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AlphaTRAK Blood Glucose Monitoring System is a system of diagnostic tools used to measure the levels of glucose in the blood of diabetic dogs and cats. The system consists of the AlphaTRAK 2 meter, easy-wicking test strips, lancing device, lancets and control test solution.

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AlphaTRAK 2 is the name of the blood glucose meter included in the AlphaTRAK Blood Glucose Monitoring System. AlphaTRAK 2 is the second generation and most current AlphaTRAK meter and the only one in production.

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AlphaTRAK 2 is the blood glucose monitor used and prescribed the most among veterinarians. AlphaTRAK is calibrated for dogs and cats and accounts for the differences in the blood makeup of different species. Results are accurate, easy to obtain from the comfort of home and available quickly. Sometimes, pet owners choose to use human blood glucose meters instead of a pet glucometer. Human meters are created and calibrated for measuring the concentration of glucose in a human's blood. When a human blood glucose meter is used for a dog or cat, it assumes human blood composition to calculate glucose levels. This can result in underestimation of blood glucose concentrations and inaccurate readings.

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The AlphaTRAK 2 meter, AlphaTRAK Starter Kit and AlphaTRAK supplies, such as lancets and test strips, are available for purchase from your veterinarian or one of these authorized online retailers:

  • ADW Diabetes
  • Countryside Pet Supply
  • ExpressMed
  • Four Paws Pet Meds

We can also help you find a veterinarian near you.

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Blood glucose meters intended for human use are calibrated to detect glucose in human blood. The way glucose is distributed in human blood differs greatly from the way it is distributed in the blood of dogs and cats. Human meters do not account for this difference and underestimate the level of glucose in the blood, producing inaccurate results. AlphaTRAK 2 is calibrated specifically for the blood of dogs and cats. Because dog and cat blood differ from one another as well, AlphaTRAK has specific settings for dogs or cats.

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Yes. The AlphaTRAK 2 meter stores test results in its memory. To learn how to use and review the meter memory, please see page 30 of the AlphaTRAK Complete User's Manual.

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AlphaTRAK 2 uses battery type CR2032. For help changing the battery, please see page 34 of the AlphaTRAK Complete User's Manual.

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The lancet is a small needle encased in plastic used to draw blood from the skin of the animal. The lancet is loaded into the spring-loaded lancing device, which delivers a small prick the skin of the animal in order to obtain a blood sample. Lancets are one-time use only and should be discarded immediately after each use. Replace the cap prior to discarding.

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The lancing device is a pen-sized tool with a spring mechanism and trigger button that is used in conjunction with lancets to obtain blood samples from cats and dogs. The lancing device included in the AlphaTRAK Starter Kit has 9 depth settings. Depending on your device, the settings may be numbered 1 through 9 or 1 through 5 with a half-step in between each whole number. On both, 1 is the shallowest setting and the highest number is the deepest. We recommend starting with the deepest setting on the first attempt to draw blood. Then, if your pet bleeds easily, you can dial the depth back. This is to ensure adequate blood is available for the test and could help avoid needing to prick the pet again.

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Expired strips cannot guarantee accurate results. Discard expired strips and use new strips.

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For step-by-step instructions on performing a blood glucose test, see the One-Stop User's Guide.

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The lancing device delivers a very minor prick with little to no discomfort for your pet. It may help to familiarize your pet with the sound of the lancing device until they get used to it and reward them with a diabetes-friendly treat afterwards to maintain positive association with the process. If you choose the paw pad for your testing site, it may help to use the lancing device on the side of the paw pad, rather on the bottom part that the pet steps on when walking.

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Dog: Marginal ear vain, side of the paw pad, elbow callus or inner upper lip
Cat: Marginal ear vain, side of the paw pad

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If you are having trouble getting a blood droplet to form, try one of the following:

  • Adjust the depth of the lancing device to a deeper setting.
  • Try a different testing site, such as the marginal ear vain, side of paw pad or inner upper lip.
  • Use a warm cloth or warming pad to warm the area for a few seconds prior to lancing.
  • If the pet has long hair, try shaving the small testing area.
  • Apply a small amount of pressure to the test site to help form a blood drop.

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On each side of the tip of the test strip, there is a small outward scallop. This point is designed to break the surface pressure of the blood drop, wicking the blood onto the test strip. With the test strip in the meter and the meter turned on, gently touch one of the scalloped sides of the test strip to the blood droplet on your pet and wait for a beep. Tracing lines on the meter screen will indicate it is "working." If you did not get enough blood on the strip, the meter will show an error code (E). If you receive an E code, you may add more blood to the SAME SIDE of the test strip, within 60 seconds, without interfering with results.

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Add blood to one of the black dots, with a small point, on either side of the tapered end of the test strip. The other end goes into the meter. The butterfly faces up, and "flies" up and into the meter.

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60 seconds. If you get error code 1 (Er 1), this means there is not enough blood. You may add more blood to the test strip for up to 60 seconds after seeing the error code. If you continue to get an error code, the meter does not beep after adding blood, or the screen does not indicate the meter is working, remove the strip and replace with a new strip, then try again.

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The control solution test should be done when you first buy your AlphaTRAK starter kit, every time you buy new strips, or when you're questioning the accuracy of the reading. The control solution is a red liquid containing a fixed amount of glucose. It's a good way to practice and to make sure the meter and test strips are working together properly.

1. To begin, check the solution expiration date. Be sure to throw it away three months after the first use. Get a strip and close the vial cap. Putting a strip into the meter turns it on; the butterfly on the strip always faces up and flies into the meter port.

2. Make sure you see this screen.
If you don't, contact Zoetis Customer Care at this number: 1-888-ZOETIS1.

3. Now it's time to code the meter. When the code appears, use button c to scroll forward or m to scroll backward until the number matches the appropriate dog or cat code on your AlphaTRAK 2 test strip vial.

4. Make sure the tip of the control solution vial is clean by discarding a few drops. Apply the control solution to the tip of the test strip until you hear a beep. The screen should show tracing lines. This means the meter got enough solution and is now processing. If a short line doesn't appear after five seconds, the sample may be too small. You can add more control solution to the same side of the test strip within 60 seconds.

5. Compare the results to the range printed on the test strip vial or on the package insert. It should fall within that range. If it does, press and hold the c button for two seconds to mark the result as a control solution result.

6. Remove the strip to turn the meter off, and that's it. Your AlphaTRAK Blood Glucose Monitoring System is now ready to use.

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Use only AlphaTRAK 2 test strips and AlphaTRAK control solution with this meter. Using previous versions of the AlphaTRAK test strips or other brands of test strips and control solution with the AlphaTRAK 2 meter may produce inaccurate results.

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A pet's blood glucose can spike or dip depending on several factors. These include:

  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Anxiety, such as being left alone or having company in the house
  • Moments of activity, like chasing a squirrel or active play
  • A visit to the veterinarian

Other factors that could affect glucose meter results include using expired test strips, not adding enough blood to the test strip or using test strips that are not compatible with the AlphaTRAK 2 meter.

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What are the most common error/display messages?

Er 1 means error code 1. The most common causes of Er 1 are too small of a blood sample or blood glucose lower than 20mg/dL.

What should if do if I get Er 1?

Retest. If you continue to get Er 1, run control solution test.

After running a control solution test, retest your pet.

If the reading is still below 20mg/dL, call your vet. This indicates a very low blood glucose level.

Er 2 means error code 2. The most common cause of Er 2 is blood glucose higher than 750mg/dL.

What should if do if I get Er 2?

Retest. If you continue to get Er 2, run control solution test.

After running a control solution test, retest your pet.

If the reading is still above 750mg/dL, call your veterinarian. This indicates a very high blood glucose level.

Er 3 means error code 3. The most common cause of Er 3 is incorrect testing procedure.

What should if do if I get Er 3?

Make sure the species code matches the code on the test strip vial.

Make the test strip was handled correctly. The butterfly should fly "up" and into the meter to turn it on. Blood should be added to the black dot on the tapered end of the test strip. Blood should be added to one side of the test strip only. Do not add more blood to the opposite side of the test strip. Do not add more blood after 60 seconds. Do not use expired test strips. Use only AlphaTRAK test strips featuring the black butterfly image.

The most common cause of Er 4 is a low or weak battery.

What should if do if I get Er 4?

Replace the battery. AlphaTRAK 2 uses battery type CR2032. For help changing the battery, please see page 34 of the AlphaTRAK Complete User's Manual.

The most common cause of Er 6 is the m or c buttons being pushed while applying a sample.

What should if do if I get Er 6?

Retest, making sure to avoid hitting any buttons on the meter while adding blood to the test strip.

"HI" appears when the result is higher than 750mg/Dl.

What should if do if I get "HI"?

Retest. If you continue to get HI, run control solution test.

After running a control solution test, retest your pet.

If the reading still says HI, call your veterinarian. This indicates a very high blood glucose level.

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"LO" Appears when the result is lower than 20mg/Dl.

What should if do if I get "LO"

Retest. If you continue to get LO, run control solution test.

After running a control solution test, retest your pet.

If the reading still says LO, call your veterinarian. This indicates a very low blood glucose level.

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PC appears on the display when you insert a data cable in the data port. The computer must have a compatible data management system to complete the transfer. Remove this cable before performing a test. If you are getting PC, but the data cable is not attached, the data cable port may be contaminated. Check the port, reset the meter and try testing again.

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The most common cause of this is a weak/low battery. Try replacing the battery. AlphaTRAK 2 uses battery type CR2032. For help changing the battery, please see page 34 of the AlphaTRAK Complete User's Manual. If you continue to have this problem, contact customer service at 1-888-ZOETIS1 (1-888-963-8471)1-888-ZOETIS1 (1-888-963-8471).

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The most common reason the meter will beep is because an alarm has been set. Ensure all 4 alarms are silenced if alarms are not being used. For help setting or silencing alarms, see page 32 of the AlphaTRAK Complete User's Manual.

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Please contact your veterinarian or call 1-888-ZOETIS1 (1-888-963-8471)1-888-ZOETIS1 (1-888-963-8471) or visit our contact page. We can also help you find a veterinarian near you.

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