Healthy animals can eat and digest foods containing carbohydrates without a problem, since their body is able to convert them into glucose. Glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream and then into the cells (with the help of the insulin hormone), where it is used for energy. When the body cannot use the glucose properly, the glucose levels get too high and the animals feel poorly. When the insulin level in the body is too low or does not work properly, then your pet is suffering from diabetes type 2. Diabetes type 1 is when the body does not produce insulin at all.
This is why you should constantly monitor your’ pets glucose levels. If you do not want to submit them to the stressful process of blood testing, you can profit from a great alternative: Diastix. Diastix is a special product manufactured by Bayer Diabetes Care. These dip sticks are used to test if your pets have sugar in their urine.
Numerous veterinarians nowadays recommend the use of Diastix, because it helps owners monitor their pets’ diabetes at home, without having to constantly go to the vet. This simple and inexpensive alternative can be used by anyone and provides a helpful insight regarding the pets’ health.
The principle on which Diastix works is pretty simple and is based on the fact that excessive glucose amounts in the bloodstream will be filtered by the kidneys into urine. If the amount of glucose in the bloodstream exceeds the renal threshold (of 180 mg/dL), then glucose is spilled into the urine. The renal threshold is the level at which the kidneys can no longer process any more glucose, so they spill it into the urine.
If the glucose level in the blood is high for an extended amount of time, then glucose will most likely be present in the urine. The amount of glucose in the urine depends on several factors, such as how high was the blood glucose level and for how long it remained high.
Collecting urine samples from pets can be quite challenging, considering that they are quite private with their toilet habits. Once you have managed to collect the sample, here is how Diastix are used:
- Each test strip has a little test area at the end. That test area is dipped into the urine or simply held in the urine stream.
- Dip the strip into the urine and remove it immediately.
- Count to exactly 15 seconds, because these sticks are really time-sensitive. If you want, you could always use a clock or a watch with a second hand on it.
- After 15 seconds, match the color on the container with the square of the test strip.
Remember that reading after exactly 30 seconds (in total) is very important, otherwise the results may not be accurate. And do not forget to always read the instructions carefully!
Besides Diastix, Bayer also produces other types of urine test strips, such as Clinistix and Keto-Diastix. Keto-Diastix has become increasingly popular, since it not only measures the glucose levels, but also the ketones. When animals get ketones, it means that they have sustained particularly high glucose levels for a while.
Typically, both Diastix and Keto-Diastix are urine testing sticks intended for humans. However, using them with your pets is a great idea, as they have the same effects. Their use is quite recommended, actually, since it allows pet owners to properly care for the health of their diabetic pets.