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Compare Types of Insulin for Dogs and Cats

Everything You Should Know About the Different Options for Insulin for Cats and Dogs

By Sam Bourne. September 25, 2013 | See Comments

Compare Types of Insulin for Dogs and Cats

Whether you need insulin for cats or insulin for dogs, you know diabetes is serious and can how it can greatly affect your pets. The inability to regulate one’s own blood sugar seriously alters the way diabetics go through life -- they have to be careful about what they eat and keep an eye on blood sugar levels, and they're going to need to take some type of insulin for the rest of their life.

However, the world of insulin is much more varied than most people realize. It is not as simple as getting a prescription for ‘insulin,’ going to the pharmacy, and starting your diabetic pet on their treatment. There are insulins designed to act fast. There are other insulins designed to last a long time. Some insulins are natural, while others are synthetic.

This article should help highlight the key differences between the four different types of insulin most commonly prescribed to pets.

Fast Acting

Humulin N
  • Neutral protamine hagedorn (NPH) insulin
  • Intermediate-acting
  • Frequently combined with other, faster acting insulin to create a longer-lasting insulin that gets to work quicker
  • Dosage: 0.5 - 1 unit/kg taken SQ 1-2 times a day
Novolin 70/30
  • A combination of fast acting NPH insulin (70%) and the longer lasting, regular, human insulin (30%)
  • Man-made substances similar to, but not, organically produced insulin
  • Dosage: 0.2 unit/kg taken SQ 1-2 times a day

Long Lasting

Lantus
  • Insulin glargine -- structurally identical to, but not, human insulin
  • Long-lasting - up to 24 hours
  • MUCH more reactive in dogs than cats.
  • Dosage: 0.1 unit/kg taken SQ once a day
Levemir
  • Insulin detemir -- an artificially crafted insulin made from ingredients not found in nature, but designed to behave like natural insulin
  • A very powerful, long-lasting type of insulin
  • Similar to Lantus in that it is MUCH more reactive in dogs than in cats.
  • Dosage: 0.1 unit/kg taken SQ 1-2 times a day

For pet parents dealing with a diabetic pet, PetPlus, the first ever prescription plan for pets can help make the cost of your pet’s medication more manageable. Check out the plan to see how it can help you.

More on Pet Diabetes

Causes of Diabetes in Your Cat or Dog
5 Things To Know about Cat and Dog Diabetes
Dealing with Diabetes in Your Cat or Dog

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