Diabetes can only be managed through insulin. There is only one way to inject insulin, and that is through a needle but can we reuse insulin needles for dogs?
Well, In this article, we will address this topic in detail.
About insulin needles
Insulin syringes come in different sizes which depends on the amount of insulin to be injected. The size of the needle decides the thickness of the needle. Before the new ones, a 12.7 mm needle was commonly used as an insulin injector.
Now 4, 6, and 8 mm needles are also used. These are comparatively thin. They are equally effective but less painful than the thick ones. Thin needles are also helpful in a way that they are short in size and don’t penetrate deep into muscle tissue or blood vessels.
Read our article dog yelp when given insulin to know what happens when you inject insulin in blood vessels or muscles.
Does the needle size matter while giving an insulin dose to the dog?
Insulin dose has no connection to needle size. It is related to syringe size. Syringe size tells how much insulin it can hold to be injected into the dog. Any needle that your dog is comfortable with is ok to use. Most owners prefer thin needles for their dogs because thin needles are less pricky than thick ones.
Now the question arises
Can I reuse insulin needles for dogs?
It doesn’t matter that you are using an insulin pen or syringe. Insulin needles are meant to be disposed of after one use. No one should ever reuse insulin needles for any pet whether it be a dog, cat, or horse. Here are a few reasons why there are dangers of reusing insulin needles?
They promote bacterial growth
Once the needle is injected, it’s exposed to the outside environment. There is a risk of Bacterial growth and It’s not safe to expose your diabetic dog to bacterial infections.
When you inject the same needle again, bacteria can move into your dog’s body making your dog very sick. Your dog can get a skin infection. In diabetes, your dog will not recover like healthy dogs. Bacterial infections have proven to be fatal in some cases too.
Read our article diabetic dog skin problems to know more about skin infections that can target your diabetic dog.
They cause Pain
Injecting the same needle again, make the needle blunt from the edge. The needle will become painful for your dog. It is advised to throw away the needle once you have used it.
It can cause a lump
Using the same needle again can cause lumps under the skin. These lumps are painful for dogs. It can also frighten and offend your dog. When a dog feels pain, he may resist the next time you try to inject his insulin.
It is risky to reuse sharp needles
Sharp needles are very thin from the edge. They can break when inserted again multiple times. A broken needle inside a dog’s skin is another trauma that a diabetic dog has to deal with.
The situation could be very painful for a diabetic dog who is already fighting hard to resist diabetes.
Reusing can contaminate the insulin
Used needles can have bacterial growth on them. You have to insert them in an insulin vial for the next dose. Reusing them can contaminate the whole vial making it hazardous to health. Insulin effectiveness may also be altered by this practice. This can mess up your dog’s glucose levels. (Read glucose level 500).
Can you reuse the same needle for two dogs?
Hell no! Never do this. It is extremely risky to even reuse a dog’s own needles again, rather than reusing them on some other dog or pet. There is a high risk of infection and disease transmission. Needles can transfer other life-threatening diseases like hepatitis B or C . If you love your pup, you will never compromise on this naiveness.
What does it mean by “reusable insulin pen”?
pens are more effective than traditional syringes. They come as
- disposable pens and
- reusable pens.
However, reusable ones don’t mean you can reuse the insulin needle again. These pens have a cartridge in them which lasts for a few doses. The term ” reusable” refers to a cartridge, not the needle. You have to replace the needle once you inject insulin into your dog. Even when you replace the needle, don’t use an insulin pen on another pet.
Is it possible to Sterilize and reuse insulin needles for my dog?
Sterilization doesn’t mean boiling or disinfecting needles with a common disinfectant. It is not possible to sterilize needles at home to such an extent that they become safe. Mostly, resuing insulin needle intends to save cost but trust us sterilizing them “actually” costs way more than what you think. So No! Throw the needle right away.
Can a needle be reused in case of emergency?
Make sure you are never out of stock for needles when you have a diabetic dog at home. However, situations can arise where you have to reuse the needle in an emergency. In such cases, we will not say you “can” but .. “may” reuse an insulin needle. Still, this is risky and not recommended.
In an emergency reusing needles is dangerous but may save a day. Your dog should never miss an insulin dose for this. Read double dose of insulin dogs to know what happens when the insulin dose alters.
How long can you reuse an insulin syringe?
You can’t reuse the syringe but you can store them for a certain period. Many people use pre-filled insulin syringes. These can be stored for up to one month if they are filled with one type of insulin only.
How to dispose of used insulin needles?
Having a diabetic dog means a bag full of used needles each month. It’s important to dispose of them properly. For this
- Take the needles back to your vet. They know how to dispose them of.
- Ask for sharps containers from your local pharmacy.
- Buying a needle clipper will be helpful.
- Keep in mind that used needles can not be recycled. They are medical waste and need to be disposed of at a very high temperature to kill bacteria.
You cant reuse insulin needles for diabetic dogs. Reusing them poses a great threat to diabetic dogs’ health. whether you are using insulin or syringes, throw the needles after one use.