Do Insulin Shots Hurt Dogs

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Injecting Insulin

Injecting insulin at home is done subcutaneously, under the skin, but not into muscle or vein. See also Syringe and Insulin pen. It's best to pull up some loose skin into a tent[1][2], then insert the needle firmly, bevel side up[3][4] for comfort[5]. {C BD has animations with narrations to help you learn how to draw insulin properly[6]. One can select from drawing one insulin or combining two insulins in the same syringe. Selecting this and the style of syringe you use personalizes the demo for your needs. The presentation is very clear and unhurried. BD also has a slideshow which shows how to inject your dog[7] or cat[8]. Injecting any insulin at the same site repeatedly over time or blunting a needle with re-use[10] can cause a lipodystrophy: either lipoatrophy[11] or lipohypertrophy. Either makes absorption unreliable. But varying the injection site can cause variability in action profile, too. This page illustrates[12] illustrates the most common areas humans with diabetes inject insulin and explains how absorption differs in various areas of the human body. This is true for ALL insulins. The new shot area needn't be very far from where the last shot was given--the distance of Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. peggy0

    I've read that giving cold insulin is painful for your doggie and you should prepare the shot an hour before giving it to them? Is this true? My dog seems to whimper when I give him a shot. I'm not sure if its frustration or pain. He's not use to this whole diabetic life poor thing.
    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. We Hope

    It's true about cold insulin stinging, but you don't need to necessarily prepare the shot an hour before giving it.
    "Injecting cold from the refrigerator insulin can sting, regardless of what species, type or brand. Bringing the insulin to room temperature by removing it from the fridge before actually using it can help avoid painful injections. Warming the capped insulin syringe with your hands can have the same effect. Some people tuck the capped and filled syringe under their arm for a few minutes to warm it before use.
    "Do NOT attempt to warm insulin using a stove, microwave, etc.; you may destroy the insulin by doing so."
    You might want to take the vial out of the fridge an hour before you plan to draw from it, thus bringing it to room temperature.
    One VERY important thing is that most are using an insulin which needs to be re-suspended before it's injected--otherwise you won't get the insulin to work properly if you don't.
    "Cloudy insulins must be rolled between the hands or gently rotated and inverted several times slowly, to evenly re-suspend the insulin particles in the liquid, before injection. Continue until the suspension looks uniformly milky or cloudy from end to end.
    "If you don't roll a cloudy insulin, you will inject an incorrect concentration of the insulin, leading to unpredictable insulin action. Worse, if you repeatedly inject a poorly-resuspended insulin, the remainder of the vial or cartridge will change its concentration!
    "Pre-filled syringes and insulin pens containing "cloudy" insulins also need to be rolled or re-suspended before injecting. Gently rolling the pre-filled syringe as is done with a vial will re-suspend it. The instructions with insulin pens and cartridges describe the technique for re-suspending before use.
    "If you shake or drop the insulin, you can cause frothing, which will denature (physically damage) the fragile insulin molecules, and weaken the insulin, again leading to unpredictable insulin action.
    "Shaking also creates many air bubbles which go into the syringe along with the insulin. They are harmful in the respect that when there's air in the syringe, the full unit dose of insulin isn't able to be drawn and injected."
    Syringes should be used with the bevel side of the needle pointing upward:
    The thread at the link above in our "Answers" section has a lot of helps in it about giving shots.

  3. Cara's Mom

    Hello Peggy,
    Have been following the thread with interest. Your question about cold insulin was very timely! Normally I pay lots of attention to warming the insulin...this morning we were a little hurried...did not pay enough attention..and Cara sure let me know I screwed up So yes, cold insulin hurts.
    A couple weeks ago we had lots of trouble with the shots..she yelled at me several times. Have now changed gauge size from 28 to 29(can only get those in the States!!) and watch closely that the bevel edge is up and have had no more complaints. I even mark the syringe so I do not turn the syringe prior to the shot.
    So keep up the good work, you will get there! We did!!

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