Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Hunter seems to be doing pretty well. We’ve noticed this past week that he’s been playing more and more with his stuffed pets. He’s even walking around with them, which we haven’t seen him do that since July. I do have one concern and that’s his hair loss. He got a bath yesterday and he lost a large amount of hair. In fact, he has lost more hair since being on Lysodren. I'll be making an appointment for him to get the second ACTH test on December 15th, at this time I'll ask about him losing so much hair.

Insulin Shots

First, I mark on the calendar when I puncture the insulin bottle. I count up 28 days and note that on the calendar. However, giving Hunter 21 units, twice a day, I use the bottle up before 28 days.

Before I give Hunter his shot, I take the insulin out 30-45 minutes before injection and let the insulin get close to room temperature. Remember, cold insulin hurts. Be sure to gently roll the insulin between your palms and don’t shake it. Letting the insulin get to room temp also helps in not having so many air bubbles. For me, it’s easier for me to completely fill the plunger and then tap the tube to make any air bubbles go to the top and then push them out. Sometimes, especially if it’s a new bottle, I won’t have to push all the insulin out of the tube and can then make the adjustment. There are a lot of times though where I get huge bubbles and just have to keep filling and emptying over and over. There have been some occasions where the plunger just isn’t working and I have to use a new syringe.

I mainly give Hunter his shots by myself. It’s a ritual now after he’s eaten and I’ve given him his Benadryl and L-thyroxine with cheese. I get the shot ready and then I call him over and put my arm around him and start to massage him. Once he consents (don’t force) and lays down I give him a short body rub and then proceed to pinch up his skin between his shoulders. Since he’s lost weight, it’s easier to pinch the skin up. You want to inject the needle in just below the skin. Push the needle in right below where your thumb and forefinger are holding the skin up. Our vet had said to push the needle in “between” your forefinger and thumb. Well, my daughter and I both had nicked our fingers with the needle and once I pushed the needle right through Hunter’s skin and when I pushed the plunger, insulin sprayed out onto the carpet! That’s not what you want. So that’s why I aim for right below the fingers.

When you inject the needle and start to push the plunger, I let go of the skin. Make sure that you have injected all the insulin before you remove the needle. There were two or three times in the beginning where I had pulled the needle out before all the insulin had been injected. If that happens, just let it and don’t try to re-inject more insulin. I then rub that area and then it’s time for the eye drops. I don’t let him get up and I position myself behind his head to give him his drops. It’s easier for me to give him a shot than to put drops in his eyes. If your dog is like Hunter and is a kicker, be sure those legs are away from you. Believe me, it’s easier to give eye drops when he’s lying down and his legs aren’t pointed towards me.