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Diabetic dogs get their own insulin

Diabetic dogs in the United States will soon have their own treatment for severe thirst and other symptoms -- Vetsulin, the first U.S. government-approved insulin for canines.
/ Source: Reuters

Diabetic dogs in the United States will soon have their own treatment for severe thirst and other symptoms -- Vetsulin, the first U.S. government-approved insulin for canines.

The Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday the injectable prescription drug would be available in late summer. Before the drug’s approval, U.S. veterinarians were stuck using human insulin to treat their diabetic patients, which include about one in 200 dogs, the agency said.

“This is a very positive development for millions of American dog owners and their pets,” Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford said.

Dogs can suffer from two types of diabetes, a condition where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar. One version involves common diabetic symptoms such as severe thirst, while the other also includes more severe symptoms like vomiting and depression.

Middle-aged and older dogs, especially females, are more likely to develop the condition. Signs a pooch might have insulin woes also include excessive urination and weight loss despite a bigger appetite.

Vetsulin, made by Intervet Inc. of Millsboro, Del., a unit of Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel, is already available in 20 other countries.