FDA Issues Alert on Pet Insulin Product

Product used to treat diabetes in dogs and cats may have formulation problems.

Posted: November 5, 2009, 5 a.m. EST

Veterinarians and pet owners are being warned to closely monitor dogs and cats receiving Vetsulin because the product may have varying amounts of crystalline zinc insulin in the formulation, according to an alert sent out Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

Vetsulin, which is manufactured by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, is used to treat diabetes in animals.

Because the product is out of specification, there could be a delay in insulin action and overall longer duration of insulin activity, according to the FDA. Products having significant problems with stability can affect the management of chronic diseases. Unstable insulin products can result in unpredictable fluctuations in the glucose levels of diabetic patients, the FDA noted in its alert.

Veterinarians and pet owners are urged to monitor patients for any changes in onset or duration of activity, or for any signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. The classic signs of hyperglycemia include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and lethargy. The classic signs of hypoglycemia include disorientation, unsteadiness, weakness, lethargy and seizures.

The FDA said that while Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is working with them to resolve the issue, supplies may be limited. Therefore, the FDA is suggesting that pet owners talk to their veterinarians about transitioning their diabetic pets to other insulin products.


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Lynn   Hobe Sound, FL

1/4/2010 4:17:07 AM

Our 11 yr old Lab has been on Vetsulin x 5 months. He developed cataracts in 1 week and went blind suddenly. I demanded the Vet change the insulin not knowing about the FDA warning. He sold us 2 vials of Vetsulin 12/9/09 without telling us about it. We noticed our dog's BS was getting higher & higher- sometimes over 500 and felt like the insulin wasn't working.He started him on NPH last night and already blood sugar in 300's. Vetsulin(PIG POISON) needs to be recalled immediately- not just a warning.There is a class action lawsuit started: Rick Kerger, Esq. #419-255-5990. I am calling him this morning. Our poor little 4 legged friends put so much trust in us to take care of them and we nearly kill him. He has seen an opthamologist($350) who says he is a candidate for cataract surgery for $3000 as long as all his bloodwork and heart exam are OK. We are so heartbroken that this could have been prevented. It is so sad to watch him try & manuever himself being blind. He almost walked off seawall into canal- we caught him just in time. We have to take him out in the yard on a leash to prevent him from walking into trees or
If anyone has their pet on Vetsulin you need to demand your Vet to change it immediately. Don't wait till an event such as ours happens.

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concerned   texas, TX

11/22/2009 1:06:19 PM

Why would this product still be sold when it has been determined by the manufacturer that each batch is not stable. If this were directed at human consumption, do you think it would still be prescribed, not to mention be injected by someone with diabetes. Animals don't have that choice, it is up to the FDA to make sure this product is immediately taken off the shelf and out of circulation, until it has been pre-approved for futher distribution.

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Karen   was, DC

11/22/2009 1:03:52 PM

My cat died 4 days
During the 7 months I gave my cat VETSULIN, she went thru hell and so did
Schering Plough should be sued!

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Paul   Santa Fe, NM

11/10/2009 7:19:01 AM

I am glad you published this. I run a boarding kennel for cats and we have a few diabetics who use this insulin. Thanks

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