Monitoring the diabetic patient can be frustrating. Although a 12- to 24-hour glucose concentration curve is considered the gold standard, just bringing the patient to the veterinary clinic may alter the true profile. A continuous glucose monitoring system has been approved by the FDA for use in humans and has been tested in animals. This system measures the glucose concentrations in the interstitial space. A sensor detects an electric signal, and the data are sent to a recording device. Values can be provided every 5 minutes. The device can be left in place for up to 3 days, allowing evaluation of day-to day variations in glucose levels. The glucose range is 40 to 400 mg/dl, so the device is not recommended for patients with poor glycemic control.

COMMENTARY: While many tools are used to monitor diabetic patients, this new device would add useful information while reducing the stress of hospitalization. However, the cost of the device may limit its use by the average practitioner for a while.

Use of continuous blood glucose monitoring for animals with diabetes mellitus. DeClue AE, Cohn LA, Kerl ME, Wiedmeyer CE. JAAHA 40:171-173, 2004.