Dear Daisy Dog
My dog has diabetes, and my veterinarian recommended I check his blood sugar at home with the pet glucose meter she sells. My pharmacist offers a human meter for free. Would the human meter be accurate for my dog?
It depends on the brand of glucose meter.
Veterinarians recently evaluated the accuracy of six brands of hand-held glucose meters compared with a standard laboratory meter.
They tested 158 blood samples from dogs that were healthy or had a variety of diseases that increased or decreased blood glucose (sugar) levels.
Researchers tested AlphaTrak, a glucose meter designed for dogs and cats, as well as five human glucose meters: Accu-Chek, Contour, Elite, OneTouch and Precision.
They found that, in general, the hand-held glucose meters produced readings that were a bit lower than those recorded by the laboratory meter.
Still, the AlphaTrak and OneTouch were the most accurate at testing the dogs’ blood sugar levels.
AlphaTrak, the veterinary glucose meter, requires the tiniest blood sample of the hand-held meters. It’s available through veterinarians and the Internet.