composition so while the use of a human glucometer is perfectly safe for dogs and cats and certainly a lot easier on the wallet, it's not accurate to make a broad statement that there is a minimal difference between pet and human meter readings or to extrapolate that minimal differences for dogs would hold true in cats. There is no magic formula to convert pet meter readings to human meter readings or vice versa. At low BG levels in cats, the difference between pet and human meter readings IS minimal however the difference gets larger the higher the BG so with high readings, the difference is much larger. So if you take a human meter to the vet to compare your readings against theirs, the difference in the readings will depend on how low or high your kitty's BG is at that time.

    The reference numbers provided in the documentation on this site is all based on the use of human glucometers unless specified otherwise and the majority of members use a human meter. If BG is high, it is high no matter which meter you are using. The only time the difference matters is when numbers are low and we have specific reference numbers to warn when low readings need intervention by the caregiver.

    We have a spreadsheet available here that colour codes readings so you can see the pattern of kitty's readings over time. Whether you use a human or pet meter the pattern will be very similar and that is what matters.
     
  7. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

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    Jan 11, 2017
    Hi Rochelle, I recently had this discussion with myself and members on the forum. Just for another opinion, I ended up deciding to go with the Alphatrak 2 meter and after my starter kit strips are out I will buy the Freestyle Lite strips that work with the meter as well. I noticed a lot of people owned the Alphatrak or Alphatrak 2 and used it for curves because it's a bit more accurate, so being unemployed I decided just to have 1 meter. I did buy the ReliOn Prime from Walmart but my gut kept telling me just to go with the AT2. For reference the ReliOn prime (50 or 100 count) test strips I had priced were $0.18 per strip, AT2 strips are as mentioned around $1.00 per strip (I think 50 count), and Freestyle Lite strips (50 count), I think I found for $0.54 per strip. Hope this helps :cat:
     
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