Injections Sometimes Hurting, What Am I Doing Wrong?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Cherish4, May 7, 2019.

  1. Cherish4

    Cherish4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    I apologise in advance, as this post will be a long one.

    Little B started insulin about 2 months ago and it went well to begin with, despite it feeling very unnatural to be sticking a needle into him (it still does). Then I began to struggle with my technique and Little B was reacting as though the injections were hurting him every time. Therefore when we next saw the vet, I had her go over the whole process again and I also watched a few videos on youtube. I realised that I probably wasn't getting hold of enough skin nor was I placing the syringe in the centre of the dent/hollow that's created. So after a few more hiccups, it all seemed to finally click and we had a good run of injections without him getting upset at all. Then about two weeks ago, it changed again. I found it much more difficult to get right, especially as the fur had grown back on the shaved patch (his fur is black). I struggle to pick up enough skin at times and it doesn't seem to be easy to get hold of at all (I gently practised lifting the skin on my other boy Merlin and it was fairly easy in comparison). Even when I do manage to lift his skin, there often appears to be no dent/hollow and I have to let go and try again. As it is, the process is rather lengthy as I can only attempt to inject him if he's relaxed with his legs tucked under his body. If he's sat up or standing, his skin is too tight to pick up. I make sure that the bevel is the right way up and I do try to rotate where I give the injections but he appears to be quite sensitive on both the left and right sides of his shoulder area so that doesn't help.

    I just don't know why I am struggling to maintain consistency with them. One day it can be fine, the other not and when he makes those awful noises when I slide the needle in and then another when I press the plunger down... Anyone who's ever accidently hurt their cat knows how horrible that can make you feel, so imagine having that constantly and always feeling like a terrible person. Much like the home testing did, it has really begun to affect our bond and he doesn't trust me as much at the moment as he usually does. I am frequently left in floods of tears afterwards as I feel unbelievably awful that I've hurt him yet again. He's due for his evening injection now and my anxiety is through the roof at the moment (edited to say that I managed to give him his injection tonight without incident. It was given at the bottom of the injection area where it doesn't seem to bother him even though he's had a fair few there).

    So what am I doing wrong? Has anyone else had the same issue with injections and also sensitivity and if so, how did you resolve it? How can I rotate his injections if certain areas seem to be a no go? Why do I struggle to pick up enough skin and why can't I always get the dent/hollow that I need? Am I pushing the needle in too slow or too fast and that's why it hurts?

    Any and all opinions, theories, advice and tips are welcome. Given the ongoing struggle that we have with home testing (which is well documented on here), I really wanted to make sure that the injections at least were as pain and stress free as possible so it's heartbreaking that I'm not managing that so far.

    P.S. On a completely seperate but more positive note, Little B had his 3rd blood curve done on Friday (data has been added to his spreadsheet) and he got his first two blues! He was 8.4 mmol/L at +7 and 10.3 at +9.5 (curve done on a pet meter). Given that he was consistently testing in the 20s at the start, it was wonderful to finally see some real change for the better.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  2. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Something I havent seen mentioned a lot: always use a new syringe. After one use, they are dull and painful. Maybe check out more videos; there's the "tenting" approach, and then some folk part the fur (more useful with long-hairs, maybe) and then don't tent but instead slide the needle in, parallel to and just below surface of skin. After 4.5 months of this rodeo, sometimes M'row still squawks; did I do badly, or did he just not feel like being poked today? You can practice on a tomato to get the feeling of the needle "popping" through the skin. It gets better, yes it does. Wish I could explain to M'row how all these pokingsare necessary for him to feel better like he does!
     
  3. Amina&M'row

    Amina&M'row Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Forgot to mention--dont use exactly the same spot for injections, as it will get fibrous. Congratulations in keeping at it!
     
  4. Cherish4

    Cherish4 Member

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    Jan 28, 2019
    I always do use a new syringe, even though the vet told me at the beginning that I didn't need to. I think I prefer the 'tenting' approach to the other one, it's just not easy picking up enough skin. I hadn't heard about the tomato thing but I can pick one up tomorrow to help me practice so thanks.
     
  5. Cherish4

    Cherish4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    The problem is that certain areas arounnd his shoulder blades seem to be extra sensitive which makes it difficult to rotate much. How do you do it? Do you just rotate in a circle around the shoulder blade area or do you use other areas? How often do you go back to the same area or do you always pick a new spot?
     
  6. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Even with long hair cats, still need to tent skin. Sounds like you were having an easier time with a patch shaved, can you get that done again? Also I have found since my kitty gained a pound it is harder to get a lot of skin to tent.:( Now the tent or hollow is just smaller than it was. Also, you want the needle to go in quick, they should not feel it then. Most nerves are on the surface, so if you do it quick, that is better.

    I see you are in the UK, not sure options you have for needles, are you using a small gauge needle? The higher the number, the thinner the needle, ie 31g is thinnest, 30g is also very thin. If you are using a fatter needle like 28g that could be part of issue.

    I have noticed with my cat the needle going in never phases her, sometimes the insulin does. I try to load syringe 15 minutes ahead so insulin is not really cold going in also if I put a treat down then grab a handful of fur on the middle of back just under shoulder blades, she is too busy eating to care and 90% of time will not notice when insulin goes in at all. When she notices, I don’t think it is hurting her, just think it is cold or she feels something and does not like whatever she thinks it is. You know like if you try to touch their back feet, not hurting them, they just don’t like it.

    I have noticed I need to grab a large area, like put my whole hand down spread out to grab enough skin to get enough for tent.

    Honestly I am not paying much attention to rotating, I should try to, but any area you are having success with I would stick with that, at least for now. When I started, I was using her side/flank and I shaved a little patch, was going great until one day she did not like that spot and that was within range of her turning to try and bite:nailbiting:so I moved to the area on her back under shoulder blades, not sure it is the best spot, but she usually does not know what I am doing back there and she can’t turn her head that far to see;)

    Hope this may help:bighug:
     
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  7. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Omg, always use a new syringe, shame on vet. Not only does it dull needle, causing pain, but what about germs, no longer sterile. Good you did not listen to vet on that.
     
  8. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
  9. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    I don’t know about the tomato because the skin on a tomato is tough and a cats skin is very soft. I don’t feel the needle go through her skin at all, when I was learning the vet shaved a spot so I could actually see needle went in, I was shocked the cat did not even know or care. Now I just part fur a little and tent and aim for the tent area, can’t actually see the skin through the hair now, but know it went in, inject and as long as fur is not wet, know I got the needle in, have only had one fur shot and that was because she moved, not because needle didn’t go in.
     
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  10. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    ECID -- I definitely feel a slight tension and feel a pop/punch/release as the needle goes through Catcat's skin, more like a snow pea or cabbage leaf, I suspect his skin is thicker than a tomato's -- ETID ??? LOL -- the ripe tomatoes I get will split their skins if you breathe on them
     
  11. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Here's another shooting technique Marje describes in her Testing and Shooting Tips post. Many have better luck with this method rather than tenting:

    "Another technique, which might help more in decreasing fur shots, is the "roll" method. In this method, you lift the fur and skin with your non-shooting hand, and then roll your hand back so the back of your hand faces the kitty's head. This opens up a nice bit of skin that you can clearly see. It's important that you lift and then roll so you are guaranteed of shooting into the subcutaneous layer. The photo below illustrates how well you can see the skin when you lift and roll so that you know you are not shooting into fur as you might with the tent method.

    [​IMG]


    • Ready, Set, Shoot!
    When you are ready to inject, be sure the syringe is parallel to the spine (edited to add) at a 45 degree angle and the bevel is up so the sharpest point slides in first. The photo below shows the bevel up. Never use an insulin syringe more than once as the needle quickly degrades, loses it's sharpness, and multiple use poses the risk of contamination and infection.
    [​IMG]


    The entire process from start to finish can be found here: Testing and Shooting Tips. If you haven't seen the document, take a look. It might offer some help.

    Good luck!
     
  12. Julie and Honey

    Julie and Honey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2018
    Wow, good to know. I guess I never thought their skin could be different, but I guess so.
     
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  13. Cherish4

    Cherish4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Little B is a short hair but his fur is quite thick. It's not really going to be possible to get him back up there at the moment to have another patch shaved, especially as I'd have to pay for a taxi again. He has unfortunately put a bit of weight back on despite the fact that we're trying to get him to lose some, so it would fit with it being harder to pick up the skin. I have tried to be a bit quicker at putting the needle in today and this morning went great, he didn't seem to feel a thing but tonight he made a horrible noise again. I just can't get it right consistently.

    The syringes all come with 29g needles. I'm not sure if other sizes are available for U40 syringes in the UK.

    The injections are definitely hurting him at times, there's no mistakening that from the noises he makes both when the needle goes in and when I press on the plunger like it did tonight. The insulin isn't usually cold when I inject him as it can take a while after I've loaded it into the syringe to get it into him anyway.

    Again, I tried doing this today but it was still a struggle to get enough.

    I'm taking your advice and trying to stick to the non sensitive areas for now. I'm honestly a little afraid to try injecting anywhere other than around the should blades in case that hurts even worse.

    Thank you for trying to help and for all your posts on this thread, I really do appreciate it.
     
  14. Cherish4

    Cherish4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Thank you, I'll take a look. We had a good experience this morning but tonight's injection didn't go well again. That's pretty much what it's like all the time at the moment.
     
  15. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    You're welcome!
    Yes, please do take a look. Many of us were never too good at tenting (including me), but became very successful using this "roll" technique.
    Good luck!
     
  16. CandyH and Catcat

    CandyH and Catcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2019
    several apparent fur shots lately :oops: even though I've been careful and found no damp fur spots afterwards -- then after watching vet & tech get blood from leg vein, spraying first with alcohol which I'd never do to Catcat (yeow :eek:, I hate it when they do it to me, take a bottle of hexylresourcinol for lab techs to use instead) -- got to thinking, vitamin E oil is good for diabetic dandruff, so I spread a little on fur where I was going to inject, made it much easier to part fur to eyeball skin -- Catcat is allegedly a shorthair (Siamese ancestry) but he has dense fine silky fur, almost a double coat, difficult to get it out of the way to see where to place the injection -- plus if he licks the area later on, he's getting oil to help pass the groomed-off fur through his system -- will see if that solves the fur shot problem
     
  17. Cherish4

    Cherish4 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    It's definitely been harder since Little B's fur grew back as his is quite thick but I just try to brush a bit back once I've pinched his skin and then as long as I feel the syringe go in, I press the plunger. It isn't easy though that's for sure!
     
  18. JoyBee&Ravan

    JoyBee&Ravan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2018
    I agree. I now give the shot in my cats' flank area. I do not tent the skin, just aim the needle at an angle & shoot just under the skin. This photo Jill provided is excellent.
    Part the fur with you finger till you see skin & shoot at an angle. [​IMG] 14 months & I have never given a "Fur" shot
     
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