The San Diego Zoo teamed up with health and technology experts to give a koala, named Quincy, the care he needs.
Quincy has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Veterinarians and biotechnology professionals from the local company, Dexcom, came together to help.
They gave Quincy a glucose monitor, which helps to better manage his blood sugar levels. Using the Dexcom G 6, they can now check his levels through an app.
Addie Gidner, 12 and her brother, Nolan Gidner, 7, can relate to Quincy. They have Type 1 Diabetes too. Their mom, Janet, uses the same machine to monitor her children's insulin levels.
"It's really cool to have an animal that uses it and not just me or my brother," said Addie.
Before, Addie and her brother had to be poked on their finger up to 12 times a day. Their mother says it is inspiring her children to see Dexcom be used on animals too.
"They have something to relate to," said Janet on Tuesday outside of the San Diego Zoo. "They can see that a cute little koala can take on the disease.”
In Quincy's case, zookeepers will no longer have to prick his skin multiple times a day to test his blood sugar levels.
"Very few koalas have been diagnosed with and treated for diabetes," said Cora Singleton, DVM, senior veterinarian of the San Diego Zoo Veterinary Services. "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."
Nolan is happy that Quincy won't have to be poked anymore. He knows what it is like.
"I'm excited to meet Quincy because he uses the Dexcom G 6 like me," said Nolan.
Nolan and Addie said they will be meeting Quincy sometime in the next few weeks.
"You can imagine what this technology means for Quincy, and any person trying to manage this challenging disease," said Peter Simpson, vice president of advanced technology at Dexcom.