www.petdiabetes.com & www.caninediabetes.org
recommends that you buy the following blood meter
that has just been released to test your pet's glucose.

Margo has kindly provided the following information

Who is Kristine Dahl??

The following information is from an email sent to Margo from Dr. Dahl.

For a quick background on me. I think it is important for you to know my background given 
the type of problem we are tackling with whole blood measurements in animals. I have a Ph.D.
in Biochemistry and was trained as an endocrinologist. I was an Assoc. Prof. of Medicine at the
Univ of Wash, Seattle before I left to start a series of companies which primary focused on 
validating equipment and tests for animal use. I have been developing animal tests for 25 years.

The reasons for the inherent problems with the glucometers that are sold for human use 
is the red blood cell size differences between humans and most other animal species. 

Glucose strips come in 2 basic formats: colorimetric and amphoteric.
Colorimetric strips are where a drop of blood on top of the strip causes a color change 
in the reagents on the bottom of the strip. Therefore you can visually see the color change.
Amphoteric strips are where addition of blood to the strip causes a change in current that is
read by the meter. Irrespective of the type of strips you use the meter can be off 
by 10% to 70% depending on whether the value is high or low.
Even when you get it right for a particular lot of strips the next lot can be totally different. 

Why is this so???? The reason is that the strip has a series of membranes which have different 
purposes. The top membrane is responsible for excluding the red blood cells and the bottom 
membrane is where the glucose in the sample causes a reaction to produce either a color change 
or current. The top membrane is designed specifically for the human red blood cell which is 
approximately 7 um in size. So all the validation tests are performed on that red blood cell size.
A dog or cat has a red blood cell size of 4-5 um, i.e. smaller.
Smaller red blood cell sizes blocks the membrane pores.
Now you have changed the ability of the glucose to flow through to the bottom pad.
It's sort of like a sponge where if you pore water through a nice clean sponge it comes our
the bottom pretty quickly versus if you pore flour on the sponge and then try to pore water
through you will get the water eventually but at a much slower pace. Since glucose measurements 
are timed you are only going to measure the amount of glucose that gets to the bottom membrane in the allotted time. 
In dog's and cat's case you will only measure a fraction 
of the glucose in the sample. Adding to the above problem is when the manufacturers get new 
materials for their top membrane they only test it on human blood cells.

I'm sure you're asking how do we get around this? The only way is to forget all about how
the membranes react to human blood and concentrate on developing reaction curves to animal 
blood. Luckily cats, dogs and horses have similar red blood cell sizes. The other hurdle was
convincing a manufacturer that it was worth while to develop one of their meters for animal use. 
I have already conquered the former and I have finally accomplished the later. There is hope 
on the horizon if I can get 20 home user beta sites that are dedicated to this end. We are planning 
on having 20 vet clinic sites (picked by the manufacturer) and 20 home user beta sites. 
The project is tentatively scheduled to begin the end of this month 
and the product released in early Jan. 
I will be running the project and will continue to validate the lots of strips in the future.

Margo's canine Alex was one of the home users that tested this
new meter and  Margo herself is also a diabetic making her
knowledge of this disease outstanding.

Click here to find out more about this meter and how to purchase it today!!
Testing your pet's glucose at home will help you to save costs at your vet and
make it easier to gain control of your pet's diabetes.

Picture tutorials on how to do hometesting

More Blood Testing Picture Tutorials

 This page was updated on April 16, 2008

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