Cat treatment is usually accompanied by stress both for the owner and for the fluffy patient. Daily vet visits or visits of the vet at home tend to make the treatment more time consuming. In case the owner knows how to give a shot to the cat, there is no need to ask vet for help or to transport the pet to the vet clinic. However, first of all it is necessary to undergo examination in order to determine the malaise cause and to purchase the medicine prescribed by the veterinarian. After that you can start treatment.
Before learning how to give the injection to the cat you should become familiar with the safety precautions:
- Carefully read the package insert of the medicine prescribed: its shelf life, storage conditions, side-effects;
- If several drugs are prescribed, write down the following information: the exact dosage, the duration of course, the time of the injection recommended. Note whether the injection should be given subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Keep this note on the fridge door and every time you give a shot – make sure you do it right! Otherwise you can cause serious harm to your pet.
- Prepare a container you need to keep the syringes and vials. The container should be poured over with boiling water before each use;
- Before using a syringe, inspect the package, unpack the blister from the plunger side, attach the needle to the plunger without taking off its cap;
- Before the injection take the syringe with its needle up and knock on the cylinder with your fingernail. Surfaced air bubbles should be released by slightly pushing the plunger;
- Giving a shot, you need to insert the needle and fix it in one position. Even slightest oscillation of the needle inside the tissue leads to damages accompanied by pain;
- Do not store open vials;
- Never use the same syringe twice.
What syringe to choose?
Insulin syringes are used to introduce lower drug dosages. If you need to introduce a large amount of the drug or saline you should use conventional syringes, however, the needle should be introduced only 1-1.5 cm into a muscle or under the skin. Keep in mind that cheap syringes are less reliable: needles may break off more often, needle sharpening may be not neat enough, plungers may get stuck and move from side to side. It is more preferable to use syringes that consist of 3 components: their plungers are provided with a rubber band, which helps to inject the drug slowly, hence the injection will be less painful.
As it is extremely difficult to give an intravenous injection to your cat, so it would be better to entrust this manipulation to professionals. In severe cases, a veterinarian will leave a fixed catheter in the vein, through which it will be possible for the owner to introduce the drug at home.
Before giving injection intramuscularly first you need to soothe the pet. There is no need to immediately wrap it in a blanket, drag or immobilize. Remember, the more fuss over the cat there is, the more your cat resists.
Most cats tolerate injections stoically. Nervous and frightened cats are inclined to aggression – such pets must be immobilized. During the drug introduction the cat shouldn’t move, otherwise the needle would bend or break off.
To give an intramuscular shot to your cat you need to put it on a flat surface so that its head is on the left (for right-handers). Put your left hand under the cat’s thigh so that the muscle lay on your fingers. Immobilize the cat’s thigh with your thumb. Find the femoral bone, on the right of which there is a large muscle that moves under your hand. The ideal place for the injection is about midway between the hip and the elbow. Sharply and confidently introduce the needle at an angle of 90 ° with your right hand. Push the plunger gently and smoothly, without seeking the way to inject the drug as quick as possible. The needle should be removed with one swift motion, without changing the angle.
One shot should be given in the left hip, another one – in the right. This alternation is necessary to eliminate unnecessary pain.
Before giving your cat a subcutaneous injection, estimate the thickness of the skin at the withers. The needle must pass through the skin without hurting the muscle. The slimmer the cat is, the less is the depth of puncture. You need to be careful giving an injection to a larger cat: the needle must pass through a thick layer of fat, being directly under the skin.
This procedure is performed quite simply. You need to put the cat on a flat surface with its back or its side towards yourself. With your left hand gently pull the skin on the neck or near shoulder blades. Then grasp a fold of skin with your fingers (like a cat-mom when it’s going to move a kitten). The needle is inserted along the skin fold parallel to the spine. Making sure that the needle is under the skin and doesn’t come out, the drug is introduced.
You need to disinfect the place of the injection only if the cat is doesn’t have its coat. To clean the skin of a Sphinx cat after an injection you may use alcohol wipes.