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Pet diabetes: Insulin pen improves dosing accuracy

Pet diabetes can be managed more closely with the use of an insulin pen for dosing accuracy. Dr. Lee discusses insulin pens with a concerned parent of a diabetic cat.

Pet diabetes: Insulin pen improves dosing accuracy

Q:My cat, Atticus, needs insulin injections for his diabetes, but my failing eyesight makes it hard for me to accurately fill the tiny insulin syringe with its closely-spaced lines. What do you suggest?

A:It sounds like you need an insulin pen, which will automatically dispense the correct amount of insulin each time. Research involving trained laboratory personnel proved that insulin pens are more accurate and precise than syringes. Moreover, studies in dogs and humans show that insulin injections are more comfortable when administered with a pen rather than a syringe.

Insulin pens are ideal for people with vision or dexterity issues and for people who fear needles and syringes. Insulin pens improve accuracy, especially for cats and little dogs that require doses which are small or in half-unit increments. They’re also useful when pet sitters or multiple family members administer insulin.

An insulin pen resembles a thick ink pen with a dial on the bottom to select the dose and a button on the side to release it. Inside the pen is a cartridge of insulin.

The VetPen, which dispenses Vetsulin, was designed specifically for cats and dogs. Insulin pens intended for human diabetics are sometimes used in pets accustomed to other forms of insulin.

Ask your veterinarian about an insulin pen. Atticus will feel better because he’ll receive exactly the same dose each time, and you’ll appreciate the convenience.

Editor’s Note: Are you concerned about your pet’s risk of developing diabetes? Here is further information on diabetes risk factors for dogs and cats, as well as pet diabetes management tips.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.

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