Where is the best place to inject insulin in a dog? Here’s the Answer

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Loose folds of skin or fatty areas make ideal areas to give your dog an injection. The idea is to deposit the insulin in the fat under the skin. Pick up a piece of skin with the hand that is not holding the syringe and gently pull it away from the body in a little tent shape. Insert the needle so the medicine will penetrate into the fatty area below the skin. An injection that is too shallow will prevent the full dose of insulin from absorbing into his system. Poking too deeply will insert the needle into his muscle, causing pain.

Loose skin at the back of the neck between the shoulders is one of the easiest places to give your dog his insulin. Hold the syringe in the hand that you write with and raise the fold of skin with the other. Insert the needle through the skin at a 45-degree angle, taking care not to push it out the other side. Make sure the needle is not into a blood vessel by pulling back slightly on the plunger. If you see blood come into the syringe, youll need to extract the needle and try again.

Even if you dont like needles, giving your dog an insulin injection need not be a scary experience. Small, thin syringe needles and single-use pens make the job quick and painless. It is important to vary the site where you inject your dog so he does not become sore from repeated pokes. Choose the best sites along his body where the skin is easily pulled away from the muscle.

Some veterinarians think that insulin is most readily absorbed when injected in the side of the chest or abdomen. You can give the shot while the dog is resting on his side. Laying your dog on his side is ideal if your dog tends to wiggle around during the procedure. Have your helper place a hand on his head and hindquarters to steady him in a prone position while you administer the shot. Choose a site between his front shoulder and rear leg where the skin is easily pulled away from the body.

Steps for Giving Your Dog Insulin

  • Always use a new syringe and needle every time you give your dog an insulin injection. This will guarantee that your supplies are sterile and minimize risk of infection.
  • Unwrap the syringe and needle, but leave the needle itself capped until you are prepared to load the syringe with insulin.
  • Carefully roll the bottle of insulin in your hands to make sure the hormone is well mixed. Do not shake the medicine — unless it is Vetsulin. Vetsulin must be shaken to fully mix it.Â
  • Remove the needle cap. Then, use the pointer finger and thumb of one hand to hold the insulin syringe while drawing back on the plunger with the other hand. Continue to pull back, filling the plunger with air, until you reach the correct marker for the amount of insulin your dog will need.
  • Hold the bottle of insulin upside-down in your non-dominant hand. Insert the needle into the bottle through the middle of the rubber cap and depress the plunger, forcing the air into the bottle. This will prevent the formation of a vacuum when you fill the syringe with insulin.
  • Next, still holding the bottle upside-down, insert as much of the needle as you can into the bottle, keeping the needle tip covered by insulin. Pull back on the plunger until you have the correct amount of insulin in the syringe.
  • If you notice an air bubble inside the syringe, draw a little extra insulin into the tube. Then, remove the needle from the bottle and hold the syringe-needle apparatus with the needle pointing toward the ceiling. Tap or flick the insulin syringe until the air bubble rises, and then push the plunger to force the air out of the syringe and get rid of any extra insulin.
  • Gently pinch some of your dogs loose skin anywhere along their neck or back, using your non-dominant hand. Then insert the needle into the skin, parallel to the fold. Pointing the needle this way will minimize the likelihood that you will put the needle in one side and have it come out the other.
  • Draw back on the plunger. If it fills with air or blood, remove the needle and syringe and discard. Get a new needle and syringe and re-draw the insulin dose as before. Go ahead and reinsert the needle into your dog. If you do not get air or blood, depress the plunger to give your dog their insulin injection. Try to give the shot in a different spot every time you give your dog an injection.
  • If your dog gets away or you cant tell whether they received the full dose, do not try to give more insulin. Wait until the appropriate time to give the next injection of the prescribed dose.
  • Discard the dog insulin syringe and needle in the special container provided by your veterinarian and follow recommended procedures for disposal.
  • Insulin injections are administered subcutaneously (under the skin). Please make sure that you double check your insulin dose before administration. You may need someone to help you hold your pet. Gently tent the skin over the shoulder blades. You will create a small “triangle” of skin. This is where you will administer the injection. Quickly insert your syringe. Pull the plunger back gently to make sure you do not draw back any blood or air. If you do, just remove the syringe and start over. If you do not have blood or air in the syringe, go ahead and push the plunger forward. Remove the syringe and you’re done!

    How to Administer Insulin to Your Dog at Home

    Dogs with diabetes arent able to make enough insulin, a hormone that allows the body to store energy from food and move glucose into cells. Because this condition has serious and potentially fatal consequences, diabetic dogs are typically treated with insulin injections one or two times each day.

    Because insulin is not a sturdy substance, it is important to handle it gently and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or excessive motion. Store unopened bottles of insulin in your refrigerator. After they have been opened, it is still advisable to keep insulin in the fridge. It can tolerate short periods of time at room temperature in an area where it’s out of direct sunlight.

    Before attempting to give your dog insulin, it is wise to practice loading the syringe with the appropriate amount of sterile water or saline. You can even use an apple or orange to practice giving insulin injections until you feel you are ready to try it on your dog.

    Because there are many different kinds of dog insulin syringes, make sure you buy the size and type recommended by your veterinarian.

    Its also important to remember that insulin must be given to your dog after a full meal.Â