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Posted On 19/04/2018 By In Vet Advice With 158 Views

Injecting a Dog

Injecting a dog

Giving an injection many times can save a dogs life and can be simple and safe, as long as you know the correct procedure. The first trick is to ‘observe’. You’ve taken shots all your life – now’s the time to remember how. Observe a vet do it each time and try to play it in your head on how to do it. But please do not administer an injection if you have no practice or will to do it. Do not ‘practice’ on a dog that’s under stress. However administering a simple injection can prevent a whole lot of pain, possible death if you can do it.

Injections are given in 2 ways: Subcutaneous – also called ‘subcut’ and Intramuscular called ‘IM’.

Giving a sub-cut injection:

The sub-cut does not hurt

  1. Preparing the injection:
    • Many injections and vaccines need to be in the cold chain – ensure that they remain so right until the time of giving the injection.

    • Break the vial with a knife or something that can hit it hard and fast away from your body.

    • Ensure the needle is fastened properly to the syringe – ensure you do not uncover the needle and do not touch it – you don’t want to contaminate the needle.

    • Put the needle in the vial and draw the required amount of fluid (will be 1/2/3/5 ml)

    • Upright the needle and remove the plastic cap from the needle – tap the syringe so that no air bubble are at the top of the syringe – now press on the plunger slowly so as to remove all the air. Remember we do NOT want to inject any air in the dog.

  2. Lift the skin of the dog between its shoulder blades right below the neck to make a ‘tent’. This will create a ‘pocket’ of space underneath the skin to inject the injection into. Remember we are going to inject in this pocket under the skin and above the muscle not ‘into’ the muscle.

  3. Hold the syringe level with the dogs back – so its at about 10-20 degrees to the backbone and to the direction of the head of the dog. Place the needle with the bevel (flat part of the needle) up into the triangular/tented area space of the skin and push forward. After an initial resistance, the needle will penetrate the skin and enter this ‘pocket’.

  4. Draw-back on the syringe slightly – you don’t want to see any blood rushing in. If blood is present, find another location. If no blood is seen, slowly press on the syringe plunger to give the injection.

  5. Done. Withdraw the needle – and dispose of it safely. Keep the pressure on the area for 30s with your fingers to prevent bleeding.

Intramuscular Injections:

You will need to hold down the dog (or keep him standing up without moving) for this will sting and the dog may try to retract. The trick is giving the injection smooth that is not too rapid a plunge of the syringe and not jerky. Given at a consistent slow rate the dog will hardly feel it.

  1. Prepare the injection (same steps as for the subcut):

    • Many injections and vaccines need to be in the cold chain – ensure that they remain so right until the time of giving the injection.

    • Break the vial with a knife or something that can hit it hard and fast away from your body.

    • Ensure the needle is fastened properly to the syringe – ensure you do not uncover the needle and do not touch it – you don’t want to contaminate the needle.

    • Put the needle in the vial and draw the required amount of fluid (will be 1/2/3/5 ml)

    • Upright the needle and remove the plastic cap from the needle – tap the syringe so that no air bubble are at the top of the syringe – now press on the plunger slowly so as to remove all the air. Remember we do NOT want to inject any air in the dog.

  2. You need to give the injection in the muscle – the thighs of the dog are the best. To do so, hold the dog upright or make it lie down as comfortably as possible. It’s best to have the dog muzzled and to have someone hold him down.

  3. Insert the needle into the muscle of the dog’s rear 1/3 of his thigh (that side nearer the tail)

  4. Pull back on the plunger of the syringe to check for any blood. If there is blood, start over (same as for subcut)

  5. Press down on the plunger to administer the injection (same as for subcut).

  6. Dispose of the needles (same as for subcut).