Quincy the Koala Gets a Dexcom G6 CGM


Quincy, a koala with type 1 diabetes who lives in the San Diego Zoo, needed help. After suffering from a cluster of hypoglycemic scares, Dexcom stepped in and saved the day by outfitting Quincy with the newest continuous glucose monitoring device. Now that he has the G6, Dexcom’s newest continuous glucose monitor (CGM), veterinarians don’t have to enter his enclosure any more to test Quincy’s blood sugar multiple times a day—which they did by doing ear pricks instead of fingerpricks. The G6 automatically alerts Quincy’s caretakers if he’s going low and needs some eucalyptus to nosh on, or if he’s going high and needs an insulin injection.

Just like people who have type 1 diabetes, Quincy has “an insulin deficiency type of diabetes, and needs insulin to control his blood sugar levels and ensure he gets the energy needed to help him build muscle, gain weight and stay healthy.” says Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D., corporate vice president of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.

Quincy is one of the first koalas to ever get diagnosed and treated for diabetes, and treating animals for type 1 is even harder than treating humans because they aren’t good at communicating what they need, whether it be sugar or insulin.

This CGM is helping Quincy and his caretakers at the San Diego Zoo manage his blood sugars and helping him stay healthy while raising awareness for the importance of this kind of technology. Hopefully by continuing to spread awareness for type 1 diabetes, Quincy’s story also helps to reinforce how important access to this kind of technology is for humans living with the condition. Beyond Type 1 is committed to access to life-saving treatments, whether that be medication, technology, devices, or healthcare for people living with type 1 diabetes.

Read more about our commitment to access, why access is so important and what you can do to help here.

WRITTEN BY Amrita Misha, POSTED 06/23/18, UPDATED 10/26/22

A 2017 high school graduate, Amrita is taking a gap year before going to Dartmouth next fall, where she plans on majoring in physics. She has lived in the Bay Area her whole life, and loves learning about other people’s experience. She is passionate about teaching and tutoring children in any arena she can: math, physics, writing, skiing. In her free time, you can find Amrita reading, listening to podcasts, or embroidering.