What is Vetsulin?
Vetsulin is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved form of insulin that is used to treat diabetes in cats and dogs. It contains porcine (derived from pig) insulin suspended in a sterile solution of zinc. It is for subcutaneous injection only.
Vetsulin is available in vials and disposable pens (Vetpen). For vials, a U-40 syringe is a must to deliver an accurate dose. Vetsulin cartridges are used with VetPen and 29G/12mm pen needles.
When Lucy was first diagnosed with diabetes, I had no idea that animals could even get diabetes. Her diagnosis certainly opened my eyes to common illnesses that humans and dogs share. In fact in the group I am in, somebody had a diabetic hamster! Hamsters are so small she had to dilute the insulin for proper dosing, and I could not imagine giving a hamster insulin twice per day.
When Vetsulin / Caninsulin first came out the instructions were to gently roll to mix. Merck Animal Health took it off the market due to stability issues and when it was reintroduced in 2013, instructions were changed to SHAKE THE VIAL THOROUGHLY UNTIL A HOMOGENEOUS, UNIFORMLY MILKY SUSPENSION IS OBTAINED. If you have received information that states it is to be rolled gently, please read the product insert and contact Merck Animal Health. They will contact your vet office anonymously and make sure that the staff is given the proper mixing instructions.
Hauser adds, “It’s wonderful, and really significant that your dog has lost weight. Your veterinarian can suggest a (wet or dry) diet. Perhaps, you’d consider going back to what worked previously (the Hill’s prescription diet), and consider the savings on human insulin as a kind of compromise.”
Q: My Welsh Corgi was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year, when he hit 44 lbs. My previous vet scared me to death about this, prescribing Vetsulin (insulin) and Hill’s Science diet W/D prescription food (wet and dry), not to mention syringes. All of this treatment cost a small fortune.I switched to a different veterinarian. Also, a friend told me to go to Wal-Mart, where I switched to a human insulin called Novulin N. I get needles there for much less money. I’ve also started making my own dog food from ground turkey, vegetables, barley and eggs — and my dog eats it like candy. The veterinarian thinks this is a good idea since there are no preservatives in the food I prepare. The great news is, my dog is down to 39 pounds. My question is about dry food: Is there one you’d suggest? I’ve tried several low fat diets, but they give my dog loose stools. — P.R., Las Vegas, NV
Hauser, of Parker, CO, says she goes to the supermarket, too, and knows beef, chicken or turkey are not cheap, and adds, “It’s hard to believe there’s a significant price difference between preparing your own dog food and buying a manufactured food.”
A: “Diabetic management is multi-faceted, but it can certainly be achieved,” says Dr. Wendy Hauser, a board member of the American Animal Hospital Association. “Vetsulin would be ideal because it’s designed for pets, but I do have clients whose dogs do fine on human insulin, though some don’t. What’s important to know is that if you switch insulin, you should talk to your vet about the dosage. Insulin brands are not necessarily interchangeable.”
Making food for any pet doesn’t always go as planned, as many recipes on the Internet aren’t adequate. It’s important to follow the directions of a veterinary nutritionist, not just some stranger on the Internet who says, “I know pets,” or even a human nutritionist. What’s more, diabetic animals have special nutritional needs.
What human insulin is comparable to Vetsulin?
Can humans use Vetsulin?
Can regular insulin be given to dogs?
Is dog and human insulin the same?