The Benefits of At-Home Pet Health Tests
After Lucy was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and diabetes my goal was for her to live her best and healthiest life possible. Once she healed from pancreatitis I started educating myself about canine diabetes which led me to testing blood glucose levels at home. The more educated I became the more at-home tests I had in my arsenal.
Today I want to go over some of the benefits of at-home pet health test. Grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and let’s jump right in.
Testing blood glucose (BG) levels at home
There are several reasons why I promote testing blood glucose levels consistently. This is one of the most important things you need to be able to do: test blood glucose levels at home. By testing blood glucose levels at home we can see in real-time what is going on with insulin and glucose.
Blood glucose levels should be tested on a regular basis, testing at each fasting (before food and insulin) ensures that it is safe to give insulin.
Dogs and cats blood glucose levels are affected by stress. Running blood glucose curves at home are more accurate than when the vet performs curves and it saves the pet owner money.
We can test blood glucose any time our pet is acting off; this quickly rules out hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
We know when it is time for a vet visit when BG levels are consistently off.
Testing urine for ketones
Uncontrolled blood glucose levels can cause ketones to be produced by the liver. When there is not enough insulin to get glucose into cells for energy, the liver uses fats for energy. This process produces ketones and ketone buildup causes diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) a serious complication of diabetes and it is fatal if not treated.
By testing urine for ketones we know whether or not we need to visit the vet or ER for intervention.
Testing urine for urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are common due to diabetes. Excess glucose is filtered of out of the blood stream by the kidneys and dumped into the bladder. There are many dumps before the bladder is emptied. Glucose breeds bacteria and can cause urinary tract infections.
Whenever blood glucose levels are higher than normal, your pet is having potty accidents or the urine is sticky, we should test urine for possible UTI’s. this helps us know whether our pet has an infection and needs to be treated by their vet.
Monitoring kidney function using urine strips
Diabetes can affect our pet’s kidneys by damaging the blood vessels. By monitoring specific gravity (pH), protein and creatinine you can relay results to your vet when you need to make an appointment.
I hope that today’s blog has helped you understand the benefits of at-home pet health tests; if you need any of these products for your diabetes arsenal PetTest offers all of them, just click on the links below to take you to the product.
Here are links to previous blogs discussing each topic:
For a printable version of this blog click here.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please start a conversation below.
Until next week stay comfy, cool and caffeinated!
AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator
Administrator of Diabetic Dog Owners on Facebook
Founder/Administrator of DDO: Diabetic Dog Owners University
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