A koala with diabetes has been fitted with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to help carers manage his condition better.
Quincy, who lives at the world famous San Diego Zoo had been undergoing daily insulin injections. His carers now hope the CGM will enable them to disturb Quincy less in order to monitor and respond to his blood sugar.
Quincy was first diagnosed by Los Angeles Zoo veterinarians, but he was moved soon after so he could receive specialist care at the San Diego Zoo. It is rare for koalas to be diagnosed with diabetes and animal experts are still not certain why the condition can sometimes develop in the animals.
It is hoped the Dexcom device, which monitors blood glucose levels in real time and is linked up to smart technology, will improve the animal’s quality of life.
Cora Singleto, senior veterinarian at San Diego Zoo, said: “Very few koalas have been diagnosed with and treated for diabetes. Quincy currently requires insulin injections, which are based on his blood sugar level. With a continuous glucose monitor, we may be able to monitor Quincy’s glucose levels throughout the day without having to disturb him. We are hopeful that this technology will work as well in koalas as it does in people.”
Keepers said the application of the monitor went smoothly, and they look forward to having information that will help them develop a treatment plan for Quincy’s condition.
Traditionally, glucose monitoring has been carried out using finger pricking and a blood glucose meter, but a CGM will be less invasive for Quincy.
Peter Simpso, vice president of advanced technology at Dexcom, said: “You can imagine what this technology means for Quincy, and any person trying to manage this challenging disease.
“Just like Quincy’s veterinaria, people with diabetes and their family or friends can monitor their glucose levels from a mobile device, providing around-the-clock safety and peace of mind.”
Picture: Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo/PA

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