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How to Administer Insulin

Insulin should be kept cool at all times and the bottle should be gently rolled prior to withdrawal of the insulin into the syringe.

The syringe and needle should be stored in protective packaging to keep them sterile, and stored in the fridge.   Syringes and needles have four parts – the syringe barrel, the plunger, the needle and the needle guard (the plastic cover).

Special syringes are available for injecting insulin.   They are marked on the barrel for measuring small amounts.   After injecting your pet with insulin, place the needle guard over the needle and dispose of it in a suitable container.   For their safety, it is extremely important that children do not have access to the syringes or needles.

Drawing Up The Insulin –  

Set out the syringe, needle and insulin bottle and have the pet ready.

1. Remove the needle guard from the needle, draw back the plunger

2. Insert the needle into the insulin bottle

3. Inject the air in the syringe into the bottle to prevent a vacuum from forming in the bottle

4. Withdraw the plunger, filling the syringe with the correct amount of insulin.
Before injecting your pet with the insulin, check to see that there are no
air bubbles in the syringe.   THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.   If you see an air bubble, draw up slightly more insulin than the exact dose.   Now, withdraw the needle from the bottle, tap the syringe barrel with your finger to move the air bubble to the nozzle of the syringe, then gently expel the air bubble by pushing the plunger upwards.


Now check to see that you have the correct amount of insulin in the syringe.   The correct dose of insulin is measured from the needle end, or “0” on the syringe barrel, to the end of the plunger nearest the needle.


  1. Hold the syringe in your right hand (or left if you are left handed)
  1. Get someone to hold your pet as you pick up a fold of skin along the animal’s back with your free hand.   Eventually you will be able to do this by yourself

  1. Push the needle through the skin quickly.   This should be easy and painless.   Take care not to push the needle through both layers of skin
  1. Pull back gently on the plunger to make sure no blood fills the syringe
  1. With your thumb on the plunger, push the plunger further into the syringe
  1. Withdraw the needle from your pet’s skin and immediately cover the needle with the needle guard.
It is important that daily insulin injections are not given in the same site – we recommend changing injection sites every day.   Your vet will demonstrate this to you.
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