Insulin: Purchase at your local pharmacy. Your veterinarian will advise about type, dose and frequency of insulin use.
Syringes: both syringes and insulin should be U-100 type.
1 bottle of Karo syrup or pancake syrup (sugared, NON diet) for emergencies.
One large, thick plastic jug or bottle with a cap for disposal of used syringes & needles.
Storage, Handling and Administration of Insulin:
Keep your insulin stored in the refrigerator when not in use.
Discard old insulin and purchase new insulin every two months.
Use a fresh syringe for each dose of insulin your pet receives.
GENTLY swirl (do NOT shake) the insulin bottle to mix the contents prior to use.
Inject your pet in the subcutaneous tissues on the back between the shoulder blades.
Attempt to be consistent with your twice-daily dosing times.
Dispose of used syringes and needles in a thick walled plastic bottle with cap.
Diet and Feeding Issues:
Offer food twice daily at injection time and administer the insulin when you have actually seen your pet eat most of his meal. This allows daily monitoring to insure your pet is eating and feeling well before administering the insulin. If your pet will NOT eat or appears ill contact your veterinarian before administering insulin.
Be sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, clean water everyday.
Some diets are better than others for diabetic patients. We should discuss your pets’ current diet and see when and if we need to make adjustments.
Glucose Spot Check: This is a simple blood test that we conduct to determine the appropriate dose of insulin for your pet. We will set up both the time of day and the date with you when this blood glucose level should be rechecked. When we are trying to determine the best insulin dose for a newly diagnosed diabetic pet we may have to run this test once weekly for several weeks until the correct dose has been determined. After that we should routinely recheck the value approximately every 3-6 months or when there are any problems.
Insulin Overdose: Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a dangerous potential side effect of insulin usage. Signs of this condition include lethargy, a “star gazing” appearance, wobbly gait, collapse, temporary blindness and possible seizure or coma. If you notice any of these clinical signs, immediately apply some sugar syrup on your pet’s gums. To reduce the risk of accidentally getting bitten please drip this on to the gums rather than touching them directly. Then call your veterinarian for advice. (some cats will temporarily revert to a “non-diabetic state” and present with these signs, please monitor for them closely)
Poor control of Diabetes: Signs that your pet’s diabetes is not well controlled can include drinking more and urinating more, poor or increased appetite, weight loss, weakness, rapidly developing cataracts in dogs, walking on the ankles and poor grooming in cats. If you notice one or more of these signs, please contact your veterinarian.