For cats, the initial recommended dose of Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) is 1 to 2 IU per injection. Cats should be started on twice-daily injections of Vetsulin at 12-hour intervals. Note that in cats, Vetsulin dosing is calculated on a per animal basis; in contrast, initial dosing for dogs is based on body weight.
Vetsulin 10 mL vials and 2.7 mL cartridges should be shaken thoroughly until a homogeneous, uniformly milky suspension is obtained. Foam on the surface of the suspension formed during shaking should be allowed to disperse before the product is used and, if required, the product should be gently mixed to maintain a homogeneous, uniformly milky suspension before use. Clumps or white particles can form in insulin suspensions: do not use an insulin vial or cartridge if visible clumps or white particles persist after mixing thoroughly.
Taking the proper steps to prepare VetPen is critically important and must be done before each injection. It is essential to ensure that the VetPen is ready to use, that a new needle is being used, the insulin is mixed properly, and VetPen and the needle are working properly. See VetPen Instructions for Use leaflet or administration video for information on preparing VetPen.
Using a U-40 insulin syringe or VetPen, administer the injection subcutaneously, 3/4 to 2 in (2-5 cm) from the dorsal midline, varying from behind the scapulae to the mid-lumbar region and alternating sides.
To help your clients prepare and administer Vetsulin to their cats, there are resources available that guide them step-by-step through the process:
- Administration guide for using syringes
- Administration video for using syringes
- VetPen Instructions for Use leaflet
- Administration video for using VetPen
In cats, initially administer twice-daily doses 12 hours apart concurrently with or right after meals fed twice daily. (No change in feeding schedule is required for cats fed ad libitum.) Reevaluate the cat at appropriate intervals and adjust the dose based on clinical signs, urinalysis results, and glucose curve/spot check values until adequate glycemic control has been attained.
Achieving effective glycemic control
The goals of managing feline diabetes mellitus include:
- Controlling the clinical signs of hyperglycemia (polyuria, polydipsia, and ketonuria)
- Avoiding hypoglycemia (blood glucose <50 mg/dL)*
- Obtaining blood glucose curve values in the desired range:*
- Cats: 120–300 mg/dL over the course of the day, with a nadir between 100–125 mg/dL
*In the US clinical study, glycemic control was considered adequate if an acceptable blood glucose curve was achieved (ie, reduction in hyperglycemia and a nadir of 60–160 mg/dL), however, the Technical Services department believes that a nadir below 100 mg/dL in cats may warrant a decrease in the dose.
Further adjustments in dosage may be necessary with changes in the cat's diet, body weight, medications, or if the cat develops concurrent infection, inflammation, or other medical disorders.
For long-term management dosage information, click here.