San Diego Zoo outfits diabetic koala, Quincy, with glucose monitor

Credit: Nathan Rupert via Flickr

Credit: Nathan Rupert via Flickr

Experts at the San Diego Zoo have successfully equipped a koala with diabetes with a glucose monitor designed for humans.

The San Diego Tribune reported that the zoo experts worked with Scripps Health and glucose monitor company Dexcom to monitor Quincy the Queensland koala's Type 1 diabetes. It is not clear how Quincy got the condition, according to KFMB, but it has rarely been documented in koalas.

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Dexcom's G6 continuous glucose monitoring system was donated by the company. The system means the marsupial will no longer have to get his ears pricked multiple times a day to test his glucose levels.

"Very few koalas have been diagnosed with and treated for diabetes," Cora Singleton, DVM, senior veterinarian, San Diego Zoo Veterinary Services, said in a statement. "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, thus allowing us to optimize his insulin therapy while promoting his welfare during his illness."

According to a news release from Scripps Health, the procedure to place the monitor on Quincy went well.

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