Category Archives: PETRACKR

Human Vs Pet Glucometer: Comparison between Glucometer Devices for Humans and Pets

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Written & Reviewed by Jamie Peterson (BS Veterinary Science, University of Rhode Island), Business Development Director PETRACKR.

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A glucometer is a handheld medical device designed to measure the concentration of glucose (sugar) in blood, used by individuals with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly.

As diabetes is a condition that affects both humans and pets, there are both human and pet glucometers that are available. Keep reading to learn more about these glucometers and their many differences.

How do human and pet glucometers work?

Here is a generalised explanation of how glucometers work:

Blood sample collection

Whether for humans or pets, obtaining a blood sample is a pivotal step in glucose monitoring. Users employ a lancet to gently prick the fingertip or an alternative site for pets, ensuring a small and manageable blood droplet for the subsequent testing process.

Application to test strip

The collected blood droplet is carefully applied to a disposable test strip, a vital component of the glucometer. This strip contains specialised enzymes that play a crucial role in the chemical reaction necessary for glucose measurement.

Signal generation

As a result of the chemical reaction, an electrical current or other measurable signals are generated. The intensity of these signals corresponds directly to the blood glucose plasma equivalent ratio of the sample, forming the basis for the accurate measurement of blood glucose levels.

Conversion to numerical value

Once the signals are captured, the glucometer performs a rapid and precise conversion, turning the measured signals into a numerical value. This numerical representation is a direct reflection of the concentration of glucose in the blood, providing a quantitative measure for the user.

What are the differences between human and pet glucometers?

Human and pet glucometers, while sharing the same purpose of measuring blood glucose levels, have critical differences that take into account the physical, genetic, and even species differences of the test subject, including:

Blood sample collection

When it comes to blood sample collection, pet glucometers acknowledge the anatomical differences and preferences of animals. They are designed to accommodate alternative testing sites, such as the ear or paw pad, recognising the need for flexibility in sampling locations for different animal species. 

On the other hand, human glucometers are typically designed for the common practice of fingertip blood sampling in human glucose monitoring. This design reflects the familiarity and convenience associated with this method for human users. 

Test strip composition

The composition of test strips plays a critical role in the accuracy of glucose measurements. Specialised test strips for pet glucometers take into account the variations in blood composition between species, as there are significant differences. This ensures that the test strips provide accurate measurements for animals, aligning with the unique physiological aspects of pets. 

In contrast, test strips for human glucometers are meticulously formulated and optimised for the characteristics of human blood. Humans have a higher ratio of glucose to plasma glucose than dogs and other domestic animals.

Communication and handling

Human glucometers are designed for direct use by individuals, often incorporating advanced features like data storage, trend analysis, and connectivity to external devices. These features cater to the needs of human users who may benefit from comprehensive data management and analysis. 

In contrast, pet glucometers focus on simplicity and efficiency for pet owners. They are designed with straightforward functionality to ensure ease of handling during glucose testing, considering the diversity of pet owner experiences and knowledge levels.

Species-specific calibration

To ensure accuracy in glucose readings, glucometers undergo species-specific calibration. Pet glucometers are calibrated to accommodate the different blood composition of animals. This species-specific calibration ensures accurate and reliable glucose measurements for a variety of pets.

On the other hand, Human glucometers are calibrated to the characteristics of human blood, providing precise readings for human users. 

Specifically, there is a notable difference between the distribution of glucose in the blood of humans and the blood of cats and dogs: 

  • In dogs, 87.5% of the glucose is located in plasma and 12.5% of the glucose in the red blood cells.
  • In cats, 93% of the glucose is located in plasma and only 7% of the glucose in the red blood cells.
  • In humans, 58% of the glucose is located in plasma and 42% of the glucose in the red blood cells.

Additionally, there are differences in packed cell volume (PCV) among humans, dogs, and cats. For instance, dogs typically have a PCV of 37-55%, cats 24-45%, and humans typically have a PCV range of 37-50%. This indicates significant variation in the number of red blood cells across species.

User guidance and experience

The user experience is a crucial aspect of glucometer functionality. Pet glucometers are designed to offer clear guidance for pet owners. The design and user interface take into consideration the diverse range of pet owner experiences and knowledge levels, ensuring accessibility and ease of use for all. Additionally, the app collates relevant information on your pet’s blood to show to your vet, informing their medical decisions based on accurate values.

Human glucometers, in contrast, often have user interfaces and guidance tailored for human interaction. This includes providing information and feedback in a way that resonates with human users, enhancing their overall experience.

Can you use a human glucometer on pets?

Using a human glucometer on a pet is not recommended due to several reasons related to the physiological and anatomical differences between humans and animals. Here are some key factors explaining why a human glucometer is not suitable for pets:

  • Using a human glucometer on a pet introduces the risk of inaccurate blood glucose readings, which can lead to incorrect assessments of the pet’s health status and potentially compromise its well-being.
  • Relying on inaccurate blood glucose readings from a human glucometer may impact the management of a pet’s diabetes. This could result in inadequate insulin dosages, improper dietary adjustments, or delayed interventions, adversely affecting the pet’s health.
  • Test strips for human glucometers are formulated to work with human blood, and the chemistry is tailored to human glucose levels. This formulation may not react appropriately to animal blood, resulting in unreliable readings.
  • Human glucometers do not have features specifically designed for the veterinary context. Veterinary glucometers often come with additional features and guidance tailored for accurate and reliable blood glucose monitoring in animals.
  • Veterinarians are trained to provide guidance on pet health and the selection of appropriate medical devices. Using a human glucometer without veterinary approval may bypass the expertise needed to ensure the pet’s specific health needs are met.

Where can I get the ideal pet glucometer?

The PETRACKR Blood Glucose Monitoring System is an innovative solution tailored specifically for cats and dogs, accessible through veterinary channels and obtainable through your veterinarian. This state-of-the-art system guarantees rapid and precise glucose monitoring, seamlessly integrating with the PETRACKR® app to effortlessly record, monitor, and report data.

Derived from a leading human blood glucose product, PETRACKR ensures reliability and accuracy on par with laboratory analysers, producing swift results with minimal sample sizes, delivering glucose readings within seconds. The system’s user-friendly design incorporates a convenient sample disposal eject button, elevating safety and hygiene measures.

The PETRACKR system prioritises simplicity, making data collection and management effortless. This process is further streamlined with the seamless integration of the PETRACKR app, which provides customisable pet profiles for instant access to glucose history. Moreover, the system eliminates coding complexity by auto-calibrating for both cats and dogs.

The PETRACKR Blood Glucose Monitoring System provides accuracy, convenience, and user-friendly features, transforming pet care with advanced technology and simplicity. Enhance your pet’s well-being with this unmatched monitoring solution.

Visit our website to learn more information and get a blood glucose monitor for your pets!


Why it is important to monitor blood glucose levels daily in cats and dogs with diabetes

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Written & Reviewed by Jamie Peterson (BS Veterinary Science, University of Rhode Island), Business Development Director PETRACKR.

Blood Glucose Dogs Cats

Monitoring blood glucose levels in cats and dogs with diabetes is crucial to ensure their overall health and well-being. Diabetes in pets, just like in humans, can lead to significant complications if not managed properly. 

Regular blood glucose monitoring allows pet owners and veterinarians to closely track any shifts in glucose levels, enabling them to make timely adjustments to medication, diet, and lifestyle. By maintaining stable blood glucose levels, the risk of immediate complications such as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia can be minimised, preventing potential emergencies. 

Furthermore, consistent monitoring helps detect trends and patterns, aiding veterinarians in tailoring treatment plans to the individual needs of each pet. This proactive approach not only enhances the quality of life for pets with diabetes but also contributes to extending their lifespan and reducing the risk of secondary health issues that can arise from poorly controlled blood sugar levels.

How often should I monitor the blood glucose levels of my pets if they have diabetes?

If your pet has diabetes, it is important to monitor their blood glucose levels on a daily basis. This is for several reasons;

  • Optimal Glucose Regulation: Daily monitoring allows you to make timely adjustments to insulin dosage, diet, and exercise to keep your pet’s blood sugar levels within a target range.
  • Personalising Your Pet’s Treatment Plan: Daily monitoring helps you and your veterinarian create a treatment plan tailored to your pet’s specific needs, ensuring that they receive the right insulin dosage, diet, and exercise regimen for optimal health.
  • Early Detection (and Prevention): Monitoring daily allows you to identify trends over time. By responding to these trends early, you can help your pet avoid potential health complications, such as organ damage or infections.
  • Quality of Life: Well-managed diabetes contributes to a better quality of life for your pet. Stable blood sugar levels can prevent symptoms such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, lethargy, and weight loss, allowing your pet to lead a more comfortable and active life.

What are the risks of inadequate blood glucose monitoring?

Inadequate blood glucose monitoring in pets, particularly those with diabetes, poses serious risks. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can lead to complications like hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. 

Hypoglycemia, characterised by low blood sugar, can result in seizures, weakness, and even coma. Conversely, hyperglycemia, high blood sugar, can lead to lethargy, increased thirst, and organ damage over time. 

Without proper monitoring, adjustments to insulin doses and dietary management become challenging, putting the pet’s health in jeopardy. Regular blood glucose checks are essential to prevent these life-threatening conditions and ensure a better quality of life for diabetic pets.

What are the benefits of daily blood glucose monitoring in pets?

Daily blood glucose monitoring in pets allows pet owners to effectively manage conditions like diabetes, ensuring timely adjustments to insulin doses and diet. Additionally, monitoring trends in glucose levels helps prevent dangerous fluctuations, reducing the risk of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. 

Early detection of abnormalities enables timely veterinary intervention, preventing complications and enhancing the pet’s quality of life. Additionally, regular monitoring fosters a stronger bond between pet and owner, as it demonstrates care and commitment to the pet’s well-being.

How can I monitor the blood glucose of my pets?

Pet owners now have access to new technology with the PETRACKR glucose monitoring strips, an accurate and efficient solution for tracking pets’ blood glucose levels. These strips stand out by delivering laboratory analyser-level precision. 

With rapid results obtained from a small sample size within seconds, they ensure timely insights into pets’ health. The design prioritises safety, featuring a sample disposal eject button. Easy data collection and management are facilitated, while the accompanying smartphone app offers customisable pet profiles. 

An additional advantage is the no-coding feature; the strips are auto-calibrated for both cats and dogs, making it easy for pet owners and veterinarians. 

With PETRACKR, managing pets’ diabetes becomes seamless and reliable.

What are some tips for pet owners on blood glucose monitoring?

  • Firstly, consult a veterinarian for guidance on testing frequency and technique. Acquire a reliable glucose meter designed for your pet’s species. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the testing process by observing your vet. Keep a record of readings to identify trends. 
  • Perform tests consistently at the same time and under similar conditions. Reward your pet after testing to create a positive association. 
  • Ensure clean paws for accurate results. 
  • If levels are consistently off, consult the vet to adjust the treatment plan. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How often should I take my pet to the vet for diabetes check-ups?

For pets diagnosed with diabetes, regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to manage their condition effectively. 

Typically, diabetic pets require check-ups every 2 to 4 months, especially during the initial stages of treatment to ensure proper insulin regulation and monitor their overall health. These appointments enable the vet to adjust medication, evaluate blood sugar levels, and assess any complications or changes in behaviour. 

However, the frequency might vary based on your pet’s individual needs and the vet’s recommendations. Open communication with your vet is essential for devising a tailored check-up schedule that ensures your furry friend’s well-being and quality of life.

What should I do if my pet’s blood glucose readings are consistently too high or too low?

If your pet’s blood glucose readings are consistently too high or too low, it’s crucial to take immediate action. 

High readings might indicate diabetes and require dietary adjustments, insulin administration, and regular vet check-ups. Low readings could signal hypoglycemia, necessitating fast-acting glucose sources like honey or specialised gels. 

Consult your veterinarian for guidance on adjusting medication doses, modifying the diet, and establishing a proper monitoring routine. Consistent communication with your vet is essential to manage your pet’s blood glucose levels effectively and ensure their overall well-being.

Are there signs I should watch for even if I’m monitoring daily?

Even with daily monitoring, certain signs deserve heightened attention. Look for abrupt deviations from the established patterns or trends. Sudden spikes or drops in metrics might indicate anomalies.

Additionally, be alert to unusual correlations or discrepancies that defy logical explanations. Changes that occur consistently at certain times could signal external factors influencing the situation. 

Remember to assess both quantitative data and qualitative observations. Human intuition can sometimes highlight subtle shifts that data alone might miss. Regularly reevaluate your monitoring strategy to ensure it remains aligned with the most relevant indicators for accurate early detection.