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Ask Dr. Altman Your Own Question
Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12476
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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I cant get enough blood to do a glucose test on my small dog.

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I can't get enough blood to do a glucose test on my small dog. I've been trying on his ear, and he's just getting MAD. Any advice at all?

Dr. Altman :

Welcome! I am Dr. Altman, a licensed veterinarian and happy to answer your questions today.

Dr. Altman :

The best advice is u-tube videos, I am definitely a visual person and this helps me

Dr. Altman :

CLICK HERE for an ear technique

Dr. Altman :

CLICK HERE for another technique with the tail

Customer:

ive been looking at youtube... can you recommend a good tail video?

Dr. Altman :

CLICK HERE for one on the pad

Dr. Altman :

I think I beat you to the punch...the second video should help

Dr. Altman :

Have you had your veterinary clinic technician do a demo or have you do it in front of them to ensure a good technique?

Customer:

no they just said try ear

Dr. Altman :

Oh geeze sorry

Customer:

I dont think he would let me try his foot very well... do you have a video of tail?

Dr. Altman :

I always have a client come in and have the technician do a demo

Dr. Altman :

The second video was a tail...do you see three click heres?

Dr. Altman :

It is the middle one

Customer:

well hes also good for the vet

Dr. Altman :

Of course he is!

Customer:

can you usually get a sample from a small dogs ear?

Dr. Altman :

Sometimes one of the technicians will come to the home to assist initially

Dr. Altman :

Yes you can depending on the ear size

Customer:

where do you aim on the ear?

Dr. Altman :

But most people use the ear because it is easiest but not everyone finds this technique helpful and if he is more sensitive to the ears the tail might be your best bet

Customer:

that dog has a small fat tail... would a more narrow tail work?

Dr. Altman :

Is the ear white?

Dr. Altman :

It can yes because the blood supply might be easier to hit

Customer:

yes white hair pink ear

Dr. Altman :

Using alcohol to wet the hair makes the ear easier to lance

Customer:

i was trying for that vein near his outer ear but I must have missed :S

Customer:

there are levels 1-4 on the depth of the lancet... would you recommend a certain setting?

Dr. Altman :

I use alcohol then vaseline to allow it to bead then put pressure on the ear tip after lancing to help increase the volume a little

Dr. Altman :

It really is variable with the technique, I typically use a lower setting

Customer:

yeah hes getting way mad at me tho... and im running out of ways to trick him into letting me try. :S I dont want him to hate me

Dr. Altman :

I would take a break for a few hours then try again

Customer:

he does notttt want pressure on it after

Dr. Altman :

I have people do it while the pet is eating

Dr. Altman :

Unfortunately that is the only way to get it to bead to get enough

Customer:

im trying...

Dr. Altman :

Perhaps the tail technique would be better, it sounds like he is overly sensitive

Customer:

does ear or tail hurt more?

Dr. Altman :

I think it is variable per pet just like people. Some are more sensitive to certain areas of the body

Customer:

mine is just being a grump. he gets the same amount of mad when he suspects Im going to try it as he does if I actually do it

Dr. Altman :

I would consider stopping for a few hours and if you are still having difficulties have your vet tech do a demo, this should be offered. You shouldn't know how to do this without any guidance!

Dr. Altman :

Yes, the expectation of discomfort in a small breed dog

Customer:

she sort of showed me how to use the meter

Customer:

just not after actually poking him

Customer:

is middle or outside edge of the ear a better bet?

Dr. Altman :

If you alcohol the ear you can see the vessel a bit better and know what you are aiming for

Customer:

on the outside edge?

Dr. Altman :

Which runs parallel to the edge of the ear tip

Customer:

ok thanks... ill try again a bit later

Dr. Altman :

Trying to find a photo but having difficulties

Customer:

can u post a link?

Dr. Altman :

I am looking for a good one for you...please give me a few moments. This LINK takes you to the page on dog diabetes. This site is great because they have support groups and give good details. Unfortunately the one on ear lancets is not my favorite

Dr. Altman :

OK here is a close up video, CLICK HERE

Customer:

ok thanks!

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