How to Inject
1. Remove the insulin from the box, hold it between your palms in a horizontal position over the sink or table, so when you drop it, it won't break. Gently roll the vial 15 to 20 times. Turn the vial upside down and make sure there's no white powder sticking to the inside bottom of the vial.
2.Take a syringe, push the plunger all the way forward, and then pull back to the same mark you will draw the insulin to. With the vial upright, inject the air into the vial. This prevents a vacuum from building inside the vial.
3. Slowly draw the amount of insulin you need and remove the syringe. I always remove the syringe while the vial is still upside down. If you start drawing the insulin with a small jerk, the bubble caused by the air in the needle will almost always release from the end of the plunger. If not, try pushing the insulin back in and try again. I have never had to flip the syringe to get the bubble out.
4. Once you have filled the syringe, TENT THE SKIN, and inject at a 45-degree angle.
Why do you push air in the bottle? This was a tip I learned, which helps keep the bottle pressure stable.
When changing the site, be very careful and watchful. The glucose may drop more than expected because the insulin could be absorbed differently.
ALSO, avoid injecting in the scruff. The scruff is a low absorption area for the insulin, making it less effective.
And AVOID rubbing the area of injection immediately after the shot. That can speed up insulin absorption, causing erratic numbers, and could even lead to hypoglycemia.
Having Trouble Injecting?
Your dog might struggle with injections, and understandably so. Who wants to get poked with needles every day?
Things to consider if you're having difficulty with shots
- Be sure to inject bevel up. That way the point of the needle is entering first.
- Consider a different needle size. You might be given a standard, 1/2 in, 29 gauge needle from your vet. Depending on your dog's size, that needle size might be uncomfortable. Consider getting a smaller gauge, 30 or 31, and shorter, 8mm, or 6mm needle.
- Apply something cold to the site of injection before shot. For example, keep a spoon in the freezer. Hold on injection spot for 10-15 seconds. This can help numb the area a bit, making it more comfortable for them when injecting. You can also purchase a Cool Shot to further numb the area.
- If your dog tends to cooperate more with the vet when given a shot, but not at home, try to establish an area that creates that same feel. For example, have your dog on a counter to administer the shot.
- If your dog continues to be fussy after trying these ideas, consider getting or creating some form of sling/grooming hammock to place your dog when giving the shot. This will help prevent your dog from turning away/flinching.