Insulin For Dogs

Considerations In Choosing Insulin For Dogs

There is not any best insulin for dogs which are suffering from diabetes. There are a number of different kinds and types of insulin, and often more than one type will need to be tried before the most appropriate one is found. Dogs, as well as cats, can develop diabetes just as humans do, and when this occurs, providing insulin for dogs above and beyond that they can produce themselves, usually is necessary. As is the case with humans, determining the right dosage, and when dosages or injections should be given, can be tricky. The dog owner will have to work closely with the veterinarian to get the dosages, times of dosages, and types of insulin down pat.


Insulin Sources - Insulin for dogs is specially formulated, and usually comes from pork, where the structure of the insulin is identical to canine insulin, or from cloned human insulin. Insulin from beef is also used in some cases. Depending upon the state or nature of the dog's diabetes, administering one of three different types will be required. The three different types of insulin for dogs are long-acting insulin, intermediate-acting insulin, and rapid-acting insulin. The type that will work best for a particular dog is often largely determined by the animal's metabolism, which varies from dog to dog.

How Insulin Is Given - Insulin for dogs is normally given by injection, which has proven to be superior to orally given dosages. As is the case with many other types of injection, the insulin injection is usually given where the skin is loose, the area between the shoulder blades often the chosen location. Loose skin is preferable, so the injections will not be painful, something most dogs would not tolerate once or twice a day. Injections are usually given at meal times so that the after meal glucose peak and peak insulin activity coincide. Some dogs eat more than once a day, but only require a single injection. When this is the case, the injection is often given at the first meal. Insulin injections are also given in either 40 IU (units per milliliter) or 100 IU doses. It is important that the syringe used corresponds to the dosage, i.e., a U-40 syringe should be used for a 40 IU dosage, and a U-100 syringe for a 100 IU dosage.


Commonly Used Insulins - Two of the primary insulin types for dogs recommended by veterinarians are Vetsulin and NPH. Vetsulin is a pork derived insulin, and as such is identical to canine insulin, and is the insulin approved by the FDA for use in both dogs and cats. NPH insulin is an intermediate-acting insulin that has enjoyed wide usage for many years, and is considered by many veterinarians to be as effective as Vetsulin. NPH insulin is available through most pharmacies as well as through most veterinary clinics, whereas Vetsulin is only available through a veterinarian. Other types of insulin include Glargine, a long-acting insulin and considered to be peak-less in that it does a better job of maintaining constant blood glucose levels than some other insulin types. It is used somewhat more for cats than for dogs. Detemir is yet another long-acting insulin, used for both dogs and cats. Being a newer type, fewer long term studies have been made on its effects in dealing with diabetic conditions as far as remission is concerned.

Summary - All in all, the veterinarian is the one who is best able to determine which type of insulin is best for your pet. While there are choices to be made, it is fortunate that there are so many good one in finding the right insulin for dogs.