Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck, announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved VetPen, the first insulin pen for use in diabetic dogs and cats. For years, insulin pens have made managing diabetes more convenient for human diabetics. Merck Animal Health, a leader in pet diabetes management, has now brought the same technology to veterinary medicine. VetPen is used with Vetsulin (porcine insulin zinc suspension) insulin cartridges. Vetsulin is the only veterinary insulin product approved for use in both dogs and cats.
“VetPen was developed to make giving insulin injections more convenient for pet owners, and precision dosing makes it easier to consistently deliver an accurate dose of insulin compared to syringes,” said Kathleen Heaney, D.V.M., director of technical services for Merck Animal Health. “VetPen initially will be offered in a number of veterinary clinics throughout the country. This will provide us with the opportunity to work with veterinarians on its use – helping to ensure pet owners are administering Vetsulin safely and effectively.”
Vetsulin is the world’s most trusted veterinary insulin, proven safe and effective for more than 20 years in hundreds of thousands of diabetic pets. Recent advances have made treating diabetes in dogs and cats easier. Today, along with proper diet and exercise, Vetsulin and VetPen play an important role in successfully managing diabetes in both dogs and cats.
“At Merck Animal Health, we are committed to providing veterinarians and pet owners with innovative products to meet the ever changing healthcare needs of animals,” Dr. Heaney said. “VetPen is an exciting breakthrough, which will help in the treatment of pet diabetes – a serious and growing issue in dogs and cats.”
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats ranges from one in 1001 to one in 5002, and the number of dogs diagnosed with the disease has tripled during the past 30 years. Getting the disease under control is paramount to survival. In a study of dogs treated with Vetsulin, investigators reported adequate glycemic control was achieved an average of 81 per cent of the time during the study period, and in a pivotal US study of diabetic cats, Vetsulin reduced all major diabetes indicators to within normal range by day 60 of treatment.
Today, dogs receiving the proper treatment have the same expected lifespan as a non-diabetic dog of the same age and gender, while only 50 per cent of dogs used to survive the first 60 days following a diagnosis of diabetes. With effective treatment, lifestyle changes and monitoring, a diabetic cat also can have the same expected life span as a non-diabetic cat of the same age.
Merck Animal Health is committed to supporting veterinarians in the ongoing treatment of their patients, including making diabetes professionals available to answer questions.
Vetsulin should not be used in dogs or cats known to have a systemic allergy to pork or pork products. Vetsulin is contraindicated during periods of hypoglycemia. Keep out of reach of children. As with all insulin products, careful patient monitoring for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is essential to attain and maintain adequate glycemic control and prevent associated complications. Overdosage can result in profound hypoglycemia and death. The safety and effectiveness of Vetsulin in puppies and kittens, breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs and cats has not been evaluated. See package insert for full information regarding contraindications, warnings, and precautions.