Some dog diseases, most commonly diabetes and allergies, require periodic administration of injectable medications. Proper administration of these medications will help ensure your dogs’ continued good health. Frequently, you will do this at home. If you feel uncomfortable administering injectable medication, discuss alternatives with your veterinarian.
Injectable medications can be prescribed for either subcutaneous or intramuscular use. Most medications that veterinarians dispense for owners to give at home are for subcutaneous use. Discuss the proper route and technique with your veterinarian prior to administering the medication at home.
Steps to Give an Injectable Medicine to Dogs
For drugs that can be administered via subcutaneously, you can try this method:
- Clean the surface of medication bottle with an alcohol coated cotton ball.
- Insert the needle and syringe into the rubber top of the medication.
- Invert the bottle and draw up the prescribed amount of medication.
- Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe.
- Using the skin between the shoulder blades tends to be the easiest way to give injectable medications. The skin does not need to be cleaned with alcohol prior to administering these medications.
- Hold the syringe with the needle exposed in one hand.
- With the other hand, gently lift a small piece of skin between the shoulder blades, at the base of the neck.
- By lifting the skin, an upside down “V” will be formed by the tent in the skin. Insert the needle into the center of this “V” or tented area of skin.
- Once the needle is inserted into the skin, draw back slightly on the syringe plunger and make sure no blood flows into the syringe.
- If no blood is seen in the syringe, push the plunger into the syringe in order to administer the medication.
- Let go of the skin and make sure there is no liquid on the surface of the skin. If there is moisture on the skin, you may have inserted the needle through all layers of skin and out the other side of the tented skin. If this occurs, contact your veterinarian before another attempt is made.
Remember, if you feel uncomfortable administering injectable medication; discuss other alternatives with your veterinarian. If you are having difficulty, call your veterinarians office and ask if you can stop by and have the veterinarian or one of the technicians’ demonstrate the technique for you.
Here’s a tip that has worked for some dog owners – If you don’t want to take your dog in and want to practice, you can sometimes practice with the medication and syringe on a piece of fruit such as an orange or banana.