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A name brand version of the generic insulin, detemir, Levemir is used to treat diabetes mellitus (chronic diabetes). Levemir is an insulin analog, which means that it is not a type of insulin derived from ingredients found in nature, but rather an artificially crafted chemical substance developed to behave like, or analogously, to natural insulin. Levemir is known to elicit a strong reaction in dogs, meaning that, typically, less is required to constitute a full dosage, as opposed to other types of insulin.
The injection should not be administered in the same location every day, as scar tissue may form, hampering the ability to absorb the insulin. Levemir should not be used in dogs or cats with ketoacidosis, anorexia, or lethargy, who should be prescribed a shorter-acting insulin. Usage of Levemir with the following substances could cause certain health problems:
Dogs are very sensitive to this type of insulin, and dosages are generally at least half that of other types (0.1 unit/kg given every 12 hours, as opposed to 0.2 unit/kg or 0.5 unit/kg). Like other types of insulin, Levemir needs to be delivered subcutaneously via injection. You will need either a U-40 or U-100 mg syringe, depending on the concentration of the solution. Consult your vet on the specific measurements per, and frequency of, the doses.
Side effects of using Levemir include, but are not limited to, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Somogyi effect hyperglycemia (overproduction of insulin by the liver during sleep), rapid insulin metabolism (the body using the injected insulin inefficiently). Overdose of insulin can cause severe hypoglycemia and even death.
Diabetes is a disease that affects both dogs and cats. The good thing is, it can be managed and controlled. Learn more about your pet's treatment options here.
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