Types of Insulin Used to Treat Cat Diabetes

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There are a number of types of insulin used to treat cat diabetes. The problem is that none of these types of insulin is exactly like cat insulin. So generally the best insulin for your particular cat is found through trial and error.

“Many vets prescribe human insulins. These are cheap and easy to get and work very well for many cats. Humulin N, L and U are three that are typically prescribed.

The N insulin is a short acting insulin and probably does not have enough duration for most cats. It can have sharp steep drops (where the blood sugar drops too low) and then it can wear off quickly causing the blood sugar to increase quickly.

L and U (Lente and Ultra lente) are medium and longer lasting insulins. Unfortunately, Eli Lilly, the manufacturer has discountinued these and many people whose cats have been regulated on these are scrambling to find alternatives.

Caninsulin is a pork based insulin which is prescribed by the veterinarian. It is considered a medium acting insulin. This is also knows as Vetsulin in the United States.

Lantus is a newer human insulin that has some promising research done on cats. It is very long lasting insulin.

PZI is another insulin and it can be found in a pork or beef format. The insulin is in a protamine zinc suspension, which makes it a long lasting insulin as well. Many cats do well on the beef derived PZI.”

Long lasting insulins are probably better. However with all insulin regimens you must remember to do home testing of blood sugar levels. This is important so that the cat receives as far as a possible the correct amount of insulin. Testing at the vets surgery may not produce the correct result as cats tend to increase blood sugar when stressed and vets surgeries can be pretty stressful places for cats.

If you and your vet are struggling to regulate blood sugar and you are already administering a high protein low carbohydrate diet then remember that there are different types of insulin used to treat cat diabetes so discuss with your vet and change if you have to.

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