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Evaluation of portable blood glucose meters for measurement of blood glucose concentration in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)

Olivia A. Petritz DVM1, Natalie Antinoff DVM, DABVP2, Sue Chen DVM, DABVP3, Philip H. Kass DVM, PhD, DACVPM4, and Joanne R. Paul-Murphy DVM, DACZM5
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  • 1 Gulf Coast Avian & Exotics, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, 1111 W Loop S, Ste 110, Houston, TX 77027.
  • | 2 Gulf Coast Avian & Exotics, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, 1111 W Loop S, Ste 110, Houston, TX 77027.
  • | 3 Gulf Coast Avian & Exotics, Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, 1111 W Loop S, Ste 110, Houston, TX 77027.
  • | 4 Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate agreement of 3 models of portable blood glucose meters (PBGMs; 2 designed for use with human samples and 1 designed for veterinary use) with a laboratory analyzer for measurement of blood glucose concentrations in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

Design—Evaluation study.

Animals—52 ferrets.

Procedures—Samples were analyzed with 4 PBGMs (whole blood) and a laboratory analyzer (plasma). Two PBGMs of the model designed for veterinary use were tested; each was set to a code corresponding to canine or feline sample analysis throughout the study. Agreement and bias between measurements obtained with the PBGMs and the laboratory analyzer were assessed with Bland-Altman plots. Linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate associations with venipuncture site by comparison of central (jugular) and peripheral (lateral saphenous or cephalic) venous blood samples.

Results—Plasma glucose concentrations measured with the laboratory analyzer ranged from 41 to 160 mg/dL. Results from the PBGM for veterinary use coded to test a canine blood sample had the greatest agreement with the laboratory analyzer (mean bias, 1.9 mg/dL); all other PBGMs significantly underestimated blood glucose concentrations. A PBGM designed for use with human samples had the least agreement with the laboratory analyzer (mean bias, −34.0 mg/dL). Blood glucose concentration was not significantly different between central and peripheral venous blood samples for any analyzer used.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant underestimation of blood glucose concentrations as detected for 3 of the 4 PBGMs used in the study could have a substantial impact on clinical decision making. Verification of blood glucose concentrations in ferrets with a laboratory analyzer is highly recommended.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Petritz's present address is Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Supported in part by Antech Diagnostics and Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. Abbott Laboratories donated the AlphaTrak glucometers and test strips used in the study.

Presented in abstract form at the 32nd Annual Association of Avian Veterinarians Conference & Expo with the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians, Seattle, August 2011.

The authors thank Danielle Inman, Georgina Hopwood, Sharon Dehart, and Cassandra Carroll for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Paul-Murphy (paulmurphy@ucdavis.edu).