While you may not mind a bi-monthly or quarterly visit to the veterinarian for check ups, the matter does not end there if symptoms of diabetes in cats and dogs have been confirmed and the pet shows continuously high blood sugar levels. Treating diabetes is a long process that sometimes may last a life time. If your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes, there is a strong possibility that you will be required to take care of the pet at home. Home care of a diabetic pet involves monitoring blood sugar levels and injecting insulin on a daily basis making it necessary for the owner to develop some expertise in checking blood sugar and injecting insulin.
Diet modifications can help manage blood sugar levels in many cases. However, administering insulin is almost a key aspect of the treatment of diabetes in cats and dogs. While you learn the process of injecting insulin from your veterinarian make sure to ask about the type of syringe that should be used for the injection.
First of all, have a close look at the needle. It consists of a bevel, point and heel. Needle length is important because a 12.7 mm long needle may be too big for thin pets and likely to go right through the pinched skin and out the other side. Insulin should preferably be injected subcutaneously and an 8 mm long needle suits most pets as it makes it easier to get the insulin into the fat layer under the skin.
The capacity of the syringe is measured in cubic centimeters (cc) and is interchangeable with milliliters. One cc of insulin in the syringe is equal to 1 ml and so and so forth. The strength of insulin is measured in international units (I Us). The two common strengths are U40 and U100, which means 40 units and 100 units per milliliter. There are different types of syringes designed for both the strengths. Earlier, these were differentiated with color codes but the practice seems to have been discontinued now. It will do you good to check the barrel to be sure. Syringe barrel size too is important and depends upon the dose that you have to inject.
The correct way to inject insulin in pets is to first pull the skin up and insert the needle, bevel side up, firmly into the skin and parallel to body. The tent that you make by pulling the skin ensures that the insulin is injected into the skin flap. Make sure that the needle does not pass through the tent. To ensure that you do not bend the needle while drawing out insulin from the ampoule, make sure that you do not insert it all the way into it. If by any chance you bend the needle discard it and start all over again.
Insulin syringes have very fine needless that are silicon coated to make the injection as painless as possible. Never use an insulin syringe needle more than once as the needle can become dull after even one injection. Always vary the area where you inject the pet so that it does not become sensitized in one particular area.
Used syringes must be disposable according to the state laws as they are a potential health hazard. This is due to the sharp lancet and the fact that drug remnants are likely to get spoilt. Destroying disposable syringes is also essential to prevent re-use.
http://www.petdiabetes.org/insulin.html http://bddiabetes.com/us/main.aspx?cat=1&id=371 http://www.petdiabetes.org/tips.htm