Use of intravenous insulin aspart for treatment of naturally occurring diabetic ketoacidosis in dogs

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). Jan-Feb 2016;26(1):101-7. doi: 10.1111/vec.12375. Epub 2015 Sep 17.


Objectives: To characterize the utility and safety of IV insulin aspart in the treatment of diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) in dogs and to determine the times to resolution of hyperglycemia, ketonemia, and acidemia in dogs treated with IV insulin aspart.

Design: Prospective noncontrolled single arm study of dogs with DKA between February 2010 and March 2011.

Setting: University teaching hospital.

Animals: Six dogs with spontaneous DKA and blood glucose (BG) concentration >13.8 mmol/L (250 mg/dL), pH between 7.0 and 7.35, and blood beta-hydroxybutyrate >2.0 mmol/L were treated with an IV continuous rate infusion (CRI) of aspart insulin. The time to biochemical resolution of DKA was defined as the time interval from when the IV CRI of aspart insulin began until marked hyperglycemia (BG concentration >13.8 mmol/L [250 mg/dL]), acidemia (venous pH <7.35), and ketonemia (beta-hydroxybutyrate concentration >2.0 mmol/L) resolved. Aspart insulin was administered as an IV CRI at an initial dose of 0.09 U/kg/h. The dose was adjusted according to a previously published protocol.

Measurements and main results: The median time to biochemical resolution of DKA in dogs treated with insulin aspart was 28 hours (range, 20-116 h). Mean BG concentration decreased significantly from the time IV fluid resuscitation began (32.0 mmol/L [576 mg/dL]; range, 14.9-38.9 mmol/L [268-700 mg/dL]) until 6 hours later when IV aspart insulin CRI began (20.1 mmol/L [363 mg/dL]; range, 9.4-26.1 mmol/L [169-470 mg/dL], P = 0.03). No adverse effects were observed in association with IV insulin aspart administration. Median cost of hospitalization was US$3,477 (range, US$1,483-10,469). Median total units per kilogram of administered IV insulin aspart was 2.97 U/kg (range, 2.04-10.52 U/kg).

Conclusions: Intravenous CRI of insulin aspart is a safe and effective treatment for DKA in dogs. IV fluid resuscitation is recommended prior to insulin administration.

Keywords: DKA; canine; ketosis; therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Critical Care
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Hospitalization
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin Aspart / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Insulin Aspart