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From Martinsville, Indiana, USA:

I have a question about my dog. I have done a lot of research, but can't find the answer to my question. My veterinarian told me the only way he would suggest taking blood to test my dog's sugar, three times a day, is by clipping his toenail. This worked at first, but then I found it to be very difficult and painful for him. I got on the Internet and someone said he checks his dogs sugar by wiping off the inside of the dogs mouth, around the canine tooth, and pricking the lip. I have been doing this and it has worked very well. He doesn't feel it and he behaves very well. How accurate is the blood testing it this way? My sister, who is a registered nurse, said she would be concerned about enzymes and causing a false positive, or something to that affect. I told the vet about my procedure and he said "you are going to have to show me how you do this, because I have never heard of this procedure."


Dogs and cats with diabetes are often tested at home by their owners using commonly available glucometers for testing a drop of blood to determine blood glucose levels. For canines, the two most commonly used areas to obtain a blood sample are an inner lip prick and a skin prick at the base of the tail. To prick at the base of the tail often requires shaving a small patch of hair from the dog. Some large dogs, such as labrador retrievers, have very thick skin and even with a shaved area, the skin is difficult to pierce with a small lancet.

Comparisons between capillary blood samples obtained from a dog's inner lip and venous blood samples obtained from a needle draw indicate that glucometer readings of the two are very close.

To check your glucometer results, I would suggest that you take your dog and your glucometer to your veterinarian. You take a glucometer reading on from blood your dog's lip and your veterinarian checks the glucose level from a needle drawn sample. The glucose levels should be very close.

If your veterinarian is not familiar with home testing of diabetic pets, he should talk with some of his colleagues who include home testing in their care of diabetic pets. Home testing is now quite common and encouraged by many veterinarians.


Original posting 5 May 2004
Posted to Other


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:56
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