Is it true that you can pick up a glucometer for free from a pharmacy and what are some tips to keep my dog’s blood glucose curve regulated?

Original Question: My dog has diabetes and I was listening to your show and you mentioned that you can get a glucometer from a pharmacy for free? Is this the same as the one for humans? How do you go about getting one? - Emily

Is it true that you can pick up a glucometer for free from a pharmacy and what are some tips to keep my dog’s blood glucose curve regulated? Nov 9, 2017

Hi Emily,

The easy part of the question is about the glucometer. You can easily get one just by asking for it from a human pharmacist. My recommendation is that you ask your veterinarian which model they prefer. There are discussions as to which particular meter is best when used for pets instead of humans, but your veterinarian’s preference would be most important here. The meter will be free but the test strips you buy for it will have a charge.

As for not getting the blood glucose curve regulated, that’s a little more difficult. It will depend on your pet’s unique reaction to the type of insulin given. Sometimes we have to change the insulin product if it truly is not working. On occasion, I have seen some veterinarians be quite cautious with raising insulin doses to appropriate levels but I don’t know if this is occurring or not, even if you told me your pet’s weight and the dose. You really have to have total knowledge of the case.

Some important features to help reach optimal blood glucose regulation are:

  • Using a diabetic diet consistently and eliminating other sources of sugars in the diet.
  • Properly mixing the insulin product prior to administration.
  • Proper storage of the insulin product.
  • Proper administration of the insulin product.
  • Be sure to get the registered veterinary technicians at your clinic to walk you through the entire process of administering the insulin from start to finish. I have seen failure because clients I’ve met weren’t properly shown how to do this.

Keep in mind that if you’re not achieving treatment success, you can always be referred to an internal medicine specialist for further help. They have lots of experience with the tough cases.

Thanks for your question and good luck.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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