The AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit is a complete glucometer that gives owners of diabetic dogs an opportunity to conveniently test their furry companion’s blood glucose from the comfort of their homes. The starter kit is the same one used by vets for monitoring blood glucose levels. It has been standardized and validated for dogs and other pets. Using a human meter on a dog will only give you underestimated and inaccurate readings because its design is suitable for human blood makeup. Human blood glucose meters are created and calibrated for correctly measuring human blood glucose concentration. Humans and dogs have different blood composition.
AlphaTRAK 2 is an upgrade of the former AlphaTRAK meter. Do not, therefore, use old test strips with the monitor in this new kit as they will not work to precision. AlphaTRAK 2 Kit contains everything required to monitor a diabetic pet. A stable diabetic dog should have a 100-250mg/dL blood glucose range for a 24-hour period.
I will list the contents below.
Contents of AlphaTRAK kit
1. New lancing device.
2. AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring Meter.
3. 30 AlphaTRAK Lancets.
4. 25 AlphaTRAK 2 Test Strips.
5. One Instructional DVD.
6. One AlphaTRAK control Solution.
7. Two user guides: Quick and Full user guide.
8. A Carrying Case.
9. Diabetes Diary.
Steps to test your dog’s blood glucose
Step 1: Pick up your lancing device and get a small blood sample from your dog. Press and hold the cocked lancing device to the test site, push and then release the button. Make sure that the test area is warm to make collection easier.
Step 2: The next step will be turning on the AlphaTRAK 2 meter. Do this by inserting the test strip into the meter port.
Step 3: Take your time to confirm whether the code showing on the meter is the same as the one showing on the test strip vial.
Step 4: Touch a side of the sample area on the AlphaTRAK test strip to the blood sample. Do this till you hear a beeping sound, also look out for lines that may move across the meter display
Step 5: the final step involves observation. You are guaranteed accurate results in seconds. Put on some gentle pressure to the test site for some seconds, get rid of the lancet and the used strip and record your observation.
Some of the common places to check for dog’s blood sugar are:
1. Ear – recommended by vets but more widespread in cats than dogs.
2. Upper lip – has very few nerves making the process less painful.
3. Back at the base of tail – has become popular in recent times, you need to shave a small patch.
4. Elbow callous – suitable for medium and large dogs.
• The sample detection technology in the test strip has a clinical precision that prevents unnecessary strip wasting. It uses test strips that only need 0.3 uL blood sample.
• Easy to use and for confirmation you can go through the quick and full guides.
• The kit is very portable, which makes it easy to carry around.
• No incorrect results. The test starts after the strip has enough blood.
• The kit automatically turns the meter on and off which speeds up the testing process.
• The AlphaTRAK 2 package provides the dog owner with faster and more accurate results.
• No venous puncture is needed as it can use capillary blood.
• Has an angled sample area which makes the target area easy to position to the blood drop.
• The price of strips may be a bit high for some dog owners.
• If not used correctly, you will waste the strips.
• Setting up the kit is challenging for some people.
Why it is important to monitor your dog’s blood sugar level
1. Diabetic dogs are prone to frequent dehydration because they lose body water as they excrete dilute urine, despite them drinking significant amounts of water. Knowing the blood sugar level will help you give the right treatment or medication.
2. When monitoring your dog’s blood sugar level, you get to note any changes which may be an indication of the need for extra testing or alterations in the dosage of insulin. You will know whether you are dealing with extremely high or low blood sugar levels and act accordingly.
3. Monitoring helps to keep track of your dog’s progress. It will help you to estimate the efficiency of treatment and further assess the effect in fluctuations in diet, insulin type, and feeding schedule.
4. Home monitoring is convenient. It will reduce the number of times you got to the vet to perform the same.
5. Using AlphaTRAK 2 kit to perform your dog’s blood sugar monitoring is less expensive when compared to performing the same tests at a veterinary clinic. The results are also more reflective as you carry out the tests at home.
When using the AlphaTRAK 2 Kit for tests, glucose values should be in a range of 20-500mg/dL. If the control test exceeds this normal range, repeat the test. The unexpected results can be due to an error either because you are using the wrong procedure, or if the test strips have are stored in inappropriate temperature. The error can also be a result of the test solution being expired or diluted. If you rectify all the mistakes and still get an out of range control test, try to troubleshoot. Use the guides or contact the manufacturer through the contacts provided.
For best results, use the control solution for three months after opening it up. Check for the expiry date and avoid using it after it has expired. Avoid diluting it with any other fluid. Do not ingest it under any circumstances as it is for external use only. In the event of ingestion, seek immediate medical attention from your physician or poison control.
Store the kit safely in at room temperature and out of children’s reach. Avoid refrigeration.
A new feature called AlphaTRAKer that is available for download on your Personal Computer allows you to enter your results and information after carrying out tests. The electronic data master is used to track and report meter readings, treatment and other activities for easier tracking at home. The information helps the dog user to come up with easy to read reports. Quickly email or print out the reports if you want to leave your local vet with a copy. Note that using AlphaTRAK 2 kit for blood sugar monitoring does not mean that you should ignore veterinary care. Instead, the two should be utilized together with testing and treatment by your vet. Using both will enable your diabetic dog to be treated as accurately as possible.