NPH Insulin replaces Vetsulin. The FDA and Intervet/Schering Plough announced the Vetsulin recall alert last week and I have received several inquiries from diabetic pet owners asking what type of insulin to buy at the pharmacy to replace the Vetsulin for their diabetic pets. Vetsulin, the “special” insulin, labeled for pets, available from veterinarians, is actually Porcine Zinc Insulin, which is referred to as PZI. PZI is insulin derived from pigs, and in the past was used for people that are diabetics. Human diabetics use various types of insulin, for example NPH insulin, available at most pharmacies for less than $20.00 dollars a bottle is a commonly prescribed and used for people. PZI is no longer commercially available because today, modern technology develops human insulin from DNA, rather than pigs. Since the PZI or pig based insulin is considered to be inferior to DNA based insulin, people don’t use it and Intervet/Schering Plough apparently grabbed the rights and labeled it for dogs and cats.
Here are the facts about Vetsulin for Pets with Diabetes:
- It is about $10.00 more expensive per bottle than NPH insulin.
- Various batches of vetsulin are not stable.
- Vetsulin is not stable and has been recalled.
- Vetsulin is derived from pigs.
- Many pharmacies, including Walmart and Walgreens no longer carry PZI.
- PZI (Vetsulin) is considered to be inferior in quality to DNA based insulin.
Here are the Problems Diabetic Pet Owners using Vetsulin are Currently Experiencing:
- Many pet owners are being forced to have expensive blood glucose (blood sugar) curves run before their vets will consider writing them a prescription to buy NPH insulin at the drug store.
- Pet owners have been brainwashed into believing that Vetsulin is superior to other types of commercially available insulin, as they have been told that it was developed “specifically for pets.
- Certain veterinarians are apparently not willing or able to refund pet owners for the Vetsulin they purchased.
- Pet owners do not know which type of insulin to buy at the pharmacy to replace the Vetsulin, and are not sure about new dosages.
Dr. Carol’s Tips for Diabetic Pet Owners using or stuck with Vetsulin:
- Stop using Vetsulin.
- Return the Vetsulin to your vet or to Intervet/Schering-Plough for a “complete” refund.
- Get a prescription from your vet for NPH insulin.
- Verify the correct dosage of NPH insulin with your vet.
- Be sure you always use u-40 Insulin with u-40 insulin syringes.
- Be sure to always use u-100 Insulin with u-100 insulin syringes.