If you have a dog with diabetes, it is often necessary for the dog to receive an injection of insulin on a daily basis.
This article will cover some things to consider when administering an insulin injection, including the reasons behind why you would choose to do so, how many shots it takes per day, and medications that are associated with the procedure. It will also discuss how to store your supplies in case you ever need them in the future.
Consider this article your guide to injecting insulin into diabetic dogs.
How To Inject Insulin Shot to A Diabetic Dog
Giving insulin to a diabetic dog is not easy at all, but you need to do it. The internet is full of videos and instructions on how to help your gums-less canines, but it’s also full of people who are giving insulin the wrong way. Here are 10 safe steps to follow when giving an injection to your diabetic pooch:
- Obtain the appropriate needle size for your furry friend’s weight. If not sure, pick up an inexpensive kit at the pet store which will provide you with one of each size so that you can find out what needle is best suited for your pup.
- Prepare a clean flat surface and put some newspaper down on this table. Also, have a bowl of warm water and some cotton balls ready for use. Clean all surfaces with soap and water before coming in contact with your diabetic dog’s insulin needles.
- Have your pet dog in a sitting position or laying on his side. Bring the skin taut prior to inserting the needle into it using your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. You also need to make sure that no vaccines or antibiotics are present in your canine’s body because these drugs create cells that release insulin into the blood.
- Gently insert the needle into your dog’s back end. It doesn’t hurt because it’s short and smooth, but if you have a smaller dog, be cautious so as not to cause her pain.
- Squeeze all of the air out of the syringe carefully so that you don’t lose any insulin. After that, slowly press down on the syringe and inject the dose that you calculated into your pup.
- While holding onto the syringe and needle (inserted in your dog), gently twist the needle 90 degrees so that it is perpendicular to your pet’s backside. Then pull out the needle from his backside and remove it from his body.
- After taking out the needle, clean your dog’s injection site using the cotton ball that was dipped into warm water. This will prevent infection at that site.
- Once you are done with the insulin injection, you need to wash your hands thoroughly because this is where all of the germs are present.
- Put the used syringe in the washing bowl filled with warm water. If you’re using another needle, put that in to also get washed up. This is very important because there’s no way for you to know where one needle has been injected into your dog before and another one isn’t.
- After all of the steps are completed, you can give your canine pal some treats or play around with him until his next insulin shot is due.
Also, check out How to Live with A Diabetic dog?
Everything You Need to Know About Insulin Shots
The first thing you should know about giving insulin to your dog is how much insulin it takes to properly treat diabetes. For an average-sized three-year-old Beagle or similar weight dog, 1/8 cc would be sufficient for several weeks (depending on your dog’s weight).
What is more interesting is the fact that, on an empty stomach, it takes about four hours for your dog’s blood sugar to drop to normal levels. If your dog doesn’t receive food for several hours after the injection, their blood sugar will actually fall below normal levels by the time they eat. This is because the food will push up the blood sugar.
For example, once your dog’s blood sugar level becomes stabilized after an injection, you feed them a small meal of dry food. The insulin lowers the blood sugar again, but only for about an hour or so because it takes time for the food to be digested.
Once you have set your dog’s blood sugar at a decent level, you will want to give insulin once every 24 hours. One-shot (1/4 cc) will usually do the job. You can easily give an injection three times during the day if you spaced them out properly; however, dividing up your daily dose this way will prolong the amount of time that each shot lasts.
Most dogs with diabetes are given the same dose of insulin every day. However, you shouldn’t give the exact same amount of insulin at four different times of the day (even if you do it over several days), because this combination of factors can cause your dog to become anemic, which can lead to more health problems.
For example, some dogs will need an exact dose every time they get their injection (or even more often). Other dogs will need more or less insulin at certain times or in certain situations.
For the most part, do not divide an insulin shot into several parts. It is best to give it all at once. If you have to split the shot up into three or more sessions, your dog can actually become anemic if they don’t get the second part of the injection within a day or two of the first.
When the time comes to give your dog an insulin injection, you should do so as soon as possible. Try to avoid the time of day when you have to give it because it’s best not to do so at any time of the day when food is being eaten alongside your dog.
You will often be given guidelines for how much insulin you need to use, particularly if you are using a syringe with a needle attached. For example, a U-40 Insulin Syringe describes a dilution formula for a dog that weighs roughly 60 pounds. The important thing to remember about this is that the insulin concentration in the syringe is more concentrated than in a vial or bottle of insulin.
This concentration of insulin will have a greater effect on your dog’s blood sugar levels than on your own blood sugar levels. To prevent this from being a problem, you should never take the time to dilute the insulin. You are not supposed to do so.
You will have to set your dog’s blood sugar at certain levels before you begin an insulin injection. If you do not, your dog’s blood sugar level may fall too low during the injection, which can result in very high readings for a while afterward. If this happens, you will want to give another shot of insulin within a few hours to bring the blood sugar back up to normal levels.
The insulin that you use should be kept in the refrigerator, but not in the freezer. You should not let it get too warm, either. Make sure that you keep the insulin in some sort of airtight container because if you do not, it can lose some of its potency.
If your dog begins to show signs of shaking or twitching, do not give them another shot of insulin for at least 15 minutes. This is because the first shot has often only just started to work during this time period.
You might also be interested in How to Treat Diabetes in Dogs?
It is very important that you understand how to give insulin injections to your dog properly. Taking the time to educate yourself about the process before you begin will help you to maintain a better relationship with your pet. You have a significant responsibility to your dog, and you should not take it lightly.
Thank you for reading the article.
To learn more about diabetic dogs, please read other diabetes-related dog articles here.
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