What is a normal glucose reading for a koala like Quincy, the diabetic koala bear?
News agencies around the world reported on June 25, 2018, that a koala at the San Diego Zoo, had been given a Dexcom G6 constant glucose monitor as part of treatment for his rare case of diabetes.
In a video, Quincy is seen sleeping on an exam table, with a shaved area on his back. The G6 CGM sensor's adhesive is applied with a quick click. And, after a sensor and transmitter warm-up period, the device is working. The Dexcom indicates that diabetic koala's blood glucose was 321.
That seemed quite high to a lot of people in the diabetes communities. But koalas are not humans, so what then is then is a normal blood sugar reading for a koala?
The San Diego Zoo replied to my inquiry and indicates that a normal koala glucose reading is: 80-130 mg/dl.
That is quite similar to a human's, where normal human blood sugar is considered approximately 75-95 when fasting between meals, and under 120 mg/dl two hours after meals by many sources.
Koalas are masupials native to Australia, usually with gray to brown fur. They mostly eat leaves from eucalyptus trees (gum leaves). They resemble bears found on other continents, and are frequently called "koala bears," but are not closely related.
A longer list of different animals' glucose readings can be found at this page, and they are quite diverse in range(measured in millimoles):
It's 80-130 mg/dl. 🐨— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) June 27, 2018
Update December 2018
Quincy the koala was euthanized after he developed pneumonia and his health declined.
In a series of Tweets, the SD Zoo stated:
Last week staff made the difficult decision to euthanize Quincy, a male koala who was under veterinary care for diabetes. A few weeks ago, Quincy developed pneumonia. Despite comprehensive medical treatment, his health continued to decline.Quincy was well known to the public for being one of only a few koalas that have been diagnosed with & treated for diabetes. Earlier this year, Quincy was fitted with a continuous glucose monitor to improve his opportunity to thrive. Quincy's story touched countless people around the globe who are living with diabetes. He was truly one of a kind and will be missed by staff, volunteers and Zoo guests.
Last week staff made the difficult decision to euthanize Quincy, a male koala who was under veterinary care for diabetes. A few weeks ago, Quincy developed pneumonia. Despite comprehensive medical treatment, his health continued to decline. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/tyIiDmbXJk— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) December 20, 2018