How to Administer Intramuscular Injections in Dogs

Written by michaele curtis
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An often-overlooked part of pet care is medical care. You are responsible for your dog's medical health. Although, your dog's veterinarian will perform most of the medical procedures on your dog, there will be times where you will have to administer some of them. One such situation is the intramuscular injection. Some health conditions require you to inject your dog frequently, making it far more convenient to give the intramuscular injections yourself than to take your dog to the vet. You can follow some steps to administer intramuscular injections in your dog.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Someone to help you restrain the dog
  • Cotton ball
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Medication
  • Syringe with needle
  • Properly labelled needle disposal container
  • Muzzle if necessary

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  1. 1

    Choose a quiet, well-lit area where your dog will be standing or sitting on a non-slippery surface. Ask someone to assist you. Intramuscular injections can be painful and your dog may not be willing to submit to the administration of the injection. Your assistant should restrain your dog, but only use enough force to keep the dog in place. Pay special attention to the head of the dog.

  2. 2

    Choose an injection site. Avoid any areas that may be injured or diseased. Most people choose the rear flank because of the largeness of the muscle. If the directions on the medication or your veterinarian specifies a certain injection site, use that one.

  3. 3

    Part the fur with one hand so that you can see the skin. Using an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to sterilise the injection site. Allow the alcohol to evaporate before you continue. Remove the cap from the needle and syringe, holding it as if you would hold a pen you were writing with. Position it at a 90-degree angle to the injection site.

  4. 4

    Insert the needle into the injection site. Go slowly but continuously through the skin and the muscle until the needle is completely embedded. Only then should you push down the syringe plunger to release the medicine.

  5. 5

    Remove the needle from your dog carefully. Throw away the needle and syringe using a properly labelled needle disposal container. Massage the injection site to help distribute some of the medication and ease some of the soreness associated with intramuscular injections. You may also give your dog plenty of praise and perhaps a treat.

Tips and warnings

  • Ask your vet to demonstrate the process in his office before you attempt it at home. Dogs sense your mood. If you approach injection administration confidently and quickly, it will go much smoother.
  • If you feel like your dog may resist the injection, consider muzzling him to prevent him from biting you or the person assisting you.

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