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How to give a subcutaneous injection

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How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Tegan » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:11 am


To give a sub-Q injection lift the skin between thumb and finger so that it forms a little tent....there should be two long sides pointing at the animals head, and a third (flat) side at the rump end. Think of it like a persons nose...how the bridge makes a point towards the forehead, and the bottom, where the nostrils are, are the flat part. You want to stick the needle in the flat part. Also...the bevel of the needle should always face up...so that you lead with the very tip of the needle. If you point it down often you will lead with the flat of the bevel and it will be much harder to puncture the skin.

Image

Example of the bevel held up.


Also...when you tent the skin...if the "nose" is pointing at the rump, side, whatever it's not a big deal...just hit the flat and you'll be fine. Always draw back on the plunger after you have the needle in...if you get blood flash back into the syringe DO NOT INJECT, pull out and try again. I've never had that happen (in 11 years of working with animals) but there is always that ONE time you miss just enough...sink it in a vein...and end up killing the animal. This is more of an issue for IM injections then Sub-Q, but it's always a safe practice. If you end up puncturing through both layers of skin (so you are no longer in the skin) when you draw back on the plunger the syringe will fill with air...STOP....pull out and try again (after you bleed the air out of the syringe). Nothing worse then getting in a hurry and squirting the medicine all over the outside of the animal.

Just a note also...animals have less nerve endings in their skin then humans. So they tend to feel less pain then humans. So as long as you are using nice sharp needles the animal will more then likely experience little to no pain. Most animals react more to cold solution then they do the actual needle stick.

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:50 am


Nice post, Tegan.

Do you have any tips regarding an IM injection? I think the best place to inject a rabbit would likely be the back of the thigh.

I would like to add that when giving injections of different substances to an animal (such as vaccines to dogs and cats), it is a good idea to do so in multiple areas so that any allergic reactions can be noted.
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Tegan » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:55 am


In dogs and cats we did IM injections in the back of the thigh. Probably the best place for a rabbit also, but let me dig out my book real quick and check. We didn't work with a lot of rabbits, mostly dogs and cats, and I'm several years out of practice, so a bit rusty.

Ok according to the books its the back of the rear leg, and up to 1ml of solution. As like sub-q pull back on the plunger before injecting.
Last edited by Tegan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:02 am


Tegan wrote:In dogs and cats we did IM injections in the back of the thigh.



Me too. I've never given a rabbit an injection at all though. Horses get IM injections in the neck or back of the thigh.
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Tegan » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:37 am


Sorry, 4 year old pulled me away before I could finish.

To restrain for an IM injection I found it best to wrap bunny like a burrito in a towel. Tuck the bunny burrito under your arm with the rump facing out. Then pull out the back leg you need. It's always helpful to have two people for the job though. One to hold bun, and the other to give the injection.
Last edited by Tegan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:18 am


Thanks very much, Tegan. It's useful information, nicely presented. :goodjob:

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Miss M » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:51 am


Yes, excellent! :greatjob:
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#8  Unread postby jason_l_boyd » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:39 pm


I know some will disagree with this, but I don't give IM shots. I've got a degree in animal science and I've always been taught to give all shots sub-q or IV. If you so give an IM shot on a meat animal, give it in the neck to keep from ruining any good cuts of meat. Just my opinion.

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#9  Unread postby SterlingSatin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:34 pm


MamaSheepdog wrote: I think the best place to inject a rabbit would likely be the back of the thigh.

one thing to be wary of is there is a nerve in the hind leg of a rabbit, and you REALLY don't want to hit that with the needle.
picture below is a rat, but you can see where the nerve is and its almost exactly the same in rabbits. so aim for upper thigh to avoid hitting that nerve, as its closer to the skin farther towards the hock joint.
p.s. sorry to resurrect a dead post :zombiebun: just thought the nerve was worth noting.
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#10  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:41 pm


Sterling, this is a "Sticky" so it is intended to be "resurrected"! :D

That is great information.

The injection site I was recommending corresponds to the line pointing to the thigh, so it is a good visual for that too, if there was any confusion! :)
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#11  Unread postby SterlingSatin » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:44 pm


MamaSheepdog wrote:The injection site I was recommending corresponds to the line pointing to the thigh, so it is a good visual for that too, if there was any confusion!

good point!

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Secuono » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:10 pm


Hm, I just lift and stick. Never bother with exactly where or how the needle is facing.
I had chickens flinch if the needle was too thick, so I think making sure the needle is as thin as possible also helps with any animal that likes to over react. And use a short needle, that way there is less fear of stabbing something other than empty space.

Gawd, is that always true to not inject when blood is drawn? What about humans? I had a shot once and the lady drew blood, but didn't care and injected anyway. I was so pissed, but was a kid, so no one cared what I was saying...

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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#13  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:29 pm


ChickiesnBunnies wrote: is that always true to not inject when blood is drawn?


It is a good practice. Some drugs are meant to be slowly absorbed by the tissues, but the main reason is so you don't inject an air bubble into the vein. When blood is exposed to air, it begins to clot, which is not a good thing to have happen in a vein. The air bubble can also become "trapped" in the vein, blocking blood flow, which causes tissue die off. If the bubble lodges in the brain or heart, it is not a pretty outcome. Usually a small bubble will cause no noticeable damage, but it is a risk that most practitioners don't want to take.
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#14  Unread postby WildWolf » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:25 pm


These might seem like stupid questions, but I really have no idea what this sticky is about.
When do you have to do sub-Q injections? What makes it "sub-Q"?
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Re: How to give a subcutaneous injection

Post Number:#15  Unread postby SterlingSatin » Sat Sep 29, 2012 3:36 pm


WildWolf wrote:When do you have to do sub-Q injections? What makes it "sub-Q"?

questions are good. we love questions :-)
sub-q stands for sub-cutaneous (sub-dermal, or in more layman terms, under the skin, but NOT in the muscle). when we give sub-q injections, were aiming for the lose connective tissue underneath the skin but above the muscle, where their are lots of tiny blood vessels to quickly absorb medication. many medications can be given sub-q, including penicillin. but some medications should never be given sub-q, so its definitely best to check with an experienced breeder or a good vet first.

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