Client Information | Veterinary Specialist Services

ADMINISTERING A SUBCUTANEOUS INJECTION

Dr Gemma Spinoglio, from the internal medicine team at Veterinary Specialist Services, demonstrates how to give a subcutaneous injection to a dog. Some medications are best administered by subcutaneous injection, for example, insulin. These injections are simple and safe to give at home with correct training. 

How to administer a subcutaneous injection

There are a few different reasons you may need to perform a subcutaneous injection, like injecting insulin or antibiotics.

Where to administer a subcutaneous injection on your pet:

You should perform subcutaneous injections to space where you can comfortably tent the skin and produce ample space to work using. 

In the video, Gemma uses a space between the shoulder blades because the skin elasticity is generous.

When selecting a space to administer the injection, you should make sure that you have a vision of their skin. If you have a long-haired pet, you may need to part the fur so you can get a more precise sight. 

Keeping your pet still for the treatment:

If your pet has trouble staying still, you might require a second set of hands to hold them stable for the treatment. You could also use food or treats to distract them.

Some pets are reactive and may be provided with a numbing cream to help with the shock of the needle. Talk to Veterinary Specialist Services if your pet is reactive to the treatment for help here.

Steps to administer a subcutaneous injection to your pet:

  1. Make sure your pet is stable and prepared for the treatment.

  2. Select the site to administer the injection based on the suggestions above.

  3. Tent the skin, then ready the needle for dispensing.

  4. At a 45 degree angle, pierce the skin and drawback a small amount to ensure there is no blood.

  5. Then very slowly inject the treatment.

Remember to dispose of the needle safely using a sharps disposable unit.

For more help and information:

Contact your local Veterinary Specialist Services for more information and assistance applying a subcutaneous injection: Find your nearest VSS centreor call 1800 442 648.