How to give Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension) to your dog

Doses of insulin are measured in units: 40 IU/mL insulin contains 40 International Units (IU) per milliliter (mL) (1 mL = 1 cc).

Use Vetsulin with U-40 syringes only—these are designed specifically for use in animals. Using a syringe other than a U-40 syringe, such as a U-100 syringe that is designed for use in people and that you purchase from your own pharmacy, will result in incorrect dosing. This could be dangerous for your dog!

Your veterinarian will prescribe Vetsulin for your dog, and it should be administered according to your veterinarian's instructions.

Your veterinarian will:

  • Determine the amount of insulin needed
  • Instruct you on proper storage and handling
  • Show you how to draw the insulin from the bottle
  • Instruct you on how to administer the injection

Once you can do this correctly, your veterinarian will provide you with everything you need to care for your dog at home. Vetsulin should be administered with a U-40 insulin syringe according to the following instructions.

Administration video

Preparing the dose

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  • Wash your hands.
  • Remove the Vetsulin bottle from the refrigerator and shake until the contents appear milky or uniformly cloudy.
  • Allow any foam on the top to disperse.
  • Carefully remove the cap from the needle.
  • Using a U-40 insulin syringe, pull the plunger back to draw air into the syringe equal to the Vetsulin dose.
  • Insert the syringe into the bottle and inject the air into the bottle. This will help to more easily draw the Vetsulin from the vial.
  • Turn the bottle and syringe upside down. Making sure the tip of the needle is in the Vetsulin, withdraw the correct dose into the syringe.
  • Before removing the needle from the bottle, check the syringe for any air bubbles. If bubbles are present, hold the syringe straight up and tap its side until the bubbles float to the top. Push them out with the plunger and withdraw the correct dose.
  • Remove the needle from the bottle, being careful to not inject yourself.

Giving the injection

  • Injections should be given just under the skin (subcutaneously) 1-2 inches (2–5 cm) from the midline of the back (middle of your dog's back running from tail to head), varying from just behind the shoulder blade to slightly in front of the hip bone.
  • The injection sites should be alternated between your dog's left and right sides.
  • Using your free hand, pinch up a fold of skin (a), insert the needle into the center of the fold (b) as instructed by your veterinarian, and push the plunger in as far as it will go (c).
  • Pull out the needle, being careful not to inject yourself.
  • Dispose of the syringe in an appropriate manner (sharps/biohazard disposal).

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Administration sheet
Downloadable Vetsulin administration sheet for dog owners

Download PDF


Important Safety Information
Vetsulin should not be used in dogs or cats known to have a systemic allergy to pork or pork products. Vetsulin is contraindicated during periods of hypoglycemia. Keep out of reach of children. As with all insulin products, careful patient monitoring for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is essential to attain and maintain adequate glycemic control and prevent associated complications. Overdosage can result in profound hypoglycemia and death. The safety and effectiveness of Vetsulin in puppies and kittens, breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs and cats has not been evaluated. See package insert for full information regarding contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

User Safety Warning
For use in animals only. Keep out of the reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with copious amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Accidental injection may cause clinical hypoglycemia. In case of accidental injection, seek medical attention immediately. Exposure to the product may induce a local or systemic allergic reaction in sensitized individuals.