Dog Yelps When Given Insulin

When your dog yelps while giving insulin,  maybe he is just afraid or…..  You are doing it all wrong! Yes, you read it right.  In the following article, we will read about giving insulin injections and how to handle your dog while giving him insulin.

dog yelps when given insulin

Giving insulin injection

when your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, insulin becomes part of his daily life routine. Unfortunately, insulin can be given to dogs through injection only. Whether you use insulin injectors or syringes, needles are the only options. While inserting insulin,  you need to be careful. You can’t ignore your dog yelping while receiving insulin.

Why your dog yelp when he is given insulin?

If your dog yelps while given insulin,

May be he is frightened

Injections are scary anyway. However, insulin injections are not known to cause pain. It’s just a slight prick and things are done!.   When you give regular insulin Injections,  dogs can predict they are going to experience that uncomfortable pinch again. This alerts them and they could yelp to let you know that they are scared.

You are injecting at the same place

Insulin injections must be given in rotational movements. Giving insulin injections at the same place can cause a lump under the skin.  Which might be painful. There are certain areas where you should inject insulin into your dog. Read our article on dog injection sites to know where you should inject insulin in your dog.

Yelp for help

Although insulin injectors have made the process quite easier but still most people use syringes to inject insulin. Syringes come in different sizes.

Sometimes owners insert syringes in fat tissue rather than muscles. It can cause a burning feeling in the body. You never know if your dog is crying for help here. A person needs expertise while using a syringe with a long and thick needle.

Injecting in scars

As insulin injection has to be inserted through fur,  dog owners can be extremely unaware of skin bruises,  cut,  wounds or scars underneath.  If your dog yelps while giving insulin,  check the skin area. Hopefully, you are not unintentionally causing him pain.

Insulin injections in blood vessels

Insulin must be inserted into the skin. If by mistake you are inserting it into blood vessels,  it might be painful for the dog. Many dogs resist and even break the needle in trying to save them from the injection.

To check this when you insert a needle into the skin,  pull back the plunger. If blood comes with it,  this means you are injecting a needle into a blood vessel. Many dog owners are taught by their vet to practice this.

The syringe angle

Most people claim that insulin must be inserted at a 45-degree angle. This is right also. But as long as you are not injecting in muscles, it is fine. Try the parallel method. The syringe should be parallel to the body while injecting. This minimizes the risk of injecting at the wrong place.

Reflex action

Many owners said that even if their dogs receive insulin routinely and right,  they yelp. This could be a simple reflex action so there is nothing to be worried about.

What happens when you inject insulin wrong?  

Well,  insulin is given under the skin.  Different insulin sites,  help insulin to get absorbed in the body differently. For example, when you inject in the belly,  it absorbs faster than when you inject in the hind legs.

What happens when you inject insulin into a blood vessel?

When you inject insulin direct into blood vessels, it will quickly lower down the blood glucose level and can cause hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can turn fatal if not treated on time.

If you have given double or overdose of insulin to your dog directly in blood vessels, this can be dangerous to your dog. Your dog may go into a coma or experience brain death by suddenly increased levels of insulin in the body. (Read double dose of insulin dogs )

The symptoms of hypoglycemia will include

When you inject insulin into muscles

This is not going to favor your dog. The insulin will absorb quickly and the effect will wear off sooner. (Read Pronzinc vs vetsulin to know about timings of insulin effects). Blood glucose levels may stay elevated and cause hyperglycemia.  (Read glucose level 500).

Hyperglycemia can cause

  • organ failures
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • And eventually death.

So inserting insulin injection right is important. But

How to give insulin to your aggressive dog without giving him pain?

Insulin injection itself is not painful. But if your dog resists and yelps,  something may be wrong. The owner must receive training from a vet before giving insulin to their dog. Also,  give insulin in front of the vet so that vet can approve your way of giving insulin.

Here are some tips to calm down your aggressive dog while giving him insulin.

  • Pat him gently. Mostly dogs yelp because they get anxiety. Caressing him little will bring some confidence in him.
  • Try to remain calm. Dogs get anxiety from their owners too. When they see their owner is nervous, they get scared and alert.
  • Use syringes with short and sharp needles. This way you will not be able to insert a syringe deep into vessels or muscles.
  • If your dog is aggressive, hold your dog tight so that it might not move around causing damage to skin or syringe. You can also inject him when he is not paying attention like when he is busy playing.
  • Make it quick. To inject insulin hold a skin patch and lift a little. Insert and inject. Wait for a few seconds and take out the syringe lightly.

How long it will take for a dog to adjust to insulin?

Insulin adjustment depends on how well it keeps your dog’s glucose levels at normal range. For this, you have to keep checking on insulin duration, timings, and its effect on the body.

Insulin takes time to absorb in the body and start working. It has a peak effect for some hours and stays active for a certain period. When you insert insulin into your dog, keep a record of glucose levels. If the insulin is keeping glucose levels within normal range, your dog will take no time in getting used to it.

When glucose levels are more or less than the normal range,  it can cause irritation and restlessness which may offend your dog. Sometimes your dog yelps because he is not adjusted to insulin levels yet. (Also read diabetic dog restless at night).


When your dog yelps when given insulin, make sure you are injecting the syringe at the right place. Also, handle your dog gently to prevent him from getting aggressive.

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