Zeke, a 15 Year Old Diabetic Dog

Zeke, a 15 Year Old Diabetic Dog
Zeke is believed to be a Puggle
Fans of the diabetic dog Zeke can purchase a button with his photo on it from Zazzle, check it out!  Zeke is a puggle which is a cross between a pug and a beagle.    All proceeds will go towards Zekes veterinary bills and his pet medications.   We will be adding more products with Zekes photo on them soon so please check back soon!

Puggle Button from Zazzle.com

Zeke Has Successfully Switched from Vetsulin to NPH Insulin

I'll write more later but just wanted to let everyone know that I have successfuly switched Zeke off of Vetsuilin and onto NPH or Humulin N.   I was really nervous about it as was my vet but it has basically been a non-event.  Zeke is doing well.  I will write more later about the process I went through to switch him off the Vetsuilin and onto NPH.  Now I only wish I had done it sooner.

I am purchasing the NPH at the Walmart pharmacy for about $25 per bottle without a prescription.  We switched Zekes insulin about 3 weeks ago and the bottle is about half gone so it looks like 6 weeks of insulin will cost me about $25 which is much less expensive than I was paying for the Vetsulin and that is not even counting the overnight shipping for the Vetsulin.

I took Zeke to his vet on Friday and his glucose was 148 which she was satisfied with for the time of day it was.  We will continue to monitor him but right now his dose seems to be 12 units in the morning and 12 in the evening.

We had been purchasing the Vetsulin from the Cross Border Pet Pharmacy in Toronto Canada.  John gave us outstanding service and shipped fast and always kept me updated.  But when he received word in early July that he was not going to be able to continue to get the Caninsulin (Canadian version of Vetsulin) I talked to my vet and we made the decision that it was time to switch Zeke to another insulin.

At the time I could get the Caninsulin from the UK but for a high cost and also higher shipping cost.  My vet suspected that the UK supplies would eventually dry up as well.

At this point I am glad we switched Zeke and only wish I had done it sooner.

Animal Cops is the Best Show Ever!

Guest written by our friend Donnie Donovan

One of my favorite television shows is Animal Cops on Animal Planet. I have had a long time love affair with animals be they furry, slick, scaly, feathered, or just weird. If it flies, swims, crawls, or simply hang glides I like it. Animal cops always gets to me because the show is designed around highlighting the actions of law enforcement to aid injured and abused animals. Whether the critter has been neglected horribly, or badly injured, it doesn't matter. These enforcement officers have to deal with some of the worst criminal offenders on the planet. These people often would never have the guts to attack another human being but they batter their pets instead.

I was watching Animal Cops on my Direct Star TV one night and saw a special on dog fighting rings busted. I think it was Animal Cops, because it seemed like it was. Honestly, I'm not sure. However, the actual episode was horrible. some of those poor animals looked like they were on the verge of death. The enforcement agents had to confiscate them. It hurt my heart to hear that some of the dogs would probably be euthanized as a favor to them. They were so badly injured that they needed to be put out of their misery. Thousands of dogs are brutalized this way every year around the world. I'm just so glad it's illegal here!

Sources for Caninsulin

With the Vetsulin Critical Need program being cancelled I am in search of I am in search of sources for Caninsulin.  Caninsulin is the exact same medication as Vetsulin and is manufactured by Intervet, the company that makes Vetsulin.     I will add to this post as I find additional sources for purchasing Caninsulin.   So far I have identified these online pharmacies who sell Caninsulin:

777Canadian Pharmacy - I have ordered from them in the pastand they were reliable.  But they have hiked their prices way up.  I prefer not to do business with companies who take advantage of situations like this so unless I am desperate I will not order from them.

Cross Border Pet Pharmacy (Canada)  -  They are limiting you to a one month supply so I ordered 3 bottles which will last me a little longer than a month.  The 10ml bottles are $23.67 each CDN, much less than the $42 I pay through the CNP. 

Update 2/18/2010 - John from the Cross Border Pet Pharmacy called me today to tell me that my order of Caninsulin will be shipped on Monday but he wanted to alert me that his supply of the Caninsulin is being limited by the manufacturer.  He can fill my current order  but after that the supply situation is not known.  I really appreciated him calling and their great customer service.  I will definitely order from them again if they continue to be able to supply the Caninsulin.

Update 2/24/2010 - my order that was shipped on Monday 2/21 arrived today.  It was shipped from Canada using a service called EMS which is basically International Express Mail through the post office.   The total cost for 3 bottles was just under $100 which included a $27 shipping charge. 

I am investigating two UK pharmacies who list Caninsulin on their website.  In the UK Caninsulin requires a prescription,.  I have sent an e-mail asking if the UK pharmacies ship to the USA and about the shipping charges.  Please check back for an update on this.



Update 2/17/2011 - Vet Meds Plus responded that they will not ship to the USA.

At this point I do not know if Caninsulin and Vetsulin are made at the same factory.  The Cross Border Pet Pharmacy limited my order to a one month supply and made a mention of having availability until July and not knowing if another batch would be made. 

Please leave me comments below if you have identified some alternate sources for Caninsulin.

Vetsulin Critical Need Program Ending

I received a letter from Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal health today stating that the critical need program is ending.  I immediately called my veterarian in somewhat of a panic.  We have been avoiding transitioning Zeke to another insulin because he has done so well on the Vetsulin and because he is 14 years old.  It would be so much easier to let him finish his life on the Vetsulin.   So I asked her staff to order the maximum amount of Vetsulin that I can order at one time which is 6 bottles.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Vetsulin Customer,

You are receiving this letter because our records indicate you have one or more pets participating in the Vetsuiln critical-need program (CNP).  As you know, we alerted you in late 2009 that the product had not met its stability specifications and may have varying amounts of crystalline zinc insulin in the formulation.

We must advise you that because of a manufacturing issue unrelated to the stability oissue referred to abovv, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is discontinuing the Vetsulin CNP as of Feb. 7, 2011.  However, we will continue to provide Vetsulin for the CNP until our current supply in the U.S. is exhausted - we anticipate being able to fulfill order through February 2011.

This difficult decision is being made because quality tests showed the sterility of the most recent batch of Vetsulin manufacturered for the CNP may be compromised by bacterial contamination.  This batch of Vetsulin has not been released.  While the company is still investigaging the quality issue, aditional batches are not being manufactured at this time. We, therefore, cannot supply the program and it must be discontinued.

We are aware of no evidence that the Vetsulin currently on the market and being unsed under the Critical Need Program is affected.  No adverse events consistent with potential bacterial contaminiation in catas and dogs receiving Vetsulin have been reported under the current program.  We sincerely regret any difficulties this causes and strongly recommend you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to transition your pet to another insulin product.  Your veterinarian has been made aware of this issue as well.

We sincerely apologze for the need to discontinue the Vetsulin CNP but wanted to provide you with as much advance notice as possible.

As always, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is concerned for the well-being and health of animsals of all species and the people who care for them.


Christopher Pappas, Jr., DVM
Director of Companion Animal Technical Services

I don't know if the Caninsulin will also be discontinued so I will be placing a call to the Canadian pharmacies where I have previously purchased Caninsulin in the past.   At the AskAVet website I came across this article about Caninsulin.

My vet and I decided that I should stockpile as much as I am comfortable with and if Zeke should outlive the supply then we will deal with transitioning him to another insulin.