A lancet is a device used to draw a small amount of blood to home test an animal's blood glucose level. Lancets look much like a push pin that you would use on a bulletin board: a plastic barrel with a pin sticking out the end[1]. To use them, you twist off the protective cap on the end. You dispose of lancets as you would a syringe.

You can use a lancet pen (or lancet device) to hold the lancet. This way you get a spring-loaded prick and withdraw; great for squeamish users. The depth of the prick is adjustable. Some caregivers instead "freehand" the lancet; that is, they hold it in their hand without using a pen.

Lancets are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any brick-and-mortar or Internet pharmacy that sells diabetic supplies. See comparative prices at Hocks[2].

Lancet size guide

Lancet comparison guide; the higher the gauge number, the finer the lancet, just as with insulin syringe needles and insulin pen needles.

Lancets come in different gauges[3], as do syringes. The higher the gauge of the lancet, the smaller the skin perforation will be[4]. Many caregivers on the Feline Diabetes Message Board[5] have found that a lancet with a larger gauge draws blood more easily than one with a smaller gauge. Many at that the FDMB prefer the Lifescan Finepoint Lancet[6] over the Lifescan Ultrasoft lancet[7], because the purple lancet has a larger gauge.

Lancets made by one manufacturers often fit the lancet pens made by another manufacturer.

Lancets may be used more than once, but they do lose their sharpness, making them more painful and less effective with each use. Therefore, you should consider using a new lancet after about 2 uses.

Instead of lancets, some caregivers use previously used syringes to prick their animal for blood glucose testing. This is neater using the disposable needles that come with insulin pens.

One Person's ExperienceEdit

My Lifescan One Touch Ultra glucometer came with a lancet pen and a few lancets. The pen came with two screw-on, open-ended caps: one blue and one clear. On people, the blue is used for finger pricks, the clear for forearm pricks. Those caps, and the depth setting on the end of the pen, control how far into the skin a lancet will prick. The idea is the deeper you prick, the more blood you will draw. The blue cap allows you to prick deeper.

For my cat, I always have used the highest depth setting and the blue cap. Some caregivers use the clear cap so that they can better see where they are going to prick. Some caregivers use the pen without a cap, almost like using the lancet free-handed.

My lancet pen has a button that draws the lancet into the shaft and a button that "shoots" the lancet. The pen makes a clicking sound when it shoots. Some caregivers think their animals are frightened by that clicking sound and prefer to use a "soft click" pen like the one shown in the link below[8].

Further readingEdit



  1. Children With Some Top Rated Lancets
  2. Website-Lancets
  3. Lancet Comparison Chart
  4. Med Supply Guide-What Does Gauge Mean?
  5. Feline Diabetes Message Board (FDMB)
  6. Website-Lifescan Finepoint Lancet (purple)
  7. Website Lifescan Ultrasoft Lancet (white)
  8. Website-Soft-click Lancet Pen
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.