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Administering Insulin in Cats with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

  • July 9, 2015 9:28 AM EDT

    Patients that present in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a severe complication of diabetes mellitus, can have life threatening problems including marked dehydration, metabolic acidosis, and electrolyte imbalances. Treatment of these patients can be intensive and generally includes administering intravenous fluids, managing the metabolic imbalances, as well as administering insulin.

    There are various types of insulin available and different protocols for the practitioner to consider when treating patients. Possible routes of administration include intravenous continuous rate infusion (CRI), and/or by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. The monitoring of patients - particularly those on an insulin CRI - is labor intensive, as frequent blood glucose monitoring is often needed in these patients.

    In this week's Evidence Based Update, an alternative protocol for insulin administration in cats with DKA is described - specifically one that calls for the subcutaneous and intramuscular administration of insulin. The efficacy of this protocol is compared to administration of insulin by an IV continuous rate infusion. The two protocols are compared including the time to discharge from the hospital for treated patients and normalization or resolution of:

    • Hyperglycemia
    • Ketonemia
    • Metabolic acidosis

    View this Evidence Based Update - it's available for On Demand viewing (running time 10 mins; Approved for CE credit in New York and by the NJVMA, pending approval for CE credit by AAVSB RACE).

  • August 4, 2015 10:00 AM EDT

    View the summary and Roundtable discussion on this topic (running time 12 mins). We thank our panelists: Melissa Holahan, DVM, DACVECC and Elisabeth Zenger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)!