5 Useful Tips on How to Test Blood Sugar In Dogs
Are you looking for some useful tips on how to test blood sugar in dogs?
Need helpful hacks for when you test blood sugar in your dog?
We can help...
Managing diabetes in your dogs can be very difficult. Blood glucose levels can change with food consumption, stress level, exercise, and other fundamental daily fluctuations.
You also need to be on top of any other diseases or conditions that may be harming your dog’s health.
However, if you decide to go with a blood glucose monitoring system to help your pet with more accurate and frequent readings for better monitoring of the disease, make sure to consult with your veterinarian first.
Test Blood Sugar in Dogs: Could Your Pup Be Diabetic?
Home blood sugar monitoring can be a handy tool for regulating your diabetic dog's condition. It can help determine how well your dog responds to the current type and dose of insulin for controlling diabetes.
This determination works best under normal regular conditions where your dog’s feeding, exercise, and stress levels are the same as any typical day.
Testing Blood Sugar Levels in Dogs at the Vet's
When deciding to conduct the test at your vet's office, you are likely to face one common problem: your pet will get more stressed. When confined in a small, unfamiliar space for an extended period, it may refuse to eat when restrained for performing the test.
This is not a normal condition for your dog, and hence, the blood sugar readings obtained may not be an accurate reflection of what your dog’s blood sugar level is on a regular day.
Testing Blood Sugar Levels in Dogs at Home
If your dog’s diabetes is pretty well managed: the blood sugar monitoring system is an excellent choice to check the blood sugar level on an occasional basis. You can perform a blood sugar test quickly, conveniently, and at the time of your choice.
Whereas, if your dog’s diabetes is a little hard to regulate, the blood sugar monitoring system can be useful to get the information, which might be necessary for your vet to identify more suitable adjustments to your dog’s insulin therapy.
5 Tips on How to Test Blood Sugar In Dogs
1. Find the Spot
Pricking on the ear doesn't typically work on a dog because they don't have a prominent marginal vein, unlike cats. The inside of a dog’s upper lip is used for pricking by pet owners who are performing a home blood sugar test.
First, lay your dog on its side and gently lifting the upper lip and trying to roll it outward, so you get some space to work on the inside. Usually, the area near the dog’s tooth is the right spot for the test; you can prick towards the lip’s edge.
Make sure to wipe the area using a clean cloth and remove all the saliva. Most often, dog owners who go with lip pricking find it easy and don’t complain about causing their dogs and pain.
However, be careful and make sure your dog allows you to do this and doesn’t end up biting you. If the inside lip is not suitable for you, the outside of the lip can be the alternate.
2. Keep it Clean
Make sure you keep everything very clean and properly wash your hands using soap and water. Maintain a clean work-space by laying out a clean towel for your tools.
Also, remember not to touch the tip of the lancet with your bare hand.
Make sure the prick site is clean and dry before you prick your diabetic dog. If you think the target area is dirty, make sure you wash it with warm water, and before pricking, wait until the space is nicely dry. Moisture will cause the blood to spread out, and it will become challenging to take the blood sugar test.
Any moisture in the area will also dilute the down blood sample and make the blood sugar reading inaccurate.
3. Keep Your Dog Calm
Home blood sugar test will require you to restrain your pet gently. This means the procedure will need you to keep your dog as calm and still as you possibly can.
It’s also crucial that your pet feels relatively relaxed and doesn’t feel stress due to being restrained. If your pet does get stressed during the restraining, this may not give you useful blood sugar readings.
You are most likely to face a little struggling but if your dog gets highly agitated, then make sure to take a break of 15 to 30 minutes before trying again.
No matter the condition, never use excessive force and consult your vet to give you an idea of how to restrain your dog correctly.
4. Control the Bleeding
When taking a blood sample, make sure you are in control of the bleeding. Once you have put the blood sample in the meter, give your attention to your dog’s lip or wherever you did the prick and let the meter do its job.
The first thing to do is hold a gauze square firmly but not too tightly at the pricked area for around 30 seconds; this should be enough to stop the bleeding. If the punctured area continues to bleed, then keep applying mild pressure for a minute more and try to keep your dog calm.
However, if the bleeding still doesn’t stop, make sure to call your vet and ask for advice.
5. Watch for Bruising
A small red spot is likely to form once you prick your dog. This is the area from where you took a small amount of blood sample from a vessel trapped underneath the skin.
It’s normal to get a small bruise around the size of a grain of rice, and this will go away within a day or two. However, you need to watch out for any large bruise, swelling, and warmth in the pricked area, fluid accumulation, or infection.
If any of the above signs show in your dog, you need to seek your veterinarian’s advice as soon as possible.
We hope you found how to test blood sugar in dogs useful. Let us know in the comments below!
Additional Resource: More On Dogs & Diabetes.