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The prick versus the time

Hi everyone- this isn't a ground breaking question, but it is something that can cause discomfort everyday, multiple times- injections!  Does anyone know of any research indicating whether or not an animal reacts more to a 25G needle with a longer injection time versus a larger needle (22G, sometimes 20G if it is large dose of a thicker drug SQ, such as Pen. G on a 60lb lab), but a shorter injection time?  Our hospital seems split down the middle, with doctors and techs on both side. 

I personally am for the larger fresh needle.  I feel less squirming is involved, because it is quicker.  Tom cat skin, wrinkled skin, or larger dogs injections seem to go intradermal with the shorter 25G needles.  Kittens and puppies are small, but personally they seem to act up more for the restraint, even when giving them a treat to distract them, then they do with the needle poke.  I also feel I have to use more force to poke with a 25G needle, especially with larger pets.  I am ok using 25G with less resistant IV or quick blood draws for a glucose sample, but for IM injections, even the smallest amount, sometimes I have problems with the pressure used to adminster the drug, and loose the syringe (we only have luer locks on 3cc and above.)   

My 25G needle loving coworkers say I just have to work on technique, and in their opinions, the animals do not seem to notice the prick at all when done right.  They do use a 22G with more than 1cc with thicker or IM injections. 

Comments

macula_densa
May. 28th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
Interesting question. I know of no research on this topic, but you'll definitely find people in both camps. Up until fairly recently I was more for using larger gauge needles on everyone because it is faster, but I have found particularly on small puppies they tend not to react nearly as much to the 25 gauge needle prick, so even though the injection is slower they are overall more comfortable and less traumatized (and they struggle less). So, I think perhaps I'm becoming a convert for 25 gauge needles in small puppies. On the other hand I haven't noticed the same disparity in cats, so I continue with the 22 gauge on them.

I'm primarily referring to SQ injections here (mostly vaccines). It entirely depends on what you're injecting IM and how much; if it's larger volumes (i.e. 1 cc) I use 22 gauge, and if it's a small volume 25 is usually just fine. I think it is all a matter of preference and what works for you; it's not as though there is a 'right' or 'wrong' answer to this.