Managing Dog Diabetes With Vetsulin

Vetsulin is a type of insulin used to manage dog and cat diabetes. Along with monitoring blood glucose levels at home, using Vetsulin to regulate dog insulin levels is an essential part of monitoring diabetes mellitus.

How Vetsulin Works

Vetsulin is an FDA-approved PZI insulin, or Protamine Zinc Insulin, and is used to manage diabetes in dogs and cats. Unlike human insulin, which is also used to treat pets with diabetes, Vetsulin is pork-based and therefore closer to dog insulin than human medication. Because it is a veterinary insulin, however, Vetsulin cannot be found in regular pharmacies that stock human insulin, and is usually more expensive.

Diabetes mellitus is caused by low or total lack of production of insulin, causing uncontrolled blood glucose levels. Using PZI insulin like Vetsulin, insulin levels are restored. Owners must always administer the correct dosage levels recommended by your veterinarian at the same time each day to control blood sugar.

Preventing and Controlling Diabetes

Female dogs and certain breeds are more likely to develop diabetes than other dogs, with symptoms starting later in life. Poodles, Dachshunds, Pomeranians, Beagles, King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are at higher risks.

Along with Vetsulin treatment, exercise and an appropriate diet are important factors to control diabetes in dogs. Always feed your dog the best quality food that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates and low in fat to provide balanced nutrition. Feed your dog the same amount of food once in the morning and again in the evening to help control blood sugar levels and administer Vetsulin after he eats. Treats and canned, moist food should be avoided.

Owners should also learn to recognize symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels by monitoring urination, drinking and eating habits and changes in attitude in their dog.

Administering Vetsulin

Your veterinarian will prescribe an appropriate dosage amount for your dog based on weight and test results. Always follow the instructions of your veterinarian for specific details on injecting your dog with insulin. With Vetsulin, U-40 syringes are recommended in order to correctly measure insulin doses. Injections must be given under the skin and it is preferable to inject Vetsulin at a different site each day rather than repeating in the same area continuously. If you are unsure if the injection was correct, do not inject your dog again to avoid an overdose, which can carry serious consequences.

Potential Side Effects and Problems

Insulin is a fragile medication and must be stored and handled properly in order to be effective, so always follow storage, dosage and application directions. Expired insulin should never be given to dogs.

Vetsulin should not be used in dogs with allergies to pork or pork products. Insulin may interact with other medications so always consult with your veterinarian when starting diabetes treatment.

Even with proper diabetes treatment and blood glucose monitoring, some dogs may have health problems and need changes in their insulin treatment. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice changes in your dog's health. Monitoring blood sugar levels with urine and blood testing can help owners regulate their dog's diabetes treatment.