Animal Diabetes Treated with Device Used on Humans
Dr. Charles Wiedmeyer, an assistant professor of clinical pathology at the MU Veterinary School, has been working with his team since 2002 to test the effectiveness of skin glucose monitors on animals.
Public awareness of Wiedmeyer's research is the result of a recent MU health initiative to cross human health with animal health. The project is called One Health.
The veterinary research team believes not all pet owners are aware of animal diabetes.
"A lot of the time, clients are surprised that the symptoms they are seeing are related to diabetes-mellitus, and some people aren't aware that dogs and cats can develop that condition," said Dr. Amy DeClue, an assistant professor and veterinarian at MU.
A glucose monitor is attached to a diabetic animal at the veterinary hospital. The animal then is taken home for three days. Glucose readings are taken automatically every five minutes.
Wiedmeyer describes the benefits of monitoring the animal in its home environment, saying if an owner can "maintain their daily routine over three days, [the animal] has no stress, so it won't interfere with where they are with glucose control."
By using the glucose monitor, owners of diabetic pets do not have to check their animals' blood glucose levels twice a day.
After the monitor is taken off the animal, it is plugged into a computer. A graph is pulled up that shows the animal's glucose readings at every five-minute interval.
Wiedmeyer says the information can help him and other veterinarians determine an appropriate insulin and diet for the diabetic animal.
The University of Missouri is the first school to publish its research on using skin glucose monitors on animals. It hopes other universities will follow in the near future.
Glucose control monitors cost around $900. Wiedmeyer and his team hope to urge the monitor's manufacturer, Medtronic, to make a monitor specifically tailored to dogs and cats.