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Global Experts Identify the Veterinary Practice Benefits of Home Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels in Diabetic Dogs and Cats


Abbott Park, Illinois. ó With more than 1.4 million diabetic dogs and cats in the United States, veterinarians are being challenged to identify the best treatment options to help manage this widespread issue and improve the quality of life among pets with diabetes. To bring the discussion of diabetes to the forefront, Abbott Animal Health, a division of Abbott, hosted its first-ever Diabetes Summit with a group of distinguished veterinary practitioners to identify the key issues in diabetes and diabetes monitoring for dogs and cats.

Summit experts included:

* Jacquie Rand, DVM, director of the Center for Companion Animal Health at the University of Queensland, a significant contributor to research in diabetes in dogs and cats
* David Bruyette, DVM, medical director at VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital
* Sarah Ford, DVM, chief of medicine at the Veterinary Clinics of America Emergency Animal Hospital and Referral Center in San Diego
* Audrey Cook, clinical associate professor at Texas A&M Universityís College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
* Frank Norton, DVM, Veterinary Clinics of Americaís Berwyn Animal Hospital
* Mark Peterson, DVM, head of endocrinology and nuclear medicine at The Animal Medical Center at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center
* Wayne Wingfield, DVM, chief of emergency and critical care medicine at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo.

This was a landmark meeting as we were able to garner insight from influential experts in the veterinary diabetes field, which reinforces our dedication to quality products and support, said Lynn Bromstedt, divisional vice president, Animal Health, Abbott. The proper management of diabetes not only can improve a petís health, but it can also extend their life expectancy.

Summit experts discussed the benefits of home monitoring in diabetic pets and identified three key issues, including the following:

* Significance of obtaining accurate blood glucose levels
* Important role of veterinary technicians
* Economic advantages to the veterinary hospital

Importance of Accuracy

Experts agree obtaining accurate blood-glucose levels on a regular basis is critical when treating a diabetic pet. If diabetes is closely monitored and treated appropriately during the early months after diagnosis, the probability for remission increases significantly among cats, which ultimately helps in achieving a better quality of life for the pet and its owner, said Dr. Rand.

Accuracy is important because it leads the veterinarian and pet owner to a treatment decision. For accuracy, the panelists recommended using a blood glucose monitoring device designated for dogs and cats, such as the Abbott AlphaTRAK blood glucose monitoring system. Having a portable monitoring device calibrated and validated for dogs and cats allows pet owners to provide veterinarians with accurate data between visits.

Human meters were giving me blood glucose levels that were more inaccurate than I had imagined, said Dr. Ford. The AlphaTRAK is accurate and I am impressed with the level of technical support that Abbott provides veterinarians and pet owners.

Vital Role of Veterinary Technicians

Summit panelists agreed veterinary technicians play a vital role in the partnership between pet owners and veterinary hospitals to achieve compliance of home monitoring in diabetic pets. Demonstrating to the pet owner how to take a capillary sample is imperative to successfully measuring a dog or catís blood glucose level.

Itís important that pet owners are shown how to use the meter properly in the hospital before they leave and the best person to do that is a technician, said Dr. Ford. Proper training with established tools for home use provides veterinarians the confidence they need to know that pet owners will indeed monitor blood glucose levels as recommended.

Economic Implications for Veterinary Practices

One of the most prevalent discussion points at the Summit was the economic issues many practices face when recommending home blood glucose monitoring for diabetic dogs and cats.

Within the industry, there is an impression that veterinary hospitals may not see patients regularly if clients monitor their diabetic pets at home, said Dr. Bruyette. Home monitoring actually motivates pet owners and helps increase the cooperation between veterinarians and pet owners. The more informed pet owners are, the more engaged they are, and these are the types of clients who will continue to come to the veterinary hospital and seek the best care for their pets.


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