Payback for Diabetic Dogs

by Mary Haight on July 24, 2010

October 15 2007 day 3 - Insulin pens
Image by DeathByBokeh via Flickr

It’s only taken nearly 90 years, but payback for diabetic dogs has arrived.  Treatment for diabetes got its start when scientists isolated insulin in dogs. It seems only fair then, that all the advances since that discovery are now being applied to our furry and no so furry friends (dogs, cats, cows, horses) in the form of continuous glucose monitoring.  Over a period of days, this  yields the kind of information owners need for optimal disease management.  Gets rid of those nasty frequent blood tests, too!

Medtronics makes the device that sits between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin and records information every five minutes. Diseases that can stem from obesity often have their root in carbohydrate fillers.  With this new device, vets can better see how diet is affecting the disease and get the insulin dose right.

The University of Missouri’s Charles Wiedmeyer conducted the published research and is hoping companies will design devices specifically for animals.

(Source: Science Daily )

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Dog Diabetes Info
Dog Diabetes Info

Just wanted to write back and let everyone know that I ended up switching Zeke off of Vetsulin and Caninsulin in July of this year. I had run out of the Caninsulin and my usual source in Canada was unable to get me any more of it. It turned out to be a non-event. I used the urine sticks several times a day for about a month and gradually raised Zekes dose of NPH until we got him to a good dosage for him. He is doing well and I am glad it turned out so well.


Have to agree with Edie on this one. My cat developed diabetes from being obese - I was traveling and he had food issues due to prior living conditions and would sit at the feeder and just gorge. Do you know if they are doing the same for cats Mary? Would love to know!


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You're going to have to forgive me here for going on a short rant, Mary, but as the owner of a diabetic dog this is a subject near and dear to my heart and I need to set the record straight about a few things. First and foremost, contrary to popular opinion, canine diabetes does not stem from obesity. It is a hereditary, generally adult onset disease, and is more akin to type one (juvenile) diabetes in humans than it is to type 2 which is related to -- and can sometimes by offset by -- diet. (Feline diabetes, on the other hand, is more similar to type 2 in humans). Obesity exacerbates the problems with canine diabetes -- and is not healthy for any dog -- but it doesn't cause it. A good diet is important -- I feed Frankie a low fat, grain free diet (for the reasons you cite about carbs) -- but the testing is purely to determine levels of insulin diabetic dogs need to take for the rest of their lives. Which brings me to here's the next issue. Schering Plough has withdrawn Vetsulin, porcine based insulin, from the market because of problems with formulation. It took me a long time to get Frankie regulated and Vetsulin was the only thing that ultimately worked. I have about a 4 months supply and then... well, it's back to the vet for a lot of testing of products that didn't work in the past (or maybe trying to get hold of an emergency supply). So I guess it's a good thing that this device will be available because I'm going to need to do a heckuva lot of testing. By the way, I've had no problems with the urine strip testing that I do twice a day. It's not precise but I never had a problem with adjusting insulin dosing based on it. The reason I've used the strips rather than a meter is because Frankie is a small dog, and it's hard to draw blood from him. Which brings me to the last point. I couldn't tell from the original article what size the device is. For a dog that weighs 9 pounds, anything larger than a 1/2 ounce could be a problem.... Sorry... longer rant than even I thought. I've been very stressed lately because of my Vetsulin supplies running low.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rod Burkert, JJ and Robert Davis, Doggy Bytes. Doggy Bytes said: Payback for Diabetic Dogs via @dancingdogblog […]

  2. […] was a story here the other day about a new continuous glucose monitoring device for animals to help vets better control insulin levels in diabetics and minimize blood draws […]

  3. […] back to continue the conversation started when the mistaken idea that obesity caused diabetes in dogs cropped up.  Since this notion has been so thoroughly embedded in the public mind, many […]

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