Merck Animal Health Launches Global Awareness Campaign


November 15, 2013 8:43 am ET

“A Healthy Pet = A Happy Family” Encourages Pet Screening and Treatment

Merck Animal Health has launched a global awareness campaign to support Pet Diabetes Month™ this November. The “A Healthy Pet = A Happy Family” campaign highlights that just like humans, dogs and cats can also suffer from diabetes – a relevant message as November is also American Diabetes Month. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the signs of the condition among pet owners, in an effort to encourage them to visit their veterinarians to have their pets screened and treated.

            “Pet owners should be aware of the possible warning signs of pet diabetes and see their veterinarians for a definitive diagnosis,” said Madeleine Stahl, DVM. “Considering the fact that pet diabetes can be effectively managed, lack of owner awareness may be the biggest risk factor associated with this condition.”

            Lethargy, excessive thirst and frequent urination are some of the most common signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. Pets may also exhibit increased hunger while losing weight, cloudy eyes (due to cataracts) in dogs and weakness of the back legs in cats. Risk factors that may contribute to the development of diabetes mellitus include age (middle-aged to older dogs and cats are more susceptible), genetics, breed and obesity. Merck Animal Health has created three videos as part of “A Healthy Pet = A Happy Family” to help pet owners learn more about the condition and its signs. Those videos can be found at along with a variety of pet owner educational materials.

            It is important for pet owners to recognize the signs of the condition as the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats ranges from at least one in 1001 to one in 500.2 The number of dogs diagnosed with the condition has tripled during the past 30 years3. Today, dogs receiving the proper treatment have the same expected lifespan as a non-diabetic dog of the same age and sex. With consistent treatment and proper diet, a diabetic cat can also live a happy, healthy life. If a dog or cat displays signs or is at risk, pet owners should talk to their veterinarians, as getting the condition under control early is paramount to survival. Lack of diagnosis and treatment can lead to severe and life-threatening health issues.

            Pets are members of the family, and when their diabetes is well-regulated, diabetic pets can live happy, healthy lives with the families who love them. Today, along with proper diet and exercise, VETSULIN® (porcine insulin zinc suspension), the only veterinary insulin product approved for use in both dogs and cats, plays an important role in successfully managing the condition. VETSULIN has been proven safe and effective for more than 20 years in hundreds of thousands of diabetic pets. 

            Merck Animal Health is committed to the highest standards in research and development and continuing to work toward better solutions and treatment options. For more information about pet diabetes, please visit

             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 (see link below).


About Merck Animal Health

VETSULIN® is a registered trademark of Intervet Inc. d/b/a Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Summit, N.J., USA


            Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

            Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

            Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (



Please see prescribing information for VETSULIN at:

1Nelson RW. Canine diabetes mellitus. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldmen EC, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2010: 1782-1796.

2Reusch C. Feline diabetes mellitus. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldmen EC, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2010: 1796-1816.

3Fleeman, LM, Rand JS. Beyond insulin therapy: Achieving optimal control in diabetic dogs. Waltham FOCUS 2005; 15:12-19.


Media Contact:

Kelly Goss                                        



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