Rescue Journal

sheila asked me to write a quick post about cats and diabetes cuz some of it is news to some of the vets. this all came out about a year and a half ago and not all vets have kept up to the most current diabetic research. and the reason for this

Carol  ·  Jan. 5, 2011

but because of one cat that we never did achieve good diabetic control (he had cushings disease and the resulting diabetes could not be controlled) i learned a new way to revert newly diagnosed diabetic cats back into non diabetic doesn't work for all cats but it does work for a significant number....and it takes months to achieve so you can't get impatient and cheat.

cats who are newly diabetic and diagnosed relatively quickly have a chance to revert back to normal... if a simple protocol is followed...and this is why scrappy is no longer diabetic. one of our vets educated me on this new process when we were trying to deal with apollo's diabetic disease. it had just come out in the vet world and at the time was not widely known.

the protocol is simple...newly diagnosed with diabetes cats are placed on Lantus insulin immediately. they cannot be started on a different insulin first and then switched...they can only ever have received lantus insulin...not caninsulin, or humulin insulin...each and every dose has to be lantus insulin only.

so when scrappy was diagnosed...he went onto is WAY more expensive and a bit trickier to use because it is a longer acting insulin..instead of clearing in 12 clears the system in closer to 18 hours so there is a greater risk of the cat becoming hypoglycemic if the dosing is every 12 hours....and trying to dose every 18 hours would be an almost impossible nightmare.

when sheila and leila adopted him..i told them he had to stay on the lantus and why. i said their vets could not switch him onto any other kind. and they wanted to..they had never heard that lantus cats could revert to negative and they were uncomfortable with the longer acting insulin risks too. but everyone left his insulin alone and eventually it worked...scrappy stopped being a diabetic and is now off of all insulins.
since they started looking after scrappy..their vets have now heard from other sources the research surrounding diabetic remission and lantus use...the vets are still uncomfortable with the longer acting part of lantus but now they can see the benefit too.

but the trick to the remission is that the cats cannot ever use not even a single dose of any other kind of insulin....AND it may take months or years to achieve a full remission. so you have to be willing to take on the extra hypoglycemic risk and the very much higher cost of the lantus insulin...but for scrappy at least, it was very well worth it.

ok cat diabetic remission education is done!



I agree that Caninsulin is crap. Neither of my diabetic cats belonged to me when they were diagnosed and had already been on Caninsulin. My clients cat was on Caninsulin and reverted but it was after being on it for about 5 years. probably just luck! Lantus does seem to have a higher success rate in terms of response to the insulin and lowering BG for sure. Years ago it seemed that vets always went to start cats on Caninsulin, maybe Lantus was not used for cats ten years ago or maybe it was called something else???


I wish I had known that when Al was diagnosed diabetic back in October and started on Caninsulin. Didn't talk to Carol about him until after he had been getting Caninsulin a couple of weeks. He is on Lantus now since mid November but his glucose levels are still out of control. I didn't know about that 18 hour thing. Al is in at Hill n' Dale at the moment so they can monitor him more closely. I will definitely bring this point up. Thanks, Carol.


karen...the vet told me but i can't really remember... all i cared about at the time was the remission piece and i was highly skeptical when she told me because it wasn't working with apollo (before we knew he had cushings) and i was frustrated cuz i wanted to switch him to humulin and she was trying to block me on this cuz i was being impatient...but i think it has to do with something about how the lantus itself interacted with the insulin producing cells of the cat...other insulins shut them down when injected into the body but i think lantus does not actually shut them down but interacts with them somehow. she has gone back east now so i can't ask her the specifics..the research might be on-line somewhere tho.

emma..maybe a few cats have truly reverted on canisulin but it is not an expectation that they possibly can. the difference is that with lantus..the numbers of cats reverting is SIGNIFICANTLY high...not just the odd cat here or there.
i think the key here is....when you inject any insulin (except lantus for some reason) the body stops producing its own insulin. so once they are on caninsulin or humulin they no longer produce their own insulin. but with lantus, they still do produce some of their own insulin so they have a better chance of repairing and regulating their own insulin production themselves.

in my opinion caninsulin is quite frankly crap is a very old school insulin that has been around for years and failed human trials..the newer synthetic insulins are much cleaner and more effective and more stable too and the actual volume you are having to inject is far less with the newer insulins to get the same results...i won't use caninsulin of our vet clinics still does but will put our guys onto humulin if i bring it in and the other of our clinics won't use it at all any more either.


I ace to correct Carol - our vet wasn't comfortable with the lantus but didn't want to change the insulin because she said it would set him back to square one in terms of finding a dosage that worked for him if we switched it.


I have had diabetic cats that have switched insulin and take care of others who have switched because they have not responded well to one or the other. I have known remission in cats on Caninsulin not Lantus, the opposite of what you have just said.


Hmmmm, any idea why the lantus insulin allows the cat's body to adjust itself back to proper insulin production/use? We've had several insulin-dependent diabetic cats over the years and always hoped for a remission. But all our cats were on caninsulin.