Biochemical analysis is necessary for diagnosis and monitoring of diseases in birds; however, the small volume of blood that can be safely obtained from small avian species often limits laboratory diagnostic testing. Consequently, a suitable methodology requiring only a small volume of blood must be used. This study was designed to compare blood glucose concentrations in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) as measured by a commercial, handheld, human glucometer and a standard autoanalyzer. During the first phase of the study, whole blood samples obtained from 30 domestic pigeons were used to measure the blood glucose concentration with a glucometer, the packed cell volume (PCV), and the total erythrocyte count (nRBC). Plasma separated from the each sample was then used to obtain the plasma glucose concentration with the autoanalyzer. During the second phase of the study, 30 pigeons were assigned to 2 equal groups (n = 15). Hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia was induced in each group by intravenous injection of insulin or glucose, respectively. Blood was collected and processed, and glucose concentrations, PCV, and nRBC were measured as previously described. Linear-regression models demonstrated a significant relationship between results measured by the glucometer and autoanalyzer results from normoglycemic (correlation coefficient [R] = 0.43, P = .02), hypoglycemic (R = 0.95; P < .001), and hyperglycemic (R = 0.81; P < .001) birds. The results of this study suggest that we can predict the real blood-glucose concentration of pigeons by using results obtained by a glucometer.
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