VetPen® for Cats with Diabetes
Insulin injection pens have been used for decades in the management of diabetes in humans, VetPen® is the first insulin injection pen specially designed for use in dogs and cats with diabetes. MSD Animal Health developed VetPen to provide owners of diabetic cats an alternative to insulin syringes, which some cat owners found inconvenient and overwhelming.
VetPen is ergonomically designed to make handling easy and the dosing process simple. It reduces the time it takes to prepare and give insulin injections. VetPen is supplied with adaptors for the dose selector dial and release button that make it easy to use for all.
With VetPen, there is now a choice of how to inject Caninsulin®, the first veterinary insulin (40 IU/ml) approved for use in both cats and dogs. VetPen is reusable. Once empty, simply remove the Caninsulin® cartridge and insert a new one and prepare it for first use by carefully following the instructions on the package insert. To avoid dosing errors, other types of insulin cartridges for other types of insulin should not be used with VetPen.
- Easy to use
- Reusable and tested for at least 3000 injections
- Allows multiple doses to be provided with minimal preparation time
- Lowers the risk of accidental needle stick injury
- Protects the Caninsulin® cartridge from breakage
- Reduces the likelihood of insulin spills
- Reduces air bubbles that may lead to inaccurate dosing
- Makes insulin dose selection easier
- Increases dosing accuracy at low doses
Please contact your veterinary team if you think that VetPen might suit you and your cat.
VetPen® is calibrated specifically for use with Caninsulin® cartridges and a specific 29 gauge (0.33 mm), 12 mm needle (Unifine® Pentips®). VetPen works optimally with this specific type of needle. Other needle types and lengths should not be used with VetPen. The needles are small, thin, and specially lubricated making injection easy and minimizing discomfort. The needles are designed for single use only – a new needle should be used for each injection and should be removed using the needle remover and disposed of safely and appropriately after use. Reusing a needle may lead to the needle becoming blocked or blunt, inaccurate dosing and/or insulin contamination.
Each cartridge contains two glass beads to help mix the Caninsulin® thoroughly before use. Follow the instructions on the package leaflet to mix the insulin thoroughly until the contents appear homogeneously milky before the cartridge is inserted into the VetPen. Do not use the cartridge if clumps persist after shaking thoroughly for about 30-60 seconds.
To make sure the pet’s dose is injected precisely and accurately, you need to push the release button down fully and hold it until the arrow (>) returns to the start line (–) on the dose selector. Then, wait at least 5 seconds before removing the needle from the skin. Pushing the release button down fully starts the injection process, which requires a little time (5 seconds), for optimal dose delivery.
If too high a dose has been selected it is important not to attempt to try to turn the dose selector back to a lower dose. This may damage or break the VetPen®. Instead, release the insulin dose through the needle into a tissue or swab by pressing the release button and then select the correct dose.
When selecting the insulin dose, it is important to double check what the correct dose is and turn the dose selector carefully to this dose. Check again before administering the insulin that the correct dose has been selected. Too high an insulin dose can have serious, or even life threatening, consequences.
VetPen® should always be stored or carried with the needle removed and the cap on. To clean VetPen, simply wipe with a damp cloth. Do not immerse it in water. Keep Caninsulin® cartridges upright, refrigerated and protected from light. Do not freeze.
Here is a stepwise guide to troubleshooting some potential issues
- No insulin is coming out of the needle:
- The insulin cartridge may be empty. Replace the cartridge with a new one and prepare for first use according to the instructions on the package insert.
- The insulin cartridge may be damaged: Check that there are no visible cracks or damage (for example, if VetPen® has been dropped). If in doubt, replace the cartridge with a new one and prepare for first use according to the instructions on the package leaflet.
- The needle may be blocked: Replace the needle with a new one.
- The cartridge plunger may be stuck: Place the protective cap back onto the needle and unscrew the cartridge holder. Then slide the release button towards the internal plunger and hold it until the arrow points to the start line. Select 2 units without screwing VetPen® back together, then push the release button down fully and hold until the arrow returns to the start line on the dose selector. Without rewinding the internal plunger, screw the VetPen® cartridge holder and body back together. This should release the cartridge plunger and expel some insulin.
- The dose selector does not return to the start line:
- The cartridge did not contain enough insulin. The dose selector dial will stop at the number of insulin units that still needs to be administered. It is important that you write this number down because when you put in a new cartridge and prepare it for first use you will no longer be able to see this. Insert a new cartridge and prepare it for first use according to the instructions on the package leaflet. Turn the dose selector to the number you wrote down and inject the pet as usual.
- The needle may be blocked: Replace the needle with a new one.
- Make sure your hand is not impeding the rotation of the dose selector. Holding VetPen® like a pen allows the dose selector to rotate freely after the release button has been pushed down fully.
- Be sure to push the release button down fully to start the injection so that the dose selector can rotate back to the start line. Then, wait at least 5 seconds before removing the needle.
- Insulin is dripping from the needle after injection: The needle may have been removed from the skin before the injection was completed, and your cat did not receive the full dose. To make sure your cat receives its full dose, be sure to push the release button down fully and hold it until the arrow (>) returns to the start line (–) on the dose selector. Then, to allow the VetPen® to deliver the full dose, wait at least 5 seconds before removing the needle from the skin.
Contact your veterinarian if you are not sure what to do or if you are still facing issues.