Most of you who read our blog have seen recent posts where we sung the praises of the FreeStyle Libre. BOY WERE WE WRONG!!! Keep reading to find out the scoop on what Abbott Pharmaceuticals thinks of dogs.
The last few days, Beignet’s glucose readings on the sensor looked great. But were they actually great??? Unlikely!!! This morning I scanned her and was shocked to see a 47. I immediately grabbed her AlphaTrak2 meter and got a reading of 313. I did a repeat reading thinking the 313 had to be wrong with a scan of 47 and got 310. That kind of variance is NOT okay. I immediately called Abbott Customer Support where they “had a high call volume” with a “hold time of 30 minutes.” What did they have to say???
The gentleman acknowledged that the variance we had was not okay but he said and I quote, “It’s a dog so there is nothing we are going to do about it.” I asked him to repeat his statement and he proceeded to tell me very condescendingly that they are in no way responsible for dogs. I proceeded to tell him that I called when we first got her sensors and I specifically stated that I was using them on a dog and they replaced them. I have had many I did not call about because I realize they may not all stick for 14 days on a dog and I certainly don’t expect them each to be replaced if they don’t stay in place. However, for a malfunctioning sensor, I do expect replacement especially only 4 days into a new 14 day sensor. He kept talking rudely about it being just a dog. I informed him I knew for a fact that sales reps market these sensors to veterinarians so again how are they not going to take responsibility for a faulty sensor? I was put on hold and he came back once or twice and asked my address, etc. Then I was sent to Miles the supposed technical specialist. Miles was incredibly rude about it being for a dog and he delighted in telling me what was wrong with my sensor but that they were not responsible because “it’s on a dog.” I was also told that if a veterinarian requests information on their product they send a rep. Well isn’t it unethical to do that if your product is not for pets and you delight in telling pet parents this?
So who’s dog is “just a dog” and not a valued member of your family? Who of us on the dog diabetes journey isn’t giving their all to keeping their dog healthy and happy each and every day? How many of us are spending a small fortune to do so? Most humans are able to use insurance while pet parents are their probably almost 100% exclusively cash paying customers. From the get go, I wanted a Dexcom because it is far superior to the FreeStyle Libre but just not affordable. I was very pleased with the results I got with the FreeStyle Libre and I recommended the product to many human diabetics being that I am a physician. At this point, its hard to articulate the callous manner I experienced with these Abbott representatives for anyone to fully appreciate. I will say it was enough to make me NOT want to recommend any Abbott products which quite frankly is more of a problem for them and not me in my field of pediatrics when there are equivalent if not better products from other companies.
The worst part about it that I can hardly let myself dwell on, is the harm that could have come to my precious Beignet due to me relying on this sensor that gave faulty readings. I can’t even think about all the consequences, but realize this device COULD HAVE KILLED MY DOG! Yes I know (and have many, many times) cross-checked readings with her glucometer. But when you’re readings look wonderful, it doesn’t cross your mind to bother her by poking for a blood sugar. No one says being a good diabetic pet parent is easy. Perhaps, one should always question a device that makes it so much easier because there’s that saying about if it seems to good to be true…… I’m sure I will continue to beat myself up over this for quite some time.
I ask that each of you let FreeStyle Libre/Abbott Pharmaceuticals know what you think of their position on dogs by commenting below or on our Facebook page or contacting them directly. You can flood their Facebook page with copies of this post and your thoughts [https://www.facebook.com/FreeStyleUS/?brand_redir=954298964703081 ] . You can call their Customer Service department at 1-855-632-8658. Support diabetic pet owners, PLEASE SHARE THIS POST!!!!!!! If sensors are faulty in dogs (and we’ve had now 2 in 5 months) it’s clear there are faulty sensors in humans too. Diabetes is no joke. Diabetics require good control or side effects will occur. This device may make you think you’re controlled when you are not. If you chose to use this device for your dog you still must very regularly home test. Don’t become complacent with not testing when numbers look good because your dog will be the one that suffers. And know they will not stand behind a faulty product if it’s used on your pet. I can understand not continually replacing sensors not staying on a pet (which is why I’m out money for many of those) but a defective product – absolutely ridiculous!
~Angry Doxie Mom