Changes in insulin requirements in diabetic cats
Insulin requirements may change suddenly even after a long period of stability because of any of the following concurrent factors:
- Inflammation or infection (eg, cystitis)
- Weight loss or gain
- Additional medications
- Other illness (eg, renal failure, heart failure)
- Endocrine disease
In cats, dose adjustment should be managed in steps of 1 IU per injection twice daily, especially in the first 3 weeks of initial regulation. Following adjustment, wait to re-evaluate until the new dose has been given for at least 14 days, unless evidence of hypoglycemia appears.
The goal is to maintain blood glucose concentrations below the renal threshold for a substantial part of the day. This will alleviate most of the cat’s clinical signs, which is the main goal of therapy.
Monitoring and adjusting dose
Re-evaluate your feline patients 2 to 4 weeks after starting Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension):
- Reweigh the cat. Modify overall dosage of Vetsulin if significant weight gains or losses occur.
- Ask for owner’s overall impression of the cat’s progress, especially in regard to polyuria and polydipsia.
- Sample blood glucose level to determine if regulation has been achieved, keeping in mind that cats often present with stress-induced hyperglycemia.
- Adjust dose in increments of 1 IU per injection twice daily, if needed, based on the glucose curve evaluation and clinical signs.
- Allow at least 14 days between dose adjustments unless hypoglycemia occurs.
- In stressed cats, measure serum fructosamine concentration prior to and 2 to 3 weeks after any dose changes.
- Once regulated on Vetsulin, cats should be rechecked every 2 to 4 months. Remember that cats, unlike dogs, can go into remission.