Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FDA Approves First Insulin Automatic Injection Pen for Diabetic Dogs and Cats

VetPen, for use with Vetsulin (in USA) and Caninsulin (outside USA)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first insulin injection pen (VetPen, Merck Animal Health) for diabetic cats and dogs, the agency announced today, March 19, 2014 (1).

2 Sizes of VetPens
The VetPen may now be used to administer Vetsulin insulin cartridges, also made by Merck Animal Health. The refillable VetPen automatically measures the prescribed insulin dose and provides the owners of diabetic dogs and cats with an additional option for insulin delivery.

There are two sizes of refillable VetPens. One (tan cap) dispenses insulin doses from 1-16 units per dose in full unit increments. The other (blue cap) dispenses 0.5-8 unit doses in full or half unit increments. Both pens use 2.7 ml insulin cartridges which hold a total of 108 units (IU) of U-40 Vetsulin (or Caninsulin).

Vetsulin is an FDA-approved insulin for use in dogs and cats (2). This insulin is identical to Caninsulin, the brand name of the insulin sold in Europe (3).

Merck said the VetPen is easier to dose and administer and is more accurate than traditional delivery systems, such as syringes and vials (4). “For years, insulin pens have made managing diabetes more convenient for human diabetics,” the company said. “Merck Animal Health has now brought the same technology to veterinary medicine.”

An informational website (2) provides tools for both veterinarians and pet owners to make managing pet diabetes easier. More online information about the VetPen can also be found on the Caninsulin website (5); the Pet Diabetes website has an informational brochure that can be downloaded (6).

Administering insulin to a cat with the VetPen
For questions on how to obtain Vetsulin or the VetPen, please contact Merck Animal Health Customer Service at 800-521-5767.


  1. FDA website. FDA Approves First Insulin Product for Use with Automatic Injection Pen in Cats and Dogs.
  2. Merck Vetsulin website.
  3. Merck Caninsulin website.
  4. Press release. Merck Animal Health Receives FDA Approval of VetPen  
  5. Merck Caninsulin website. Caninsulin® VetPen® helps make pet diabetes management easier 
  6. Pet Diabetes website. What you need to know about the Caninsulin VetPen

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