When using insulin it is imperative to use an appropriate syringe that matches the type of insulin you are using. Since veterinarians use both U-40 and U-100 insulin for the treatment of diabetes, it is critical to be certain about the insulin you are using so your pet can be treated properly.
When using U-40 insulin, you should only use U-40 insulin syringes. And for U-100 insulin, you should only use U-100 insulin syringes. This will ensure that the dosage your veterinarian has prescribed for your pet is being administered properly.
Some facts about insulin syringes:
- The concentration of insulin will always be listed on the bottle and the packaging.
- The syringe description will always be listed on the packaging and usually is listed on the syringe.
- 1 cc means one cubic centimeter which is the same as 1 ml or 1 milliliter. The terms cc and ml are used interchangeably.
- Common examples of U-100 insulin include glargine/Lantus, NPH and detemir/Levemir. These are products made for humans that veterinarians may use on veterinary patients.
- Vetsulin and Prozinc are 2 types of U-40 insulin that are manufactured and FDA approved for veterinary patients.
- If you use compounded insulin you must verify with your veterinarian the concentration of insulin.
- Smaller volume syringes have a more narrow barrel. This makes it easier to accurately dose the insulin. (The lines demarcating units are spaced further apart on smaller volume syringes.)
- The volume of the syringe will affect the maximum number of units that can be given. For example a 3/10 cc U-40 syringe can hold 3/10 x 40 or 12 units. Likewise, a 3/10 cc U-100 syringe can hold 3/10 x 100 or 30 units. Larger veterinary patients may need ½ cc or 1 cc volume syringes.
- Gauge means the width of the needle. 29 gauge needles are quite small and cause minimal discomfort when injecting your pet.
- ½ inch means the length of the needle. Many people find ½ inch long needles easier to use than 5/16th inch long needles.
Never hesitate to ask your veterinarian if you have any questions. We at ADW are also here to help!