Is it vital that we learn how to read our diabetic cat’s blood glucose curves or is it okay to have it done at the vet?

Original Question: My 12-year-old cat was just diagnosed with diabetes and she has just started 1.5 units of Caninsulin. Is it vital we learn home testing or is it ok to have her glucose curves done at the vet? Currently we are booked to have her re-tested in 10 days. - Holly

Is it vital that we learn how to read our diabetic cat’s blood glucose curves or is it okay to have it done at the vet? Mar 5, 2018

Hi Holly,

Sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this disease. Many people are frightened with the diagnosis but in time they find that it’s quite easy to manage and test the diabetes.

It is fine to have blood glucose curves done at your veterinary clinic but I always encourage clients to try and learn how to do them at home. There are a couple of reasons for this, the first being that you won’t have to pay for it. By doing it at home with your own blood glucometer, you won’t have to pay the expensive hospitalization fees and technical costs of collecting samples all day long. Second, your cat is much less stressed at home then she will be at the veterinary clinic. I believe that blood glucose curves are more accurate when they are performed in the patient’s natural environment.

I always have my staff show clients how to perform a blood glucose curve so that they can do it at home. Some veterinarians may not want to take the time or use up their staff’s time to teach you how to do this. Once you collect the glucose reading, you will have to call your veterinarian and have him or her assess it. I always do this for free, but other veterinarians may not. Please keep in mind that it takes a veterinarian’s time and expertise to interpret a blood glucose curve. Charging a fee for this is not unreasonable. If your veterinarian does not want to demonstrate how to collect blood for a blood glucose curve, I suggest you find a vet that will.

Good luck and thanks for your question.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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