How to Store and Give Insulin to Your Pet:
HomeDoctorsServicesInfoTake-Home InstructionsLinks

All forms of insulin need to be kept refrigerated.  When getting ready to administer insulin to your pet, remove the vial of insulin from the refrigerator and make sure to mix the contents of the vial by gently rolling the vial between your palms.  Avoid shaking the vial or using vigorous motion to mix. (1.)
This helps to avoid getting air bubbles in the vial and also acts to warm the insulin before it is injected.  (2.)  Hold the vial with the rubber stopper facing down and insert the tip of the needle through the rubber stopper so that it enters to fluid inside the vial.  Draw back the plunger beyond the desired number of units, filling the syringe with insulin.  Gently tap on the side of the syringe to allow any bubbles to rise to the top.  Push the plunger in to get rid of any bubbles and move it to the prescribed number of units.  The edge of the plunger's black rubber seal closest to the needle is used to make the measurement.  Always double check the number of units you are about to administer and make sure there are no air bubbles.
**Before attempting to give an insulin injection, please be sure you have been shown how to do it by a veterinarian or a veterinary technician.**

Once the syringe is loaded with the appropriate number of units, you are ready to give your pet the injection.  This is best done with two people, one to hold and one to give the injection.  The holder can tap on the pet's head or otherwise distract the pet's attention so that he/she doesn't focus on the injection.  (3.)  Hold the syringe in your dominant hand and use the other hand to pick up a fold of skin along your pet's back (try to avoid the scruff and use a different spot every time).  Hold the syringe at about a 45 degree angle and push the needle through the skin.  Be careful not to push the needle all the way through the skin and out the other side.  Pull back slightly on the plunger while it is inserted in the skin.  If blood enters the syringe, this means you have hit a blood vessel and should not give the injection.  Remove the needle from the skin and start over.  Insulin is designed to go under the skin, not into a blood vessel.  As long as you are not in a vessel, go ahead and give the injection.  
If you miss, give a partial dose, feel a wet spot on the fur, or aren't sure if you got it under the skin, DO NOT give another injection!  Skip the dose and give another injection at the next scheduled time.  Insulin overdose can be fatal.  Skipping a dose is not a problem.
After giving the injection, replace the cap and store the used syringe in a safe place.  After collecting numerous syringes bring them back to Vernon Veterinary Clinic and we will dispose of them for you.
347 Rt 94
Vernon, NJ 07462

(973) 764-3630
Small Animal & Exotic Medicine and Surgery