Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Giving Subcutaneous Injections

The Secrets of Subcutaneous Injections

by Ms. Ana Bruder, Internal Medicine Technician

It is often helpful to have assistance while giving your pet an injection. Even the most confident owner may benefit from a second set of hands so that your total concentration can be given to the injection process. Having someone there to hold and distract your pet, during this time, will ease your mind and allow your animal to feel pampered. If your pet is afforded the luxury of being petted, scratched, given a toy, or having a treat, the injection experience will be easier for both of you.

How to give a subcutaneous injection:

  1. Remove the needle guard from the previously filled, dose-appropriate syringe
  2. If you are right-handed, hold the syringe in your right hand and with your left hand, lift the folds of skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. If you are left-handed, reverse the process. Try to use a slightly different site each time you give an injection.
  3. With the needle, puncture the skin at about a 45-degree angle. Be sure that you do not penetrate completely through the skin fold layers, exiting on the other side. Just incase it does, keep your fingers out of the way!
  4. Once you have pierced the skin, pull back slightly on the syringe plunger to ensure the needle is not in a blood Bessel. Should that occur, blood will enter the syringe, and you will have to reposition the needle.
  5. Once you have a good injection area, administer the injection. Press down on the plunger until the syringe is empty.
  6. Withdraw the needle entirely and replace the needle guard.
  7. Reward your pet! Scratch their head and give them a treat.
  8. Place the needle and syringe in a puncture-resistant container. You can often purchase a Sharps container from your local pharmacy of veterinary office at a low cost. If you do not have a container available, use a soda bottle.

To learn more, contact VCA-VRA today! And download the guide below to take it with you wherever you go! 


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