Not sure what to do, but I do NOT trust this new meter

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Arkali, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Arkali

    Arkali Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    Some of you may have seen my woes about switching to a Relion Micro last week. The main issue is that it tests super low. There's a 15-point differential for two-leggeds, and on Gypsy it measures a full 30 points lower than my OneTouch. Tonight I lowered her insulin (Lantus) to .75u and it said her BG is 38. Three eight. On the One Touch, that would be 68, which would be fine. But she is showing ZERO signs of hypo. She looks / acts fine. I gave her a couple of Temptations just to give her a bit of a boost, but yeah. I find myself not trusting this meter, and that's not a good place to be.

    Would you:
    1) Mentally add about +30 to the readings since that appears to be the differential?
    2) Act as though the readings are correct despite being fairly sure they aren't?
    3) Get another Relion?
    4) Go back to using the One Touch despite the added cost?
    5) Something else?

    Thank you!

    Edit to add: I just swapped the battery out. It tested 7 points lower, but close enough for government work :p, so it's not the battery. Didn't think it was, but figured it wouldn't hurt.

    Also: I had some Abbott FreeStyle control solution and took a test with that. Result was 93. Back of the canister says L1: 25 - 46, L2: 87-145, L3: 243 - 404. So I'm taking it that it falls in the low end of the normal range. I'm still thinking of swapping it for another tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  2. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Trust the numbers you're seeing, whichever meter you're using.

    The worst thing that will happen is the meter tests a little lower than "perfect" and you give a little high carb food to bring the blood glucose up a little.

    That's a lot better than the alternative....having a meter that tests a little too high and kitty is actually in dangerous numbers and you're thinking their safe.
     
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  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Keep in mind you could take a reading with the same meter on the same drop off blood seconds apart and get numbers that are 20 points difference.
     
  4. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thanks, y'all. Gypsy's due a follow-up at the vet next week. I'll be taking the meter with me just to see how accurate it is. I admit that this is driving me more than a little crazy. Thanks again.
     
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    A human meter is going to be quite different from the vets pet meter.
     
  6. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    My vet uses a human meter--the One Touch. Which is the same meter I had (I'm also a diabetic, though OTJ :p ) But the strips for One Touch are high and require a large sample, which is why I switched. Mainly I'd just like to know how accurate / low my Relion is reading. It's thirty points off from my own One Touch.
     
  7. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    To clarify, I wouldn't be so worried about this except that, according to this meter, Gypsy's in hypo half the time (not true). And that's seriously giving me anxiety.
     
  8. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2016
    Some cats naturally run low. She won't hypo of bit on insulin.
     
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  9. Butterball

    Butterball Member

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    Feb 2, 2018
    A 20 point difference isn’t something to be worried about. There’s really no difference between 300 and 320 for example, or even 220 and 255. In all honesty both numbers are probably not truly accurate

    As for hypo, I would worry about symptoms before numbers. If your cat is at 49 but not exhibiting any symptoms then its not really at 49 or the cat is fine at that number (every cat is different obviously). Either way, the cat isn’t hypo. Now if your cat is in the 40s AND exhibiting hypo symptoms, then it’s something to worry about and you should probably lower the insulin dose accordingly.

    You don’t want to avoid low numbers you want to avoid large curves (high pre shot and low nadirs). Ideally you want a very smooth and gradual curve
     
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  10. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Just note the difference between meters seem to be a % and not a fixed value like 30 points (i.e. the difference is larger at higher BGs)
     
  11. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    I used the One Touch several years ago - I found that it read 25-30 points higher on the lower ends all the time. I even have an old note still on my whiteboard that says 'One Touch +25'. I moved to the Relion brand meters (Micro and Prime) and stay with those - I would rather err on the side of caution when it comes to low end numbers but that's just me....
     
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  12. Jenna Josie

    Jenna Josie Member

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    Jun 30, 2018
    I’m still new to this, but there’s a meaningful difference between being “low” (whatever that means on a particular meter) and asymptomatic at, say, +5 or +6 and being there for the PS, right? We have enough data to shoot on blue PS numbers (not that we ever get so lucky :banghead: ), but I’d be extremely nervous about shooting on greens, especially her normal dose. :nailbiting:

    (Though we’re using Prozinc, not Lantus.)
     
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  13. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    I agree, but it's a 30-point difference. And if her numbers weren't on the low side already, I wouldn't stress about it. But she's coming up with numbers as low as 38, and that is very distressful to me.

    Thanks--that's kind of where I am now. I'm seriously trying not to stress, but I also feel weird just ignoring low numbers, you know?

    Thank you--that's very helpful :)
     
  14. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Good questions. I'm trying not to stress about this, but I did lower her down to .75u. And tomorrow I'm going to set up her follow-up vet appointment and also run a curve. Gypsy's gonna love that :p
     
  15. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    You shouldn't ignore low numbers!!

    The point is, that let's say on the Micro you get a 45 and on the One Touch you get a 70

    It's not going to hurt anything to go ahead and "take action" on the 45 to keep kitty safe....a few teaspoons of high carb food won't stay in her bloodstream long....it's just there to nudge her back up above 50

    Now let's turn that around....let's say the One Touch is actually reading too high and because you think she's at 70, you do nothing. Could be tragic

    You're also giving too much credence to a single number......what's most important is the "trend"....is the current dose getting her where you want her (while keeping her safe)? If she drops too low, you just decrease the dose....if she ends up going a little too high on that dose, you call it a "failed reduction" and either go back to that dose or try something "in between"

    The point is just to believe whichever meter you decide to use and act on the numbers you see....In the end, it all evens out :)
     
  16. shelaghc

    shelaghc Well-Known Member

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    Jun 28, 2017
    Not sure if this helps, but I've been using the OneTouch all along. My diabetic niece bought it for Jester and, when I did some research, I discovered it's considered one of the most reliable meters on the market.

    My vet insisted on comparing the results between his Alphatrak and my OneTouch a couple of times in the office and the difference was that the OneTouch came out around 20 points lower. He was satisfied with that difference.

    However, because the brand name test strips for the OneTouch were so expensive, I asked around and found there were off-brand test strips available through Amazon.

    I bought those while I still had some of the brand name test strips and used both for a few days - similar to you testing with both the Relion and the OneTouch.
    The generics came out about ten to fifteen points lower than the brand name strips.

    After asking around again, I was told these were FDA approved "variances."

    So anytime I see a low (or even high) number, I do a bit of a mental readjustment to compensate between both the generic strips and the AlphaTrak. It helps a lot to reassure me on the numbers. I still have a small supply of those brand name strips and have double-checked from time to time just to be anal and confident in the numbers I'm getting.

    FTR, if the reason you switched from the OneTouch to the Relion was the cost of the strips, I've been pretty satisfied with the generic strips from Amazon. I get 200 strips for about $28 and they ship for free even without Prime. And I never have to wait more than a few days for delivery.
    This is what I ordered last time - mostly because the lancets were basically a freebie with the purchase:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XT694NL/
     
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  17. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thanks, @Chris & China . Thanks, @shelaghc . I switched because of the price AND the huge drop needed for the OneTouch. Gypsy is a "reluctant" bleeder :) I did notice there's a new OneTouch strip that says it only requires a small sample and is also a bit cheaper, but I'd kind of like to stick with one meter. I need to try to stop stressing about this :p (easier said than done).
     
  18. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    I'm going to run a curve tomorrow and if she's still testing low, I guess I need to come down on her dose another .25. Thoughts?
     
  19. Jenna Josie

    Jenna Josie Member

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    Jun 30, 2018
    I’ve read on the stickies that a .25 reduction is earned if the cat goes into the “lime green” numbers.
     
  20. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thanks, @Jenna Josie . Me too. I kind of thought she'd need to stay at one point for a while, but her numbers are staying low.
     
  21. Butterball

    Butterball Member

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    Feb 2, 2018
    If you're using a different brand of strips make sure you input the code of the new strips into your test meter. Each kind of strip has a code. If you're using different strips with the same code as your old strips, you won't get an accurate reading
     
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  22. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thanks, @Butterball . I actually had the vet do a test using the same vial of blood just for comparison. My One Touch read 132, her One Touch was 113, the Relion was 83. That's a pretty significant spread, but I'm sticking with the Relion, just being aware that it tests a bit low so not freaking out if she hits 40 or something. Obviously I'd monitor her for hypo symptoms, but wouldn't immediately go into emergency mode. Good thought on the codes though--thank you!
     
  23. Antonio James

    Antonio James New Member

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    Aug 16, 2018
    Somethings else you want?
     
  24. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    I'm sorry--I don't understand your meaning.
     
  25. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2013
    I was worried at first when my two meters were different. I’d rather have it read low and give a little mc or hc than get a false high. To me it’s extra protection to keep your cat safe. Max read under 40 at times on the Relion so I’d retest with a backup meter. If a lot higher I’d give some mc rather than hc and check in 20 minutes. He never had a symptomatic hypo.
     
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  26. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thanks, Tiff! I've mostly adjusted now I think :) I just don't automatically freak out if she reads a bit on the low side, though she really hasn't been for a while, so that's good.
     
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