Why Are My Cat Or Dog’s Blood Fructosamine Level High?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

See What Normal Blood & Urine Values Are

Causes Of Most Abnormal Blood & Urine Tests

See How Tests Are Grouped

Your Pet’s Blood Fructosamine Levels aka Glycated Blood Albumin, aka sFA

Veterinarians suggest a fructosamine blood test for your dog or cat when they are concerned about its blood sugar (glucose) levels. That is usually because they suspect – or are treating – diabetes. Read about diabetes in dogs here and in cats here.

Your pet’s blood glucose levels tell your vet quite a bit about how well its pancreas (the source of its insulin) is regulating blood sugar levels. But in cats especially, levels calculated at any single moment in time may not give an accurate indication of the pet’s long-term ability to control its blood sugar level. That is because the stress of the drive to your vets office and apprehension once it gets there often raises its blood glucose level temporarily.

The fructosamine test gets around that. Its value – determined in a single blood test – measures elevated blood glucose (persistent hyperglycemia) over the previous 7–14 days. A fructosamine test while your pet is on insulin therapy is also very useful. It can help your veterinarian determine if the insulin dose, insulin type and interval between injections is right for your pet. An alternative test that provides the same information is the glycosylated hemoglobin test. Fructosamine or the alternative test should be within near-normal values if your pet’s diabetes is under good control.

The test might also be useful for pets that live in out-of-the-way places that cannot be tested at home. The level of blood glucose in blood samples once they are obtained goes down proportionately to the length of time it takes to get the sample to a laboratory to be analyzed. Fructosamine in blood samples is considerably more stable than blood glucose. Recent studies question the advisability of using the fructosamine test as an alternative to frequently measuring your pet’s blood glucose level when it comes to deciding the amount of daily insulin your dog or cat requires. Others question the test’s sensitivity and accuracy. (read here & here)

Reasons Your Pet’s Blood Fructosamine Levels Might Be High:

Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes (on rare occasions, prolonged periods of stress keep your pet’s blood glucose levels high enough to give a false-positive fructosamine result for diabetes).

Reasons Your Pet’s Blood Fructosamine Levels Might Be Low Or Fail To Indicate Diabetes When Diabetes Is Present:

Low blood albumin protein (hypoalbuminemia) or the presence of an insulin-secreting tumor in your pet’s pancreas (an insulinoma) can also keep blood fructosamine levels low.

Complimentary Tests:

Blood glucose level, Blood glucose curve, blood albumin level,   glycosylated hemoglobin


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