Insulin Administration in Dogs

Insulin administration is necessary in dogs that have been diagnosed with diabetes. The insulin will help the assimilation of glucose and will regulate the blood sugar. The insulin may be available in various concentrations and your dog may need a daily dose or a dose once every 2 days.

Choose the Syringe

The syringe should be chosen according to the concentration of the insulin. Insulin can be purchased in concentrations of 40, 100 and 500 units per milliliter. For instance, you will need a U-40 syringe if your dog requires 40 u/ml insulin. U 100 and U 500 syringes are also available.

Measure the Dose

The dose your dog needs will be established by your vet. Your vet will indicate the units your dog needs. You can measure the units on the syringe, provided you have chosen the suitable syringe.

Prepare the Insulin Shot

Remove the dose from the vial, but only after warming the vial in your palms. Shaking the insulin vial is not necessary, as this can lead to the formation of bubbles and this will make the measuring more complicated.

Turn the vial upside down and extract the needed dose with the syringe. If there are any bubbles, hold the syringe with the needle pointing up and try to eliminate the bubbles.

Administer the Shot

You will have to find the right time for the injection, so that your dog will be calmer and more cooperative. You can choose the time immediately after your walk, when your dog is tired.  

You may practice administering water in an apple, until you feel secure and can start administering the insulin to your pet.

You can also get someone to help you, at least while you and your dog get used to the shots.

Hold the dog down or have someone distract him with a toy or a treat. The injection should be administered in the shoulder area, as this will make sure the shot is the least painful.

Push the plunger of the syringe, making sure you administer the entire dose. If some insulin leaked out, don’t add more insulin, as this can lead to an overdose. Just make sure you administer the following dose at the scheduled time.

If you have inserted the needle in a blood vessel and blood enters the syringe, you shouldn’t administer the insulin. Simply extract the needle and try a different location.

Always reward your dog after a shot. The shot won’t be very painful.

Make a note of the time the injection is administered. Ideally, you should administer the shots at around the same times every day, so that your dog’s blood sugar will be stable.

The needle and syringe should be dumped, but put these in a sturdy container that won’t be punctured.

Storing Insulin

You will need to store the remaining insulin in a refrigerator. Make sure you apply the rubber stopper on the insulin vial.

Check the expiration date and make sure not to use the insulin if it is past expiration date.