My dog was recently diagnosed with diabetes and I’m to give her insulin shots. After two weeks, she now refuses to cooperate and bites at me. I now use a muzzle and still she puts up a good fight. Please help!
If there were a way to treat diabetes other than with insulin injections, it would be much easier for a lot of people. Unfortunately, there is no other effective treatment.
Do not give up! This is usually the most difficult time for pet owners. The dog is getting irritable and you are getting a little frustrated.
First, relax. Often when giving injections, we get nervous or agitated and the dog picks up on those emotions. Then, the pet gets edgy and we both get jumpy. So, it helps to start the process by taking a deep breath and thinking positive thoughts.
Second, you need to reward your pet during all of this. For example, putting a dish of the dog’s favorite food down while you are administering the insulin injection often helps. Once you get good at the injections, with practice you should be able to give the injection with no more disturbance to your pet than petting it while it’s eating. In the meantime, if you must use a muzzle, be sure to give your dog a special treat and breakfast right after administering the shot.
A few other tips: Teach "sit and stay." If your dog can do this, you can teach him to sit still for the injections. If you have not done this yet, it will take longer, but if you’re strong and persistent, you may literally save your dog’s life. Also, practice "sit and stay" and putting the muzzle on without giving shots. Eventually, your dog will not immediately assume that sitting, eating or wearing a muzzle means he’s getting a shot.
If you continue to have problems, consult your veterinarian for advice. Most diabetic pets and their owners become able to deal with the inconvenience of insulin injections, thus adding years more of enjoyable pet-owner companionship.