This last week I had to switch Bender over to a new insulin. Vetsulin is no longer available and it is unknown how long it will be till it is.

These last few months have been great. I got Bender regulated. Down to 22ml per shot, he was up to 37 at one point. Healthy eating on a home cooked diet. And in general a happy dog.

That all ended this week. I started Bender out on the normal measurement. It is some thing like .75 units per kilogram. Bender is 45 lb = 20.4116 kg x .75 = 15 units.

My vet recommended Novolin N and I could get the generic from Walmart called ReliOn N. Which I did.

He got 15 units per shot the first day. That night he crash. Peanut Butter and carrots to the rescue. The next night the same thing. By the third day I changed his dose to 10 units. He started to get worse. He was crashing twice a day.

Last night was scary. Woke at 1:30 to Bender milling around. He was crashing. I got him PB and carrots. After ten minutes he was ok. We went back to bed. 20 minutes later he is up milling around, worse than before. Falling over, bumping into every thing. He has never been this bad.

I tested his level. 41. My meter doesn’t read below 40. It just says low. This time I give him some honey and 1/3 of his food for a meal. After 25 minutes I test his glucose level. It was 61. Not high enough. So I gave him the rest of his food and sat up with him for another 45 mins. At that point he was 109 and we went back to bed.

At 9am I tested him after I fed him. 192. Excellent. He got 7 units. By 6. He was crashing again. No time to test. I gave him a spoon full of honey and then his meal. Afterwards I tested. He was at 90. No shot.

Some thing is going on here. There has to be a huge difference between Vetsulin and Novolin – N. Upon some research, there is. I honestly never thought about it.

Basically insulin comes in 6 forms.

  • Rapid-acting
  • Short-acting (R)
  • Intermediate-acting (N)
  • Long-acting
  • Ultra long-acting
  • Mixed insulins (70/30)

And is measured by Onset, Peak, and lasts.

OnSet is how fast the insulin starts to work.
Peak is how long it takes to reach max level.
Lasts is how long it is active and working in the body.

I’m only going to focus on Short-acting (R), Intermediate-acting (N), and Mixed insulins (70/30).

Short-acting (R)
In general
OnSet is usually 0-30mins
Peak is any where from 4-12+
Lasts is 8-12hrs

Intermediate-acting (N)
In general
OnSet is usually 1-4hrs
Peak is any where from 4-12hrs+
Lasts is 10-20hrs

Mixed insulins (70/30)
In general
OnSet is usually 0-30mins
Peak is any where from 4-10hrs
Lasts is 10-18hrs

Vetsulin is a Mixed insulin (70/30), The 70 means it has 70% Intermediate-acting (N) and the 30 means 30% Short-acting (R).

The ReliOn – N is an Intermediate-acting (N).

This information was a huge eye opener for me. By the time Bender’s insulin was taking affect, his glucose levels had spiked and where dropping. But the insulin was just started to kick in and was peaking hours after he ate and his glucose levels were at a low point. No wonder he was crashing.

Vetsulin being a 70/30 mix. The Short-acting took care of his immediate glucose spike from his home made food. Then the Intermediate-acting (N) took care of his glucose curve till the next meal. Bender processes his home made food much faster than commercial food.

If Bender was on Hill’s W/D or some other commercial food. I’m thinking ReliOn – N would be good. Commercial foods sat in Bender’s stomach and he digested them slowly. By the time Vetsulin’s short-acting insulin was wearing off about 4 hours after his shot. Bender’s blood sugar levels were ramping up and on their way to peaking. The Intermediate-acting (N) wasn’t enough to push down the spike in the glucose levels.

Since Vetsulin isn’t available any more, and ReliOn – N is definitely not right. I’m thinking ReliOn 70/30 might be good.

Tomorrow I am going to call the vet and talk to him about changing Bender over to ReliOn 70/30.