Choosing Syringes for Your Pet

By Dr . Joi Sutton|2023-09-29T13:58:12-04:00Updated: October 20th, 2011|Pet Care, Pet Diabetes, Pet Newsletter|0 Comments

Ultimately, your veterinarian will be your best guide when it comes to properly choosing the insulin syringes you should be using when administering injections to your pet.

However, there are some basics all diabetic pet owners should know:

  1. With all insulin syringes, you need to use syringes that match the concentration of the insulin. U-100 syringes should be used with U-100 insulin, and U-40 syringes should be used with U-40 insulin.
  2. U-100 means there are 100 units per milliliter. U-40 means there are 40 units per milliliter (1 cc equals 1 milliliter). When using a small volume syringe, the gradations on the syringe are easier to visualize.
  3. Veterinarians in the old days would sometimes dilute insulin for cats and small dogs. Math errors can occur when diluting insulin, so we no longer do this. By using small syringes (e.g. 3/10 cc syringes) we can avoid diluting insulin, and it is much safer.
  4. Needles also come in various lengths – 3/16, 5/16, and 1/2 inch. You may find that using the very short 3/16 inch needles are harder to use.
  5. Never use an insulin syringe more than once. Not only is the needle dulled after one use, you may contaminate the insulin with bacteria.
  6. Proper disposal of your used insulin syringes is a must. Invest in a sharps container to make sure that you and your pet are safe from exposed needles and possible contamination.

And finally, I am very happy to announce that American Diabetes Wholesale now offers UltiCare’s U-100 1/2 unit pet insulin syringe! The barrel of the syringe is marked with both 1/2 units and full units which will ultimately improve the accuracy of dosing for small pets.

NOTE: Consult your doctor first to make sure my recommendations fit your special health needs.

About the Author: Dr . Joi Sutton

Dr. Joi Sutton is a 1993 graduate from Oregon State University. She has practiced both in emergency medicine and general practice. Dr. Sutton has done extensive international volunteer work though Veterinary Ventures, a nonprofit organization that takes teams of veterinarians to undeveloped countries for humane medical care. She also runs a small animal practice in South Florida. Connect with Dr. Joi on LinkedIn

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