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Need Advice On Giving Injection Tomorrow (Friday)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I am a newbie here. I was so happy to find this forum after doing hours of searching on the internet about how to give my cat an injection. I have a 10-year-old Siamese (Abigail) who has had irritable bowel syndrome for years now. The vet has noticed that she is deficient in the B12 vitamin every time she gets sick, which is said to be common among cats with irritable bowel. I was taking Abby up to the vet frequently for a B12 shot, but instead of taking her up there all the time, I now have the stuff to do it myself. The vet showed me how to do it, but I am still very nervous. Tomorrow (Friday) the first time that I'll be doing it on my own. The B12 fluid is subcutaneous.

I am most worried about getting the needle in and knowing when to stop pushing the needle in. I am worried that I won't be able to get the needle in quickly and will end up hurting my cat. I am also unsure of how far to push the needle in. Do I stop as soon as it is in or do I push it in a little further? I know it shouldn't go into the muscle or the blood vein so I'm worried about not getting the fluid in the proper spot. Basically, I am very nervous about this right now and am trying to get as much info as possible so that I won't be nervous anymore by the time I have to actually administer the shot.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
post #2 of 9
Did the vet have you actually do it in front of him at least once? Or have you never once tried it, just watched the vet? I believe you want to lift the skin with your middle finger and thumb and then feel the pocket of skin in between with your pointer finger. That is where the needle goes. Keep the needle parallel with the cat's body, don't point it toward the cat's body. SubQ means under the skin, so you just want to keep it a shallow poke. Oh and when you insert the needle, pull back slightly before injecting the fluid. If you see blood then you know you hit a vein. If not then you can start injecting, and go slowly, don't just shove it all in there.
post #3 of 9
Take a deep breath and relax. Shots aren't hard to give.
I suggest you take one of the syringes (which you will not reuse), a cup of water and practice on an orange (which you will throw away instead of eating later).
Draw up the water and inject it into the orange. This will give you the opportunity to figure out how to hold the syringe so it is comfortable for you. The skin of the orange is similar to that of skin - resistance when you first go in.
You are limited on how deep you can inject by the length of the needle.

Strange suggestion, but call the local fire department number (not 911) and see if one of the paramedics will help you. Take something with you so they know the vet wants Abigail to have the B12. They are wonderful guys and would probably be willing to help.

Good luck.
post #4 of 9
Jen's advice is excellent! It's really not hard, as long as the kitty will be still for you. Try the "football hold", with your non-dominant arm drawing the kitty up against your body and the fingers of that hand doing the "pinch."

Do you have prefilled syringes, or will you be drawing the fluid up into the needle yourself? If the latter, just be extra-careful about air bubbles. The vet probably showed you how to tap the barrel to release any bubbles before you press the plunger up so a little drop of fluid appears on the needle... right?

Before you start, look at the length of the needle and think about how much of it you want to insert and how much (if any) you should still be able to see after it's in as far as it should go. Once you have that in mind, take a deep breath and be confident -- a nice quick slide with the needle hurts much less.

But then with the plunger, you want to go slow, as Jen said -- if the kitty will allow it. It's less painful if the fluid enters the tissues slowly.

And it's nice to have a treat or a saucer of warm KMR ready for afterward, to reassure the kitty.


Edit: I just read Mom of 4's post -- excellent advice! I second her motion!
post #5 of 9
I won't add anything about technique, but will re-emphasize the part about RELAXING. I gave my CRF boy sub-q fluids for a while and it would be a 10-15 minute ordeal each time. The more I tensed up, the worse he responded.

I got a mantra going in my head about needing to do this to keep him healthy. I had to bolster my courage to calm myself down before I would approach my boy. Once I figured out how to do that, the injections were a lot easier to do.

Repeat over and over: "I am doing this for her health". "I am doing this for her health".
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your suggestions! I had not actually administered the shot before, but my vet went step by step with me last week when I was there and showed me how she does it. I did end up practicing with an orange this morning as per your suggestions and that helped tremendously to ease my worries. I just gave her the shot a little bit ago and it went very smoothly. It was much easier than I had anticipated! And I'm sure the next time will be even easier now that I know what I'm doing. Thank you all so much for your help, I really appreciate it!
post #7 of 9
One of the keys is to be relaxed as kids and pets feed off of nervous people.

The quick in and quick out is easier on the recepient - and that will come with practice on your part. Before each injection, practice with the orange.

CarolPetunia, so are you PESH, PSHS or PWSH?
post #8 of 9
ShortStuff -- so glad it went well! And aren't you proud of yourself? The first time I gave a shot successfully, I felt like I ought to get myself a lab coat and a stethoscope and go hang around the hospital, just in case they needed me...

Mom of 4 -- Boy, did you have me going! I thought... Peculiarly Exuberant Shuttle Hopper? Part-time Electric Sitar Has-been? Pediatric Endocrinologically Supported Hypnosis?

And then I realized... Plano East, Plano Senior, Plano West high schools. Whew! I had no idea what you might be accusing me of!

No, ma'am, I didn't grow up in Plano -- moved here for a job in 1989. Are you here in Plano too?
post #9 of 9
I am glad it went well ...
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