Insulin pen not dispensing single unit?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (Welcome & Main Forum)' started by Essex, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Essex

    Essex New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2020
    New to the board. :)

    My senior cat (15 1/2 yrs old) was diagnosed with diabetes last month and started on Lantus (via AllStar Pro pen) over the Christmas holidays. We started with 2 units a.m. and p.m. with daily BG monitoring pre-shot and mid-cycle, and a curve on day 9. Based on the early numbers, my vet recommended reducing her to 1 unit a.m. and p.m.

    After a week on a single unit, I noticed an increase in her urine output, so I worried that she wasn't getting enough insulin. I should point out here that my vet said I could stop the daily BG testing (because my cat was trying to run and hide at meal times) and we would do a curve at 10 days. At the same time, I learned that "priming" the pen was recommended, so I started doing a test shot into the air before each injection. When I test with 2 units, there's a noticeable stream coming from the pen, but when I test with 1 unit, there are literally 4-5 droplets coming from the pen, and it takes several seconds for them to come out. This happens with EVERY test shot. So now I suspect the pen is not fully dispensing single-unit doses. I did another curve yesterday. Based on those results, my vet shares my concern and wants me to switch to syringes, which I'm willing to do, but I have read they are less accurate than the pen.

    Have any of you experienced problems with pens dispensing single units?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  2. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Most everyone who uses the pens uses syringes to pull the insulin and give the shots. We treat the pen like a mini vial and do not use the needles for the pen. Part of the reason is you can then give 1/2 units or smaller. The syringes used are U100 .33 ml with 1/2 unit markings
     
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  3. Essex

    Essex New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2020
    I had no idea that most people used syringes with the pens. This community has been a godsend! Everything I've learned about feline diabetes (and I had to learn a LOT in just a few days) I learned here.
     
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  4. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    A lot of us feel the same way. I was fortunate that I had a great vet when my first cat was diagnosed in 2003 and she taught me to be very proactive with his care, including teaching me how to home test and give subq fluids. I think she also was the reason I originally became a member of FDMB. This is the reason we are here to help others learn how to give the best care for their cats.

    If you have any questions, please ask.
     
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  5. Larry and Kitties

    Larry and Kitties Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    To accurately dispense via pen dosing w/pen needle you have to prime the pen (which you are doing) and to hold the pen needle in the cat's skin for 10 seconds with the button depressed:
    • Count to 10 after pressing the button
    • Remove the needle from your skin if you dial another dose
    https://www.lantus.com/hcp/dosing-injection/injection-guide

    I find ithat 10 seconds very hard to do. I used a pen w/pen needles for dosing a high dose cate (50 units) and even though the hold would not really affect the high dose I found the pesn hard to use because of the distance between the button and the pen needle compared with a insulin syringe.
     

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