Humilin insulin, also known as NPH insulin, is one type of insulin used in dogs to treat diabetes. Most dogs diagnosed with diabetes require insulin injections, usually twice daily, to stabilize their blood glucose levels. As a result, it is almost always necessary for pet owners to learn to administer the insulin injections for their dog at home. Proper administration of insulin is critical to the health of the diabetic dog. Insulin given improperly may cause serious, even fatal, complications.
Things You'll Need
- Insulin syringes
- Cotton ball
Wash your hands. Remove the insulin from the refrigerator and check the expiration date. Rotate the insulin bottle gently to mix. Inspect the insulin. It should look cloudy or milky.
If you are using a new bottle of insulin, remove the plastic cap but leave the rubber stopper in place.
Wipe the top of the bottle with alcohol. Pull back on the plunger of the syringe partway to fill it with a small amount of air. Place the needle through the rubber stopper and into the insulin bottle. Turn the bottle upside down, depress the plunger, make sure the tip of the needle is in the solution and withdraw the proper dosage. If air bubbles are present in the syringe, gently tap the syringe to release the bubbles and refill the syringe. Withdraw the needle from the syringe bottle. Do not let the needle touch anything.
Choose an area on the side of the chest or abdomen of your pet. Put alcohol on a cotton ball and swab the skin area with alcohol.
Gently pull the skin outward to form a tent. Place the needle through the skin at the base of the tent holding the syringe parallel to the body of your pet and being careful not to push the needle all the way through the tent to the other side. Pull back on the plunger of the needle to check for blood and depress the plunger to inject the insulin. If you see blood in the plunger when you pull back, withdraw the needle without injecting the insulin. Move to a different location and repeat steps four and five.
Dispose of the syringe and needle properly. Consult your veterinarian or pharmacist regarding the disposal of used syringes and needles. Regulations vary depending on the location.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep insulin refrigerated.
- Use only U100 insulin syringes to administer Humulin insulin.
- Always use sterile syringes and needles to inject. Do not reuse needles and syringes.
- Never change the insulin dosage for your pet without seeking advice from your veterinarian.
- If your pet is not eating, do not administer insulin. Contact your veterinarian for advice.
- Recognize the signs of low blood sugar (weakness, nervousness, muscle tremors, incoordination, seizures, collapse coma) and keep Karo syrup (corn syrup) or sugar water on hand. In the event of a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) crisis, rub Karo syrup or sugar water on the gums of the pet and transport him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The pet should be examined by a veterinarian even if he seemingly recovered from the crisis to find out why the crisis occurred.
- "DVM Newsmagazine;" Evaluating the array of insulin products for companion animals; Johnny D. Hoskins, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; Sept. 1, 2007
- "Humilin N Information for the Patient;" Eli Lily and Company; 2007
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