How to measure blood glucose in a cat – Diabetic cat

How to measure blood glucose in a cat – Diabetic cat


Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver, BC, and I’d like to welcome you to my series of practical skills for pet owners I’d like to talk today about getting blood for measuring blood glucose on a diabetic cat I’m gonna be joined by my little furry friend Mr. Lancelot shortly for a demonstration But I just want to talk through a little bit of theory first and show you the equipment that you’ll need to do accurate blood sugar measurements at home So the reason we do blood sugar measurements at home is because cats can get quite stressed when they’re brought to the clinic So we can do blood glucose curves in the clinic to monitor diabetic cats But they’re not quite as accurate as ones done at home and also doing them at home is often cheaper and easier for the owners So we do try to make people’s life a little bit easier when they have a diabetic kitty and most people find that with a bit of practice they can safely and effectively do a blood glucose curve at home And give us- just phone in the numbers to us, and it really helps us manage these diabetic kitties optimally give them a nice happy and long life without any complications of their diabetes So… To do a blood glucose curve. We’ll need to measure the blood glucose of a cat We need to get a little blood sample from a cat. Then we need to apply a glucometer Which is a little device. I’ll show you in a moment That’ll tell us what the blood sugar is and then you just note it down on a piece of paper So… The equipment you need to do this procedure is pretty basic. You need a little bit of Vaseline For… preparing the skin You need a… glucometer Now it’s quite important that you use a right glucometer There’s quite a number of glucometers on the market for humans that are all calibrated for humans All the studies done in cats have been done using an AlphaTRAK glucometer, so we’re not really doing product placement here, but all of the scientific work has been done using this glucometer, and it’s calibrated appropriately to give accurate readings on cat blood If you use a different glucometer You’re going to get inaccurate blood sugar readings, which is worse than not getting any reading at all Of course need some test strips for your glucometer and again these have to be AlphaTRAK And then you need a lancet or a needle Some sort of a device to actually break the skin and draw a little drop of blood That you need to measure the blood glucose so… Probably a good time to warn you guys there’ll be a needle in this video Maybe a tiny spot of blood, although you probably won’t be able to see it And with that together you get that together, you want to get it prepared And you get a table, a towel and then you’re ready to get your cat So I’m joined here by Lancelot He’s a lovely big cat who lives in our clinic at the moment Now Lancelot has kindly volunteered to be our demonstration cat So in order to get a tiny drop of blood from his ear We first take a dab of Vaseline And just smear it on the skin on the inside of his ear Now there’s a tiny little vessel that runs all the way around the periphery of that ear. I know darling I know Just all the way around here, and that’s where we’re gonna get our blood from You can’t really see it very well unless you have a pink, here, pink cat. Or a white haired cat with pink ears But it’s right there just a millimeter or two from the edge of the ear Now Lancelot is a pro at this procedure. He knows what’s gonna happen Then we stick a strip into the glucometer Which activates it so we have it ready And you get a little drop on the glucometer. I don’t know if it’s visible on camera, we get a little drop showing that it’s ready to receive blood And then we take the lancet Oh, sweetie pie And we just… Poke the inside of the ear just like that Just give it a little poke Then we push up so we get a little drop of blood And we touch the glucometer to the blood just like that And that’s it and then you get a blood glucose reading So it’s really just a question of Finding the little vessel Holding it off Giving it a poke with the device And then touching the edge of the strip to the drop of blood Pretty simple most cats will tolerate this very very well Then you give them a little treat afterwards and you can do this a couple times throughout the day at home based on a schedule that your veterinarian gives you and you can get a blood glucose curve Easy right? So thank you very much, Lancelot And thank you very much for watching. I hope you find this video useful Please share it. Give us a like And just remember to have fun with your cat Even when you’re doing medical procedures. They still need lots of love

40 Replies to “How to measure blood glucose in a cat – Diabetic cat”

  1. First off, I LOVE THESE VIDS.

    I will say that despite Lancelot not doing anything , he did look like he was about to slash open a vein in that poor vet’s arm.

    Also, gonna have to google Dr Uri to see if he has webinars on general good cat pet ownership. His vids are so good. His cats are so chill. Love it!

  2. Thank you! This video has been very helpful. I just recently adopted a diabetic cat from a shelter and will be monitoring her blood glucose at home.

  3. Great series!!
    Investing in some video lighting would increase the quality of your videos.
    Your explanations and content couldn't be better !

    Best wishes.

  4. You've got great videos. They really have helped learn some skills to care for Carlton and Katy. Keep it up. 🐈😻

  5. Hmmm. Even with the vicious bugger wrapped in a bath towel, and me using welders gloves whilst exectuting the "squish" method, the cat still found it easier getting blood out of me, than I did getting blood out of the cat.

    He wasn't called Hannibal for nothing you know!

  6. I had a diabetic cat and tested her blood sugar twice a day before giving insulin. She was tightly regulated because of this. I highly recommend testing your pet's blood sugars at home if you can.

  7. Numbers and when you are taking them would be helpful. ie…what is normal high and normal low, what to look for.

  8. All of your videos have such a calming and serene feeling to them, as well as giving really great information! Thanks so much for the joy and education you are putting into the world. <3

  9. I hated doing the curb on my cat. It was hit and miss but the worst part was my cat obviously didn't enjoy it.
    By the end he would literally cower if I touched his ear.
    Once we got the right dose though I really only BS him if he is showing symptoms or it has been a few weeks.
    Just glad I don't have to check him often cause I felt terrible doing that to him 🙁
    On the plus side his health has dramatically turned for the better.

  10. This is very helpful! Thanks! Our cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes and we have to take him to the vet to test his blood sugar. We live in Quebec and I haven't been able to find where to buy the Alpha Trak monitor (when I google it, all the websites only ship in the US). Do you have a website you can recommend where it is available for shipping in Canada?

  11. Since cats can't taste sweet and are not huge carb eaters, I'm curious what other types of food can cause diabetes in cats? Can a non-obese cat get diabetes?

  12. Lancelot’s tail was saying that he did not volunteer! LOL! One time doing that procedure, and my cat would be under the bed for good. I am finally able to give her two insulin shots per day, but it took 3 months to figure out how to trick her into the morning one, and she still evades me on occasion. Needless to say, I don’t check her at home, the vet does it every 6 months. I do appreciate the video, though. 🙂

  13. my boy cay Benny is black and I cannot find the vein in his ear and he doesn't like his ears touched so I use his paw pad after cleaning it with an alcohol swab. I find the ear very difficult.

  14. What's the normal limits of blood glucose in a cat? In a human WNL is 100. I was a paramedic but EMT-B's take the reading.That's how easy it is or, as one doctor phrased it, "They make those things so that any idiot can use them." 😄

  15. The first time I tested my cat I poked on the vessel and a lot of blood came out. I thought it was the wrong spot because it was too much blood. But now I have been struggling to get blood poking between the vessel and the edge of the ear. So I'm suppose to aim for the vessel?

  16. i have type 1 diabetes and i’ve always wondered how to check the blood sugar of a cat! (i have 2 non diabetic cats) thank you for this video!

  17. 'Kindly volunteered', um yeah… I think most of us are familiar with that definition of 'volunteering' at some point in our lives…

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