How to Apply a Subcutaneous Injection


If your veterinarian has decided that the best way to administer the medication to your dog is by injection, it is likely that you feel somewhat lost, for this reason, in this article of Animal Expert we will explain how to inject a dog step by step, also showing you several factors to consider.

Of course, remember that you can only inject a dog when the procedure is prescribed by a veterinarian, you should never do it on your own, since you could cause damage and even serious allergic reactions that put the dog's life at risk. In this article we will give the keys to inject our dog at home successfully, read on!

What are the injections?

Before going on to explain how to inject our dog we will define what this procedure consists of. Injecting a substance into the body implies introduce it under the skin or in the muscle through a syringe, which can be of different sizes, and a needle, also of different thicknesses depending on the color of its base.

Thus administering a drug presents the risk of triggering a allergic reaction which, if acute, will require immediate veterinary attention. This is why we should never give our dog an injection at home, except in the case that our veterinarian prescribes it to us, for example, if we have to treat a diabetic dog.

Although here we will describe the process, we must witness a demonstration from our veterinarian so that we can resolve doubts and practice in front of a professional who can help us and correct us before we have to click in our house. Next we will see what are the types of injections and how to apply them.

Types of injections for dogs

To explain how to inject a dog it is necessary to know that there are several types of injections, as we will see below:

  • Subcutaneous injections: are those that are administered under the skin. They are usually applied to the neck, near the cross, which is the area of ​​the spine between the scapulae.
  • Intramuscular injections: they are the ones that are put in the muscle, as the name implies. The back of the thigh in a good place.

In the following sections we will explain how to apply both types of injections.

We will explain how to inject a dog subcutaneously or intramuscularly, for which we must take into account the following aspects:

  1. Be clear about what type of injection The drug should be administered, since it is not the same subcutaneous as intramuscular.
  2. Make sure we can keep the dog still. If we have doubts we will ask someone to help us. We have to keep in mind that the prick can be painful.
  3. We will only use the syringes and needles provided by the veterinarian because, as we have said, there are different formats and they are not used interchangeably.
  4. Once we load the syringe with the medication we must point the needle up and press the plunger to remove air that could be in the syringe itself or in the needle.
  5. We will disinfect the injection site
  6. Once we puncture, before injecting the liquid, we will gently pull the plunger to check that there is no blood, which would indicate that we have punctured a vein or artery. If it comes out we must remove the needle and prick again.
  7. By the end we will rub the area for a few seconds for the drug to spread.

How to give a dog a subcutaneous injection?

In addition to taking into account the recommendations of the previous section, to know how to inject a dog subcutaneously we will follow these steps:

  1. Take with one hand a crease of the neck or cross area.
  2. Insert the needle through the skin to the subcutaneous fat.
  3. For this we must place it parallel to the dog's body.
  4. Once the verification that no blood comes out we will proceed to inject the drug.

Following these tips we will also know how to inject insulin to our dog if it is diabetic, since this disease requires daily injections and, therefore, we will have to prick it at home, always following the recommendations of our veterinarian.

Diabetes needs follow-up and rigorous dose control of insulin and diet. The veterinarian will also explain how to conserve and prepare insulin and how to act if an overdose occurs, which we can avoid following the guidelines of administration and always using the appropriate syringe.

How to give an intramuscular injection to a dog?

In addition to the above, to explain how to inject a dog intramuscularly we must consider the following:

  1. It is recommended prick in the thigh, between the hip and the knee.
  2. You have to keep in mind the location of the bone so as not to puncture it.
  3. Once we inject, we will introduce the medication slowly, in about 5 seconds.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to inject a dog?, we recommend that you enter our Basic Care section.

What should I know about the syringe?

A syringe is composed of 3 parts: the needle, the cylinder and the plunger. The needle enters your skin. The cylinder contains the medicine and has marks as a rule. The marks represent millimeters (mL). The plunger is used to insert and remove the medication from the syringe.

  • Syringe for insulin: They have a capacity of 1 mL of medicine. The syringe has marks ranging from 10 to 100. The 100 marks equals 1 mL. The 50 marks equals 1/2 mL. Tuberculin syringe:
  • Tuberculin syringe: This syringe has a capacity of 1 mL of medicine. It has a slightly longer needle than an insulin syringe. This syringe has marks every 0.1 mL.

Where can I apply a subcutaneous injection?

The following are areas where you can apply a subcutaneous injection:

  • In the abdomen: Discover your abdomen. You can apply an injection in the following areas: below the waist and above the hip bone and side approximately 2 inches from the navel. Avoid the navel.

  • On the thigh: Discover your entire leg. Find the area between the knee and the hip and towards the outer side of the thigh. Gently grasp 1 to 2 inches of skin between your fingers.
  • Lower back: Discover your back from the waist to the upper part of the buttocks. Imagine a line that runs through your back slightly above the crack in your buttocks. The injection can be applied below the waist and above this line. Apply the injection in half between the spine and the side of your back.
  • Superior part of the arm: Discover your arm to your shoulder. Have the person to be given the injection stand with your hand on your hip. Stand to one side and slightly behind the person. Find the area between the elbow and the shoulder. Delicately hold the skin on the back of the arm between your thumb and the first 2 fingers. You should be able to hold 1 to 2 inches of skin.

How do I select the best site for a subcutaneous injection?

  • Keep a record of where the injections are applied: Make a list of the places you can use. Write the date, time and place where you give each injection.
  • Change the location of the injections: It is important to use different areas each time you give an injection. This prevents scars and skin changes. The areas where the injections are applied should be separated at least 1 inch from the other. Check with your doctor if you need to give the injection in a specific area.

Disposable gloves, if you have them

How do I administer a subcutaneous injection? Subcutaneous injections can be applied at an angle of 90 or 45 degrees. Use the 90 degree angle if you have 2 inches of skin to grab between your big toe and the first (index) finger. Use the 45 degree angle if you can only grab 1 inch of skin.

  • Open the alcohol wipe: I cleaned the area where the injection will be applied. Let the area dry. Do not touch the area until you give the injection.
  • Prepare the needle: Hold the syringe with the hand you write and pull the cover with the other hand. Place the syringe between your thumb and index finger. Let the syringe barrel rest on your second finger.
  • Hold the skin: With your other hand hold the skin.
  • Insert the needle into the skin: Hold the barrel of the syringe tightly and use your wrist to inject the needle into the skin. Once the needle is fully in, push the plunger down to apply the medicine.
  • Remove the needle: Remove the needle at the same angle where you inserted it. I carefully cleaned the area with gauze.

Place a gauze in the area where the injection was applied.

It is important to dispose of needles and syringes correctly. Do not discard needles in the trash. You may receive a hard plastic container specially made to discard used syringes and needles. You can also use a soda bottle or other plastic bottle with a screw cap. Make sure that both the needle and the syringe easily enter the container and that they cannot go out the sides of the container. Check with your doctor or pharmacist what state or local requirements are to dispose of used syringes and needles.

Keep calm

It is very important that you be as calm as possible so that the dog can feel good. If you are very nervous, take several deep breaths until you have managed to reduce the nerves. And, of course, if they give you apprehension needles, do not hesitate to ask a neighbor or friend for help, or check with your veterinarian to see if you can administer the medication in another way.

Prepare your dog

To give him an injection is really very easy and does not take more than a few seconds, but we must do everything possible to make the experience as pleasant as possible for the animal. Therefore, before putting it on I recommend that take a few minutes to play with him and give him a lot of love. This will relax both of you.

Give the injection

When you are ready, clean the area where you have to give the injection (The vet will tell you) with hydrogen peroxide and gauze to prevent infections. Now, take your skin as if your hand were a clamp, and insert the needle. You have to notice that it goes well. Then, introduce the liquid.