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Freestyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitor In Cats

Posted at February 28th, 2023 | Categorised in Blood Sugar

Freestyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitor In Cats – My two CKD cats, Muffy and Cat, also have diabetes. Both had been free of diabetes until recently. Now that their diabetes is back, I’ll share our experience with the new Freestyle Libre sensors for continuous glucose monitoring. Oliver has diabetes due to the use of steroids for other diseases.

Muffy’s diabetes came back in early July 2019. She was diabetic when I got her (August 2018) but recovered after three weeks. He has remained in remission so far on a low carb diet.

Freestyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitor In Cats

Recently, when his kidney disease worsened, I had to change his diet and start eating foods that protect his kidneys, and that are not suitable for his diabetes. So, he is now back on insulin.

Freestyle Libre 2 System

Muffy is especially upset that her blood sugar was tested with ear sticks and she HATES her fingers, so I haven’t tried the paw pad method yet. Since he has a strong opinion and I like to try new devices to make my life easier, I chose the Libre implant.

**I made a mistake in the video. I said it takes 12 hours to test the sensor. It only takes an hour

Muffy’s implant was placed on July 17th by the internist (IM) doctor I use. This technology has a lot to do with placing these sensors, and IM’s own vet is great with older kittens, patients managing CKD and diabetes.

Muffy has been wearing the sensor for two whole days. He doesn’t seem to care at all. Sometimes they scratch or clean lightly around the insert, but they never try to remove it.

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I follow him wildly around the house saying “let me see!” and he tolerates me with his natural love.

Since having a blood glucose Muffy implant only reads “HI” (this sensor is accurate up to 40 to 500 mg/dL).

After wearing the sensor for 2 days and putting up with a little extra listening to confirm the levels, I think one of our problems is that my insulin is out of whack. Muffy’s blood sugar did not drop at all, outside of the times of the day he does not eat or only eats very low food.

I bought a new vial of Lantus this evening so I can give him the evening dose from the new bottle. I will soon find out if the new insulin makes a difference.

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Unfortunately, on the evening of July 19th, Muffy caught her sensor on the edge of a tall litter box. The sensor has been removed and cannot be used again.

Muffy will receive a replacement implant and a shirt to wear, and just needs to make a new plan with her vet.

Cat’s sensor was placed by her primary care physician (PC) on July 23. I went with the PC vet about this as she has been wanting to use these sensors for a while but has not had any patients sign up to try them. I’m ready and I have a diabetic cat that needs an evaluation so I decided to be the first on the scene. Unlike Muffy, Cat is more than happy to have her ears pointed for a blood test, so her sensor is more for my PC vet than anything else.

Fun fact: If you look closely you can see Cat’s scratches on her skin. Most “black” cats are not true black cats, but rather black cats.

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The cat sensor was installed and the first thing I learned is that you need to scan it immediately with your scanner to activate it.

The tech at my vet’s PC office scanned the sensor with his phone, and when I left the office it was 20 minutes before our first reading.

Imagine my surprise when I got home and checked with my readers and found that I had to recalculate the entire 1 hour!

For the rest of the day I couldn’t get any real readings from Cat other than “LO” meaning her glucose would be below 40 (the lowest number the sensor can read). Since Cat was not in a coma or coma, it’s safe to say her blood sugar was over 40. I did a head check to make sure and her blood sugar was 235. Definitely over 40.

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In the morning the sensor registered a reading, finally! But the reading was only 49…

When I got home from work, the sensor went “LO” and then shut down for a few hours so I could detect the interior. The sensor knew it wasn’t working properly and needed to know if it could recover.

Well, the sensor failed to recover, so he killed himself. An internal check seems to have determined that the sensor may not be giving a reliable reading, so the software inside the sensor has shut down permanently.

I have decided to leave the sensor in place on the Cat so my vet will know how long it will last. Its sensor is attached very securely, so I wouldn’t try to remove it until it loosens naturally.

Freestyle Libre 2 Starter Pack

The cat sensor went off today and now I understand why it went wrong. The fiber was bent too much during the initial setup and did not penetrate under Cat’s skin to properly measure the interstitial fluid.

You can clearly see in this picture that Muffy’s little sensor tube is white and comes straight out, meaning it goes right into her skin where she was wearing it. On the Cat sensor the small thread is not visible in the picture but it is bent at the core. When the sensor was closed for the first time, the thread was completely attached to the plastic disk and barely came out!

Here is another view of those sensors. Arrows indicate filament tubes that would collect samples. You can clearly see in this picture that the Cat tube has adhesive on the outside. The Muffy tube is hard to see because it’s straight, but there’s no glue residue on the outside.

In the following picture you can see where the sensor was connected to the Cat. The arrow points to where the sensor filament was. You can clearly see in this photo that the thread was bent during the placement and was lying on top of her skin, instead of going straight in. This site also explains why the thread ended up with glue when it shouldn’t have been exposed with glue.

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You can also see that the close shave that Cat received was very close. Even though the sensor’s glue had already started to flake off and I used adhesive, it still has some small bumps on the skin from removing it. It looks bad in this picture because it’s so close.

Oliver’s sensor was fitted on June 24, 2020 by his in-house vet, the same vet who fitted Muffy’s sensor. Oliver successfully wore his sensor for 14 days. Actually, his sensor is still on at the time of this writing even though the life of the sensor expired 2 days ago. Oliver is a special story for me. He developed diabetes after taking prednisolone (a steroid) to relieve symptoms of tracheal collapse. Tracheal collapse is rare in cats and treatment options are limited. Because of this Oliver cannot stop taking steroids. For your treatment we are working to find the lowest dose of steroids you can take to control your symptoms from tracheal collapse. At the moment we are also trying to find the right dose of insulin to manage his blood sugar.

This is what Oliver’s one week glucose looks like. The purple dots are your actual readings at that time. As you can see, he has a slight curve, which is good, but his overall glucose levels are very high.

Here’s what a day of reading looks like. On the same day I was able to get his glucose down to where he needed to be for a few hours but I couldn’t keep it up.

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After analyzing his glucose sensor I was able to add some notes to the readers. In my pre-insulin spring I added your insulin dose as a note to the device, but I can’t find that information anywhere in what I downloaded from the reader. It seems my records of how much insulin was given and when Oliver took his prednisolone may be lost. I am waiting for an email response from the technical experts to find out if this is true. Feline

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