Diabetes in Dogs: anyone else on here?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TheMusicMan, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey All,

    As some here may already know, we have a diabetic dog, Belle, who is under control and is quite well given the circumstances.

    However, a month ago when we went to purchase a new jar of Insuvet Insulin, we were told there was an issue with a batch of this product and it had been recalled. Subsequently there was going to be a delay in the distribution of this particular brand of insulin. At the time we were then given an alternative insulin which I think was called Hypurin. Unfortunately, Belle had a significant reaction to this and it did nothing for her glucose levels and nearly went into a coma. We caught it just in time, went back to the vet who gave us their last remaining jar of Insuvet. This has lasted until now.

    Now - here's the problem.

    We are approx 5 days away from needing a new jar, and Insuvet is apparently still not available, and it looks as though it is no longer going to be available either!! I have researched this and have received conflicting advice from several veterinarians regarding alternative insulins. I have an appointment this evening with the Head Vet at our practice and will hopefully get some answers.

    Does anyone here have a diabetic dog? and if so, what Insulin are you using given Insuvet seems no longer to be available? Anyone else worried that the replacement is not going to work for your dog?
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Very scarey what happened there John! Hopefully things will get sorted out ASAP!
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member


    Saw vet this evening and we are limited in our options. The Insuvet insulin won't be available until possibly March '07, though our surgery are anticipating a possible delivery next Thursday. The vet thinks this is rhetoric from the supplier because they are trying to keep his business, therefore there is a risk to this actually being delivered next week.

    Currently open to us are these options:
    • contact as many vets as possible in an attempt to obtain enough Insuvet insulin to take us through to next March (4 jars) - of the 5 we have contacted so far, none of them has any of this currently available - it's a nationwide issue. Apparantly the manufacturer has been taken over by a new owner, who has decided to concentrate on producing Human insulin, and made the pet insulin 2nd priority. I have researched, and as far as I can tell there is no medical justification for so doing... it is purely a financial decision.
    • try a new Pig based insulin for which Belle will be the scapegoat with this surgery (the vet said he'd never done this before and didn't know how she'd fare) re changing the treatment from bovine based insulin to pig based insulin. If this doesn't work - we could not bear to see Belle go into a coma and we'd therefore have to consider the inevitable.
    So, our hands are tied and we're taking Belle to the surgery tomorrow at 8:00 where she will be injected with the pig based insulin, and will be monitored closely for reaction. If this brings her glucose levels down (which the other insulin as per 1st post didn't), we are confident once again we can find the correct balance in dosage and she will soon become stable in her glucose levels. If not... then God forbid, we are going to have some distraught and very unhappy children this Christmas.

    I'll keep you informed...
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    Oh dear, poor Belle. Hope everything goes well tomorrow.
  5. We use caninsulin which is porcine. The vet gave us this to start with so we haven't used anything else. Not had any unexpected problems with it. It costs about £14 for a 10ml bottle.
    We are off to the vets later to have Meggy's blood sugar checked :( .
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Allo... this is what Belle is being tested with today. Up until now she has been on a bovine insulin, so moving her onto this porcine insulin is the first time for this vet apparantly.

    Hopefully it will work... fingers crossed.
  7. nicolaternent

    nicolaternent New Member

    I managed to get insuvet last week for my dog no probs. The receptionist never mentioned a problem with not being able to get it. If you would like i will call them 2morra and ask how much they have and order 1 for you. Will let you know 2morra. Nicola
  8. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi Nic

    I replied to your PM too, thanks for this information. Is there any chance you could email merry little horn player with the name and number of your vet please?

    As for Belle, she was in with the vet all day yesterday and seems to be tolerant of this new porcine based insulin. So far so good, and she is settled today too. it seems they have also worked out the correct dosage for her too and hence no repeat blood curves and tests for the next 3 months while they try to ascertain the right levels.

    Fingers crossed she's settled into this new stuff for good now.

    Thanks for all your PM's by the way; very touching of you all. Thank you.
  9. nicolaternent

    nicolaternent New Member

    IT is done. No probs. Its amazing what we will do for our little four legged friends. They are our babies after all!
  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Thanks Nicola, that's very nice of you. I think Jen wants to go back onto the Insuvet if possible as we'd be going through twice as much porcine insulin and costs for this could be around £100 per month.
  11. Hope you get it sorted. Our vet told us Meg could be swinging!!!!!!!!!!! I thought lucky dog, no wonder she sleeps all day. Her blood sugar was pretty low when i went the other day, it is obviously wearing her out this swinging.
  12. Poor Andy

    Poor Andy New Member

    Poor Andy is in the same trouble

    :( Hi, sorry to hear about Belle. Is she sorted now? My cat Andy has been coping great with Insuvet Lente. Ran out in late Jan & was told it would be in mid Feb. Here we are end of Feb and still being told in a couple of weeks. Andy has been switched to Caninsulin (a pig insulin) at two and a half times higher dose! It is either not working or or not working consistantly, some days he displays all the old symptoms. Vet just wants to do all the tests again! Is there no other alternative?
  13. barrytonegirl

    barrytonegirl Member

    Try posting your question regarding insulin on doggysnaps.com, it's a doggie discussion forum. Full of owners, vets, breeders and other associated doggie people who can offer advice on all things related to dogs.

    If nothing else it helps to know other owners have similar probs, can also find out what solution they've found works. Good luck
  14. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Yes, Belle seems to be fine now. We had difficulty obtaining the insulin she was originally prescribed by the vet, and we had to transfer her to an alternate form - Caninsulin - which apparently is porcine based and not bovine based.

    It took only a little while for her to settle into this new regime, though the amount we have to inject is now double what it was on the Insuvet insulin. I feel the specific Caninsulin syringes we have been given are a little flimsier too - which makes for a more uncomfortable 'injection time'.

    The good news though is that she is fine and dandy in herself, the not so good news is that she has now gone totally blind and partially deaf.
  15. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Just heard from Shering-Plough that Insuvet Lente should be back with the veterinary wholesalers later this week, though I haven't got hold of any yet.

    [edit] just found out that it arrived with us this morning !

    Not much use for those of you that have already had to convert to a different product but something to discuss with your vet if there are ongoing problems stabilising on a new regime.

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2007
  16. Poor Andy

    Poor Andy New Member

    Yeah! Got a call from my vet this evening so we may be back to the usual. THANKS FOR THE GREAT INFO

    Poor Andy
  17. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I am going to keep Belle on the Caninsulin... don't see the need for another change of medication as this is working fine at the moment.
  18. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Just wanted to update this thread with some sad news.

    Unfortunately, Belle developed Kidney failure almost a month ago now, and sadly we had to have her put down on 5th June. It might sound daft and soppy, but quite seriously it has taken me this long to get over the loss. The thing is, when you have a dog with such a condition - Belle was insulin dependent and we injected her twice a day, every day for 3.5 years - you lavish love and attention on them, and they become even more close and loved.

    I don't care what I am called; woos, girls blouse, wet.... I can honestly say that losing Belle broke my heart. She was a smasher.

    Jen did the right thing by, even though we have three lovely other KCC's, getting yet another. Here's a link to the pics I posted recently. He's gorgeous.

    Full thread here... puppy pics here
  19. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Sorry to hear that, John. I know that people who don't have pets don't always understand how they become part of one's family. I hope she didn't suffer.
  20. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi Kirsty

    No, she didn't suffer really. She started to go downhill on the Saturday when she went off her food and I had to hand feed her. She ate it all, but only by my feeding her. Sunday she wasn't so interested at all, Tuesday to the vets for initial blood sugars and the usual suite of tests Belle had regularly undertaken. Thursday back to the vets overnight as those initial tests revealed something more sinister, so more detailed tests carried out. Had a call from the vet on the Friday morning at 11:30 that Belle had exactly what her lifelong companion had... total Kidney failure, and that there was nothing we could do for her. She was put to sleep at 4:00 that afternoon.

    Such irony here... a ridiculously easy decision to make as quite simply, we didn't want her to suffer at all, but being there with her in my arms as she died was without doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. Not ashamed to say that I went to pieces, it was my smashing gal Heather who was my rock.

    She was, absolutely, part of our family.

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