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How to do a Lip Prick on a Dog to Test Blood Glucose

Gretchen, non-diabetic stunt double, age 10Featuring Gretchen, a 10 year-old Miniature Schnauzer, who is thankful not to be diabetic.

Supplies would include a meter and test strips, lancet and lancet device (if used) and a tissue to dry the lip area before the prick and staunch bleeding, if necessary. If your dog has been resting on his side, the lip that was toward the floor will have more pooled blood and should be easier to get a sample from. Another idea is to take your dog for a walk, or massage the lip/muzzle area to stimulate blood flow before testing. You want dog to be relaxed and calm, this is not the time for roughness or play biting. If your dog is not cooperative, and can't be bribed into good behavior, you may need a different approach. Other BG test approaches include pricking a paw pad or calloused area. Ear pricks generally don't work well for dogs, but there are exceptions. Have a large dog lay on its side, a smaller dog may be held on your lap or set on a table for testing.


Curl lip up, locate inside lip area above canine toothLocate the area of the upper inside lip (not the gum!), just above the canine tooth. This area has very little nerve supply and pricks here do not bother most dogs. Use different spots in the canine tooth area and alternate sides of the mouth a to give the lip a chance to heal. Wipe the area with a clean cloth or tissue to remove saliva (dry it). A prick towards the edge of the lip, works well.





Use lancet device to prick inner lip

Use the mark on the lancet device to help you aim where you will prick (raised ridge shows as bump in this picture). The Penlet II lancet device that came with the FastTake meter is shown here.







Lip blood drop wells upLip blood drop close-up

Be patient, the drop will form. A gentle squeeze will produce a larger drop. The newer meters recommended by owners of diabetic pets require only a small drop of blood for a sample. The drop in the close up is plenty for the Elite, the FastTake, or the Accu-Chek Advantage with a sipping Comfort Curve strip.


Use tip of Elite strip to sip up blood dropThe Elite XL meter strip shown "sips up" the blood drop with capillary action. You can see that the red fills the square and comes all the way down to outline the circle below. This demonstrates a completely filled strip and a sufficient sample. If the strip only partially fills, and blood doesn't reach the circle, you may not have a sufficient sample and your reading may be falsely lower than actual.

For very complete coverage of Canine Diabetes (and also Cushings Disease) with numerous links, please visit Canine Diabetes Home Page

Tyler's Helpful Links Page

and the Pets With Diabetes Home Page