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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7373
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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My 18 pound Westie/Pom has been diagnosed with diabetes and

Customer Question

My 18 pound Westie/Pom has been diagnosed with diabetes and we started to give him insulin shots. He is 13 years old. I cannot afford the insulin and a neighbor has given me Novolog that he uses. I have been giving it to him but I think he is continuing to lose weight. Can I use OTC insulin for my dog? if so, how much and what kind.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Kodi today. I am a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you. The problem with any insulin, OTC or prescription is that they behave differently in every pet. As newer insulins become available, we will often prescribe those because they have a better duration of action or performance than some others, but the type of insulin used is not as critical to management as learning how to check blood glucose levels at home so you can get a better feel for how he is responding to whatever insulin he is given. Most of the OTC insulins will wear off very quickly. That doesn't mean they can't be used, but it does mean it may need to be given multiple times throughout the day. The fact that he is still losing weight most likely indicates he is not controlled well yet and is still probably running hyperglycemic through most of the day. I am providing a link with a great deal of information to help you learn how to take control of Kodi diabetes management. First I would purchase a glucometer so you can test blood glucose (BG) at home. The link has multiple other references to other links that may help. Next I would find out exactly what OTC insulins are available in you area and discuss this with your vet as far as a starting dose. You cannot do this without the input of your vet, but if you are willing to be up front with them about financial constraints and learn to check BG at home, it is possible you may be able to get his diabetes under control with OTC insulin after some time and adjustments based on your home testing. I am also including a link about the use of OTC insulins in humans. About the same holds true for veterinary patients. Regular insulin is VERY short acting in dogs and wouldn't be expected to last longer than a few hours, so is not very practical to use, but your local pharmacy may carry other forms.LINK 1LINK 2 Diabetes is a complicated disorder and if you are willing to work with your vet, you may be able to come up with a protocol that will fit your budget, but this cannot be managed on your own. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you. Dr Z
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much. I may have to change vets because I WAS very upfront with my vet but I don't think they HEAR me. It would probably also be a good time to "shop" for one.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it sounds like it to me too. We often have clients who end up at our clinic for much the same reason.