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Converting canine patients to Vetsulin

When an insulin change is necessary, one must be very cautious. Due to the nature of the disease, it is difficult to have general guidelines; however, some recommendations can be made:

  • If regulation is already adequate, it is suggested to start Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) at 50%–75% of the dosage used with the previous insulin.
  • If ideal regulation has not been achieved, it is suggested to first investigate the cause of poor regulation: eg, owner administration issues, insulin storage issues, use of improper syringes, Somogyi overswing. Once it has been determined that the dose of the previous insulin is inadequate, start Vetsulin at 75%–100% of the dosage used with the previous insulin.

IMPORTANT: In all cases, allow the animal to adapt to the new dosage for 5 to 7 days before adjusting the dose. It is recommended to assess the pet’s response to Vetsulin by evaluating clinical signs and performing a blood glucose curve.

If necessary, increases in the dose should be performed in increments of 10%. Following adjustment, wait to reevaluate until the new dose has been given for at least 5 to 7 days, unless evidence of hypoglycemia appears.

If the dog’s clinical signs persist and the blood glucose curve indicates a duration of activity of less than 14 to 18 hours, then twice-daily injections at 12-hour intervals may be indicated. WHEN SWITCHING FROM ONCE-DAILY TO TWICE-DAILY THERAPY, THE VETSULIN DOSE NEEDS TO BE DECREASED BY 25%. For example, if a dog receives 20 IU of Vetsulin once daily, the new dose would be 15 IU twice daily.

Monitoring after conversion

In all cases where insulin will be changed to Vetsulin, close monitoring of the animal is necessary. Five to 7 days after changing to Vetsulin, evaluation of clinical signs and blood glucose will verify whether regulation has been achieved.

Regulation is not always easy. The human factor is the major source of regulation failure. A new product, syringe, concentration of the product, or schedule of treatment can confuse the owner. Therefore, follow-up visits are recommended.

You can download conversion charts to help transition your canine and feline patients to Vetsulin.