sion after initial treatment.
While the cat still needs periodic monitoring, the days of
insulin injections could well be
numbered. Lathan said the earlier in the disease process a cat is
diagnosed, the greater the likelihood of a permanent remission.
Ward and Lathan said the
number of human diabetic patients increases the likelihood
that some veterinary clients
are familiar with home glucose
monitoring and insulin injections. Home blood checks are
convenient for the owner and
present the most accurate picture of the animal’s condition
because traveling and hospital
stress are eliminated.
Experts recommend the ear
pinna and the non-weight-bear-ing metacarpal pad on the front
paw as client-friendly venipuncture sites for blood glucose
monitoring. The ear should be
rubbed and warmed for a few
minutes before the blood draw.
Ward said a user-friend-
ly lancet is made by Becton,
Dickinson, and others cited the
lancet provided with the Al-
pha TRAK glucose meter by Ab-
bott. If the ear is not a practical
site, Lathan said to try the non-
weight-bearing metacarpal pad
at a point between the haired
and non-haired skin.
Encourage clients to make
their pet his own notebook,
with a log of glucose measure-
ments, clinical signs and other
When teaching clients to give
insulin injections, project your
100 percent confidence in their
ability and reassure them that as
long as they get the insulin dose
correct, it’s probably harder to do
it wrong than to do it correctly.
The key is putting them at
ease, and several veterinary clin-
ics have made You Tube videos
on how to perform this proce-
dure. Using the phrase, “giving
dog insulin shot” will pull up sev-
eral thousand video shorts. While
you can’t control what people
watch, you can select a few credi-
ble ones to recommend. ●
November 2013 l Veterinary Practice News l 27 SmallAnimal
BCP VetChews® make medicating your pet a treat.
Insulins available for veterinary use
These are insulin products currently used in
veterinary medicine, listed by name, manufacturer,
type, duration of action, and common use.
Source is Mark E. Peterson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM,
“New developments in the use of insulin mixtures
and analogues for the problem diabetic.” Proceed-
ings. ACVIM Forum, Seattle, June 4-7, 2013.
1. Vetsulin (USA), Caninsulin (other countries).
Merck Animal Health. Porcine lente zinc suspension;
intermediate duration of action; twice-daily dosing in
dogs; use U- 40 syringes for most accurate dosing.
2. Humulin R (Eli Lilly), Actrapid (Novo Nor-
disk). 100 percent regular crystalline recombinant
human insulin; short duration of action; manage-
ment of diabetic ketoacidosis and ketosis in dogs.
3. Humulin N (Eli Lilly), Novolin N (Novo Nor-
disk). Recombinant human isophane (NPH) insu-
lin; intermediate duration of action; twice-daily
dosing in dogs; not recommended for cats.
4. Humulin 70/30, Eli Lilly. Combination of
70 percent isophane (NPH) and 30 percent regular insulin; premixed combination of 30 percent
short-acting and 70 percent intermediate-acting
duration; twice-daily dosing in dogs. May work for
dogs that don’t respond well to Humulin N insulin.
5. ProZinc, Boehringer Ingelheim; recombinant
6. Humalog; Eli Lilly. Lispro insulin, short-acting
human protamine zinc insulin; FDA-approved for use
in cats. Efficacy comparable to that of discontinued
PZI-VET insulin; use U- 40 syringes; not recommend-
ed as first-choice therapy for dogs because effective
dosage is higher than other products.
insulin analog; alternative to regular insulin for
treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis in dogs.
7. Lantus; Sanofi-Aventis. Glargine insulin,
long-acting synthetic insulin analog; efficacious for
long-term treatment of diabetic cats; twice-daily dosing. Can be used in place of short-acting regular insulin in cats with diabetic ketoacidosis. Efficacy in dogs
not as predictable, so not generally used in them.
8. Levemir; Novo Nordisk. Detemir insulin,
long-acting synthetic insulin analog; similar action/
duration profile in cats as glargine. In dogs, it is
very potent and long-lasting, and works much better
than glargine. Twice-daily dosing, and dog dose is
typically one-quarter that of NPH or Vetsulin.