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Dr. Scott
Dr. Scott, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15168
Experience:  15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
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My dog has just been diagnosed with diabetes. Is there a pill

Customer Question

My dog has just been diagnosed with diabetes. Is there a pill form of insulin for dogs instead of the shots. Husband is also diabitic on pills and diet.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 7 years ago.
Hello there,

There are currently no oral forms of insulin available for animals. Injectable insulin is all that is available. NPH, Lantus and Vetsulin are most commonly used in dogs.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Why is there pills for people and not dogs. Diabetes is Diabetes.


Diet, water,exercise,rest is the same.

Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 7 years ago.
Human insulin is made specifically for people these days and is synthetic. Animal insulin is still made from pork or beef products, which are very similar to dog and cat insulin. Human insulin does not work very well in dogs and cats. Once synthetic insulin was created, most companies stopped making pork and beef based insulin. it is therefore getting harder and harder to find it for use in animals. Right now there is a back order on Vetsulin, which is the best insulin for dogs, because their is only one manufacturer. Even though the disease is the same, the insulin that works is completely different due to the difference in animal DNA.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.


So what happens in the future if there is getting to be limited supply of natural insulin or the pork and beef you refered to. Will we then use the synthetics? I have not put the dog on insulin yet been looking at what is there, to treat dog diabetes. The normal sugar level for dog is 125 ours is at 340. They where testing for Cushings that was slight elevated. The test result came on Saturday. I know the sugar is high . I changed his diet to protein and some vegetables and carbs and little dog food and more water. He changed in behavior, but the sugar didnt change. Is there any other med to treat him with. Been vetting with him the last 2 weeks.

Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 7 years ago.
If the sugar is 340 the dog is definitely diabetic. Many vets have started Lantus insulin but it has not been used for too long. It is expensive compared to other insulin on the market. Vetsulin will likely become the only animal based insulin on the market over time. It is also expensive and I have talked to their sales reps about lowering the cost so they could have the whole market to themselves, if people could afford it. Right now NPH insulin is still available and does not cost that much. When it goes off the market, Vetsulin and Lantus will be preferred.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.


Thank you!

Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 7 years ago.
You are very welcome. Good Luck!