Glucose testing/reading

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Cinnamon Lover, Aug 1, 2016.

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  1. Cinnamon Lover

    Cinnamon Lover Member

    Aug 1, 2016
    Hi...I'm Deb, my cat Cinnamon was recently diagnosed with diabetes...I've been using the Alpha Trak 2 meter, but the strips are too expensive. So I have a meter for humans, but the numbers it gives me are very low and incorrect, when I test with both I have to add 70% to the number in order to make it equal the Alpha Trak 2 number...Does this sound right to anyone??
    I really need help getting her readings accurate to get her well...I've already lost 4 of my 5 sons, and 2 animal children, all in 5 is Cinnamon's 11th birthday...I very much need to not lose my beautiful girl...
    Thank you for the help xoxox
  2. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Just what human meter do you have? Meter accuracy is only +/- 20% but it seems that your comparison shows that yo are exceeding that.

    Some meters are not that accurate for cats because of the way that meter works:
    Blood Glucose Meter for Cats


    Blood has two constituents, the red and white blood cells and the liquid (serum). Blood plasma is blood serum without the clotting factor

    The blood glucose value obtained via laboratory analysis is the glucose level in the serum/plasma constituents of blood

    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

    In dogs 87.5 % in plasma/serum and 12.5% in RBCs.

    The point-of-use blood glucose meters (the ones we use at home) all use whole blood.2 However, what specific blood glucose they measure varies with the manufacturer. Some manufacturers only measure the glucose in the serum/plasma. Others lyse (disrupt the cell walls of the RBCs) and thus mix the glucose that was in the RBC into the liquid and thus measure total glucose. The meters then correct/adjust the reading to be equivalent to human blood plasma


    Since the glucose distribution is different n humans and cats/dogs the resulting BG valve obtained from the human meters will be different that lab values and animal-calibrated meters. Also, some manufacturer's meters will be much different that lab values for animals depending upon which method (lyse cells or only use plasma/serum) they use to measure glucose.

    Animal calibrated meters correct the value to be equivalent to lab values.

    What clouds any BGs obtained from hand-held meter is that they are only accurate to +/- 20 %. That includes the animal-calibrated meter. Also, do not confuse accuracy with reproducibility. It is expected that one meter with one lot of tests strips to be relatively repeatable, that is if you use the same drop of blood, you BG value will be much close than +/- 20%


    1 Different Species, Different Blood

    2. Glucose Meters: A Review of Technical Challenges to Obtaining Accurate Results
  3. BJM

    BJM Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Welcome to FDMB.
    All the reference materials here use human glucometers.
    For safety, don't shoot below 200 mg/dL until and unless you have test data which shows that will be safe.
    And, based on your insulin, you want to test around the nadir to find out how low the glucose is getting; it should remain above 50 mg/dL on a human meter, also for safety.
    Check the link in my signature for info on reference values for human glucometers and lab values.

    Come on over to the Health section to post more questions.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    Cinnamon Lover likes this.
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