? Lantus Pen Help-Did Insulin Go In

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by Lynn_and_River, Feb 27, 2018.

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  1. Lynn_and_River

    Lynn_and_River New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Hi,
    Complete newbie here. I just brought my girl River home from the hospital and have been reasearching for the past three days all about the disease and how to help her. The Dr. told me to pick up her insulin and it’s in pen form. The tech showed me how to use with the bottle and syringe....why didn’t they show me the pen? I looked on YouTube and thought ok, looks easy enough for me to handle. But wait, they didn’t give me any of the cap needles. Cut to, my mom going to get me them at the 24 hour cvs. So it’s 11 pm and I go to give River her first at home shot and I have to give her 1unit, so I click to that amount. I push it in and click...but I’m not sure if I even pushed the needle in all the way or if any came out!!! I didn’t feel any wetness but then I checked to see how much comes out with 1 unit and it’s about a drop... I don’t know what to do. Any advice would really help.
     
  2. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    We have all missed or have doubted. Good indicators are wetness and smell.

    Never give a replacement shot. It is dangerous to do so. If the initial shot went in, you would be double dosing by giving a second shot.
     
    Stephanie & Quintus likes this.
  3. Lynn_and_River

    Lynn_and_River New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Thank you so much :)
     
  4. Stacy n kendra

    Stacy n kendra Member

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    Jan 17, 2018
    Hold the shot in if u can for like 15 sec i do to make sure n twist it so if there is a drop it stays in
     
  5. Red & Rover (GA)

    Red & Rover (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2016
    You can use a syringe with a pen just as you would with a vial. Most of us do because you can then increase/decrease by half units.
     
  6. Lynn_and_River

    Lynn_and_River New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Thank you!! I'm about to try her next dose :)
     
  7. Lynn_and_River

    Lynn_and_River New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    Thank you so much. I'm just frustrated the Dr. didn't put in to let me get the needle caps or syringes when I went to pick up the insulin. So I was in panic mode and had to buy the needle caps at 11pm.
     
  8. Amy&TrixieCat

    Amy&TrixieCat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    The needles for the pens are great for humans, but not ideal for kitties. As others have said, just use the pen as you would a vial and draw the insulin from the pen with a "traditional" syringe. For most kitties, we find that pens are actually more cost-effective than glass vials, basically because kitty doses are so small that you end up wasting a lot of a vial whereas you can use almost all the insulin in a pen.
     
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  9. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oh I wish we could have caught you before you bought those pen needles! There is a huge allowable variance with them - that's fine for humans, sucks for kitty's doses. When you remove the cap of the pen, you'll see the same little rubber seal that's on the vial. Use the same syringes you used for the vial. Here's a picture of the seal - it's white in this pic but it's actually usually red or gray. This is a Levemir pen so different color but they work the same. This is an empty 'insert' cartridge. Yep had to take one apart to see how it worked.. :)

    LevPen4.jpg
     
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  10. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    With the pen you should also "prime" it by ejecting 1ui or 2ui (depending on how you feel it) into the sink. Otherwise you don't get a complete dose. But the most important thing is consistency.
     
  11. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to Lantus and Lev Land! If you've been researching, no doubt your head is spinning and your overwhelmed. That's the downside. The upside is that we've all been there and it really does get easier.

    I'm another person voting for using a syringe over the pen needles. Using the pen does not allow you to adjust the dose in 0.25u amounts. You can only inject in 1.0u increments. This makes it very easy to miss what would be a good dose for your cat. The pen is fine for adults -- it's not so fine for infants or kitties!

    I'd encourage you to start making your way through the sticky notes at the top of the board. If you are overwhelmed already, there's at least as much material in the sticky notes and the embedded links as in what you've been reading. I'd encourage you to read the instructions on setting up a spreadsheet. We tend to be pretty numbers driven and the spreadsheet (SS) will let you keep track of River's progress as well as let us see how she's doing and give you feedback on dosing. Have you started home testing? If not, I'd encourage you to pick up a human glucometer (many people like Walmart's Relion brand but pretty much any meter is good) and learn to home test. It is the best way to keep River safe. FWIW, neither the ICU vet or my vet taught me how to test. (I do medical-speak really well. They both assumed I knew how to test. Why they assumed I knew how to test a cat is beyond me but that's what they assumed.) I learned by watching YouTube videos. There may also be a member located somewhere in your vicinity who can show you how to test.

    Also, what are you feeding River? Food can make a huge difference in managing your cat's diabetes. Low carbohydrate, canned food is what is recommended for a diabetic cat.

    Please let us know if you have questions. The people here are very generous with their time and knowledge. We're here to help.


     
  12. Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA)

    Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Here is a step-by-step description of how to use the syringe with the Lantus pen.
    1. Work the syringe's plunger up and down about 5 or 6 times to loosen it up a bit (some plungers are sticky).
    2. Push the plunger all the way in and hold it there forcefully (this helps to prevent bubbles). Then, still holding the plunger all the way in, insert the needle into the pen's gasket and slowly draw out about a unit more of insulin than your dose.
    DO NOT SHOOT ANY INSULIN BACK INTO THE PEN!! (Unlike the vials, the pens are pressurized.)
    3. Withdraw the syringe from the pen.
    4. Slowly, twist (do not push) the plunger to expel the excess insulin until you arrive at your dose.

    Shoot!

    Welcome, Lynn & River, to L&L Land!
     
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  13. Nicole Z

    Nicole Z Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Just dropping in to say HI and welcome! I'm not here on the board much, I'm temporarily back working thru re dosing Miss Aurora - but you have found THE BEST group of people who can help you! It's overwhelming and confusing at first, but eventually you'll get the hang of things and become more comfortable. As I read thru the posts, I am much more confident in my answers, in the beginning I felt like a lost sheep! Keep asking questions! You have already been given some great advice - post above by Ella is spot on! I use the pens and this was extremely helpful for me in the beginning!
    Welcome!
     
    Lynn_and_River likes this.
  14. Lynn_and_River

    Lynn_and_River New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Thank you all so, so much. I hope you all get notified of my appreciation:) I was able to pick up the syringes today!! The step by step is so helpful!! Yes, I am home testing. I made sure to have it all before she came home. I got the Relion Micro. For food I bought the Fancy Feast classics but have been mixing a bit of her usual fancy feast grilled in until I can fully switch. I'm so grateful for this forum! :)
     
  15. Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA)

    Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Sounds like you're finding your groove. Post every day (we start a new thread [condo in our slang] every day and link the previous day's condo). And now is the time to set up a Google spreadsheet for River and link it to your signature so that the people here will be able to help you more easily. You will find instructions in the Tech Forum: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    If you have questions or problems, ask for help. Someone will be along.
    Welcome to L&LL!
     
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  16. Nicole Z

    Nicole Z Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Another great tip if you haven't done so already is get yourself a clean ankle sock and fill it with some rice and then tie it in a knot. I always warm my rice sock for about 26 seconds ( microwaves vary so test on yourself first ). I always hold that warm rice sock on Aurora's ear first before using the lancet. I also find if you use the lancet and you struggle to get some blood, hold the rice sock on the outside of the ear and sorta pulse your finger on the inside where you want the blood drop - I find that always works so I don't have to re poke her again. 9 out of 10 times just putting the warm rice sock again works like a charm!
     
    Lynn_and_River likes this.
  17. AZJenks

    AZJenks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2014
    Wishing you and River all the best as you begin your feline diabetes journey and hoping that River is one of the lucky ones who only needs to be on insulin for a short time :)
     
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  18. Lynn_and_River

    Lynn_and_River New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
    thank you guys so much! I have been using the warm sock trick. It works so well :)
     
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  19. Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA)

    Ella & Rusty & Stu(GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Good job on the spreadsheet! Good luck at the vet.
     
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