How to Give Injectable Medication
Dr. Dawn Ruben
General Practice & Preventative Medicine
Some diseases, most commonly diabetes and allergies, require periodic administration of injectable medications. Proper administration of these medications will help ensure your pet's continued good health. Frequently, you will do this at home. If you feel uncomfortable administering injectable medication, discuss alternatives with your veterinarian. Try this method:
- Clean the surface of the medication bottle with an alcohol-coated cotton ball.
- Insert the needle and syringe into the rubber top of the medication bottle.
- Invert the bottle and draw up the prescribed amount of medication.
- Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe.
- 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, but make sure no blood flows into the syringe. If you draw blood, you've hit a blood vessel. Remove the needle at once, and find another location in the skin.
- 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.