Monitoring diabetes in patients and pets

July 26, 2010 at 11:45 PM
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COLUMBIA, Mo., July 26 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say a diabetes monitoring device reduces the stress of obtaining multiple blood samples from patients -- whether human or animal.

Charles Wiedmeyer of Missouri University College of Veterinary Medicine says a continuous glucose monitoring device -- commonly used in humans with diabetes -- is being used to help treat dogs and other animals, as well. The device provides a detailed glucose picture over several days help pets as well as people manage diabetes.

"Our research has found that continuous glucose monitoring devices can be used in dogs, cats, cows and horses," Wiedmeyer says in a statement. "Use of this system alleviated the need for multiple blood samples. It also reduces the stress associated with obtaining those samples. This system may provide greater monitoring capabilities in animals with diabetes and promote the diagnostic and research potential of glucose monitoring in veterinary patients."

The device -- produced by Medtronic -- sits under the skin between the shoulder blades in an animal and records blood glucose data every 5 minutes. Monitoring the blood glucose levels can help veterinarians determine the proper dosage of insulin and how diet is affecting the animal's diabetes.

"Dogs with diabetes are similar to children with diabetes," Wiedmeyer says. "Both rely on caregivers to manage their disease. Both have little control over their diet or when they receive insulin."

Wiedmeyer presented his findings at the Friends for Life: International Children with Diabetes Conference in Orlando, Fla.

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