Understanding Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

November marks National Pet Diabetes Month. This pet health awareness event is designed to spread the word and encourage dog and cat owners to learn more about diabetes. Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, stops making insulin, or is unable to use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas that converts dietary sugar (glucose) to energy for cells in the body. When glucose can’t be converted into energy, extra sugar can build in the blood. High concentrations of sugar in the bloodstream leads to health problems. This blog is all about cats, but don’t worry dog owners! We have a whole other post just for canines.

Know the Risks

Just like humans, there are certain cats that are more prone to diabetes. Diabetes can be diagnosed in cats of all ages and breeds. Some risk factors can be managed, while others are due to aging or genetics.

  • Obesity
  • Age – Older cats are more prone
  • Neutered males
  • Physical inactivity
  • Genetics
  • Other health conditions including pancreas and hormone disorders

Detection is Key

There are common warning signs associated with diabetes. If detected, visit your veterinarian soon get an exam for your cat examined. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications and other serious health conditions.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination—may include accidents outside the litterbox
  • Change in appetite
  • Lack of energy or lethargy
  • Doesn’t groom (cats)
  • Dull or thinning haircoat

Diagnosing and Testing

There are a variety of ways that your veterinarian can test and diagnose your cat for diabetes. These may include:

  • General physical exam
  • Urine testing for ketones or glucose
  • Blood testing to determine glucose levels
  • A1C Testing with A1Care

The A1Care A1C test is a blood test that measures the average blood glucose levels A1C Diabetes Testover the past 70 days in dogs. It’s used for diagnosis and early screening of diabetes. Because this test provides long-term monitoring, it shows how well your pet’s treatment plan is working. The A1Care test is also available for dogs.

 Diabetes Treatment Options

Currently, there is no cure for diabetes in cats. Fortunately, with proper treatment methods, this disease and its symptoms can be managed successfully. Regular vet check-ups help spot changes in your cat’s condition.

  • Regular check-ups
  • Insulin Injections
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs. This may include therapeutic foods.
How is Insulin Given to a Cat?
Insulin is injected subcutaneous, just under the top layer of the skin.

  • Traditional injections are a common method of choice. The correct dose of insulin is drawn out of a vial using a needle and syringe, then administered to your cat.
  • Insulin pens are a device that holds multiple doses of insulin inside of a chamber and can be reused. Pen needles attach and detach from the top of the pen for each injection.

While the thought of giving injections and managing diabetes may seem overwhelming, most cats continue to live a long, happy, and good quality of life when their health is maintained. At VetRxDirect we provide a full selection of medications and products for diabetic dogs and cats. We will work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s health.

Does your cat have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that worked well? Please share your experience with us and don’t forget to support #petdiabetesmonth

Understanding Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs

November marks National Pet Diabetes Month. This pet health awareness event is designed to spread the word and encourage dog and cat owners to learn more about diabetes. Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, stops making insulin, or is unable to use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas that converts dietary sugar (glucose) to energy for cells in the body. When glucose can’t be converted into energy, extra sugar can build in the blood. High concentrations of sugar in the bloodstream leads to health problems. This blog is all about dogs, but don’t worry cat owners! We have a whole other post just for felines.

Know the Risks

Just like humans, there are certain dogs that are more prone to diabetes. Diabetes can be diagnosed in dogs of all ages and breeds. Some risk factors can be managed, while others are due to aging or genetics.

  • Obesity
  • Age – Older dogs are more prone
  • Unspayed females
  • Genetics
  • Other health conditions including pancreas and hormone disorders
  • Breed type – Some breeds are prone to the disease including Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Toy Poodles, Doberman pinschers, Schnauzers, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, and Terriers.

Detection is Key

There are common warning signs associated with diabetes. If detected, visit your veterinarian soon get an exam for your dog examined. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications and other serious health conditions.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination – may include accidents in the house
  • Change in appetite
  • Lack of energy or lethargy
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Dull or thinning haircoat

Diagnosing and Testing

There are a variety of ways that your veterinarian can test and diagnose your dog for diabetes. These may include:

  • General physical exam
  • Urine testing for ketones or glucose
  • Blood testing to determine glucose levels
  • A1C Testing with A1Care

The A1Care A1C test is a blood test that measures the average blood glucose levels A1c Diabetes Testover the past 110 days in dogs. It’s used for diagnosis and early screening of diabetes. Because this test provides long-term monitoring, it shows how well your pet’s treatment plan is working. The A1Care test is also available for cats.

Diabetes Treatment Options

Currently, there is no cure for diabetes in dogs. Fortunately, with proper treatment methods, this disease and its symptoms can be managed successfully. Regular vet check-ups help spot changes in your dog’s condition.

  • Regular check-ups
  • Insulin Injections
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs. This may include therapeutic foods.
  • Plans for regular exercise or physical activity
How is Insulin Given to a Dog?
Insulin is injected subcutaneous, just under the top layer of the skin.

  • Traditional injections are a common method of choice. The correct dose of insulin is drawn out of a vial using a needle and syringe, then administered to your dog.
  • Insulin pens are a device that holds multiple doses of liquid insulin inside a chamber and can be reused. Pen needles attach and detach from the top of the pen for each injection.

While the thought of giving injections and managing diabetes may seem overwhelming, most dogs continue to live a long, happy, and good quality of life when their health is maintained. At VetRxDirect we provide a full selection of medications and products for diabetic dogs and cats. We will work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s health.

Does your dog have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that worked well? Please share your experience with us and don’t forget to support #petdiabetesmonth

How To Choose Insulin Pen Needles For Dogs and Cats

Insulin pens are a popular and convenient method for giving insulin to dogs and cats with diabetes. Insulin pens are a device that holds multiple doses of insulin inside of a chamber and can be reused. The bottom end has a numbered dial that is twisted for the desired dose (units) and then pressed down like an ink pen to release the insulin. Pen needles are specifically designed to attach and detach from the top of the pen for each injection. Many dog and cat owners prefer the insulin pens over the traditional method of drawing insulin out of a vial with a needle and syringe because they feel the pens are easier they are easier to handle and get a more accurate dosing. Pen needles are required for giving injections with insulin pens, but they come in different types and it can be tricky to know the difference.

What is the difference between Pen Needles?

UltiCare Pen Needles at VetRxDirect

Pen Needles Now Available

The size of a needle is usually measured by gauge and length. The gauge number (g) describes how thick a needle is. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the needle is. For example, a 32g needle is thinner than a 29g needle. Thinner needles can be more comfortable for injection, while thicker needles are more durable. The length of the pen needle is measured in millimeters or inches and is usually chosen by personal preference and the thickness of the skin of the dog or cat being injected. Your veterinarian can help you decide the best type of pen needle to choose for giving insulin injections. 

The UltiCare Pen Needles come in 29g, 31g, 32g, and 1/2 inch, 5/16 in, and 5/32 inch sizes. They are universal and made to fit most insulin pens. Designed for injection comfort, each pen needle features a triple beveled tip, polished barrel, and silicone lubrication. They come packaged with a dual purpose storage and built-in sharps container so you can safely and easily dispose of the needles after each use.

Have you ever used an insulin pen to help manage your dog or cat’s diabetes?

New Basaglar Kwik Pen Available For Diabetic Pets

One of the most popular insulins with VetRxDirect pet owners is Lantus, and until recently it has been the only one of its kind available. Basaglar, insulin glargine, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of diabetes. The release of Basaglar also means a lower price compared to Lantus, and that’s a big deal for pet owners.

Basaglar, like Lantus, is insulin glargine a type of long-acting human insulin. It lowers and regulates blood sugar levels in pets with diabetes. Because it is long acting, it can take a few hours to start working and then can last for as long as 24 hours. Basaglar also comes in the KwikPen, like Lantus SoloStar Pen, a favorite among pet parents.

Insulin injections are commonly prescribed to animals with diabetes because they are unable to produce their own insulin or use it properly. Giving injections can be difficult and time-consuming once you have wrangled all of the supplies and your pet together. Insulin typically comes in a bottle that has to be drawn out and For More Info on Basaglarmeasured with certain insulin syringes, but many insulins come in pens. Insulin pens hold the medication inside of a chamber and can be reused for multiple doses. The end has a numbered dial that is twisted until the desired dose (units) is displayed and the bottom end is pressed like a pen to release the dose of insulin. Specially designed “pen needles” attach to the opposite end for each injection. Some pet owners prefer using the pens because they are easier to handle and get more accurate dosing.

Basaglar KwikPen is easy to use. It has a twist dial for giving doses as small as 1 unit and fits with most U-100 pen needles. Talk with your veterinarian about insulin pens and if Basaglar is right for your pet.

Choosing the Best Pet Insulin Syringes

Diabetes can be a difficult disease to manage in humans, and even more difficult in animals. Dogs and cats can both develop diabetes, and currently there is no cure for it. Often, it requires a treatment plan designed by a veterinarian that involves checking blood sugar and giving insulin shots. If you have to give your pet regular insulin shots you may already know the challenges involved, but having the right equipment to get the job done can make it easier. Or, if your pet has recently been diagnosed, you may be wondering what kind of syringes you need. Pet insulin syringes are made in a variety of types and sizes, so it can be tricky to know the difference.

U-100 vs U-40 Pet Insulin Syringes

 

U-40 Pet Insulin Syringes Available at VetRxDirect

U-40 Pet Insulin Syringes. Half Unit Measurements Now Available.

Unlike other medications, insulin is measured in units. “Units” is short for international units (IU), which is a form of measurement used for describing volume. Insulin for animals usually comes in two different concentrations, 40 units/mL and 100 units/mL. Depending on the brand of insulin, the concentration may be written on the bottle as 100 units/mL, U-100, 100 IU or 40 units/mL, U-40, 40 IU. When selecting syringes to use with your pet’s insulin you want to make sure they match the concentration, otherwise your pet will receive the wrong dose. This is because the syringes have different dosage markings. For example: if you have Lantus 100 units/mL, you would use U-100 syringes, or Vetsulin 40 units/mL would use U-40 syringes. If you are unsure of the concentration of your pet’s insulin, talk to your veterinarian.

Pet Insulin Syringes Needle Gauge & Length

 

U-100 Pet Insulin Syringes. Half Unit Measurements Now Available

Insulin syringes have an attached needle, and the size of a needle is usually measured by gauge and length. The gauge number describes how thick a needle is, and the higher the number, the thinner the needle. For example, a 32g needle is thinner than a 28g needle. Thinner is usually more comfortable for injection, and thicker is more durable. The length of the needle is measure in inches, and is usually based on personal preference and skin thickness. Needles typically come in 28g, 29g, 31g and 1/2 in or 5/16 in depending on the manufacturer.

Pet Insulin Syringes Size

The total capacity of the syringes is measured by cc or mL which are actually equal to each other. The size of the syringe will depend on how much insulin is needed for the dose. They are also labeled with dosage markings, either in full or half unit increments. Syringes typically come in 3/10 cc, 1/2 cc , and 1cc sizes. Talk with your veterinarian about which needle and syringe type will work best for you and your pet.
At VetRxDirect you can find a wide selection of insulin syringes. The UltiCare Syringes have a large combination of needle and syringe size in both U-40 and U-100. They also come in a Safe Pack, which includes syringes and a sharps container all-in-one for storage and disposal, and is available in all standard sizes. UltiCare needles feature a triple beveled tip, polished barrel and silicone lubrication for optimal injection comfort. Dosage markings are clear and easy to read, making sure your pet gets the right dose.

Vetsulin Pet Insulin Availability

Vetsulin is Back In Stock at VetRxDirect!

Vetsulin, the popular pet insulin, is once again available at VetRxDirect, a veterinarian trusted online pet meds pharmacy.

vetsulinVetsulin (Porcine Insulin Zinc Suspension) is a hormone prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian to help your pet’s body turn food into energy. Insulin is prescribed when a pet has diabetes.

Ask your pet’s veterinarian if it is best to switch from your pet’s current insulin to Vetsulin. There are a few insulin suspensions available and your veterinarian is the best source of advice on which diabetes medication to give to your pet.

Remember, Vetsulin is a temperature sensitive pet medication and special precautions should be taken when ordering this product if you live in extreme hot or cold. Insulin is always shipped next-day with a cold pack from VetRxDirect. Extra shipping and handling charges apply.

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and check our blog regularly to receive updates on the availability of hard to find pet drugs and pet supplies.

Pets Get Diabetes Too

Among the many diseases that we humans share with our pets one of the most common is diabetes mellitus, or just diabetes. Sadly, as with people, diabetes is in the rise in our pets too.

As you probably know, diabetes is a disorder in the way the body uses food for energy due to a lack of insulin, which is a hormone that helps your body break down glucose found in food. If your pet lacks enough insulin, produced by the pancreas, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream and that results in diabetes.

What are the risk factors for diabetes in pets?

Just as some humans are more prone to diabetes, so are some pets.  But you can manage some of the risk factors, like obesity, for your pet. Other risk factors are simply genetic.

Risk factors for canine diabetes:

  •  Obesity
  •  Age – Older dogs are more likely to have canine diabetes
  •  Breed type – Some breeds are prone to the disease including: cocker spaniels, dachshunds, poodles, dobermann pinschers, schnauzers, golden retrievers, and terriers.

Risk factors for feline diabetes:

  •  Obesity
  •  Age – Older cats are more likely to have feline diabetes
  •  Genetics
  •  Other health conditions including hyperthyriodism and chronic pancreatitis

How do I know if my pet has diabetes?

Since your dog or cat can’t tell you how he or she is feeling and blood tests aren’t part of a pet owner’s normal routine, watch for these common symptoms of diabetes:

  •  Extreme thirst
  •  Increased urination
  •  Change in appetite
  •  Lack of energy or lethargy
  •  Thinning or dull fur

If your pet exhibits some or all of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian right away to get an exam for your dog or cat evaluated. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in avoiding complications related to diabetes.

If my pet has diabetes, are there treatments that help?

The good news is that with the right treatment and care, many diabetic dogs and cats enjoy long lives and good quality of life too. If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will develop a treatment plan that may include:

  •  Dietary changes to manage weight and energy needs
  •  Daily insulin injections to manage insulin levels
  •  Regular exercise
ProZinc for Diabetic Cats

ProZinc is Available for Purchase at VetRxDirect

At VetRxDirect we stock a full range of medications and products for diabetic cats and dogs and we’re happy to work closely with you and your veterinarian to help you manage your pet’s disease.

Does your dog or cat have diabetes? Is there a particular medicine or product that  worked well for your diabetic pet? Please share your experience with us – we value your input.

In good health,

Wes