All Points Medical Waste Blog

Pet Diabetes

Insulin injections & sharps disposal

Approximately 1 in every 100 dogs and 1 in every 500 cats over the age of 12 are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Although it mostly effects older dogs and cats, younger pets can also become afflicted. Just like humans, animals who suffer from this disease are having trouble producing enough insulin to efficiently use sugars, fats and proteins. For pet owners that means a commitment to daily insulin shots and learning the proper way to manage the medication and the waste associated with it.

Managing diabetes mellitus in pets

Most animals who are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus will be treated with insulin injections once or twice daily for the rest of their lives. There are some instances when oral medication is used, but injections are the most common and according to veterinarians, the oral method is less effective so it is rarely used.

Different types of insulin for pets

There are a three general types of insulin that are used for cats and dogs suffering with diabetes:

  • Short-acting insulin that is used in animals that are sick and is discontinued after they begin to eat again
  • NPH and Lente which are Intermediate-acting insulins
  • Ultralente and PZI which are long-acting insulins

Injecting your pet

After diagnosis, the veterinarian will decide which type of insulin is best for your pet and teach you the proper way to inject the medication. You will also be instructed about the ideal storage conditions for the insulin, including the temperature and expiration dates.

Safe disposal of needles & syringes

Just like human sharps, your pet’s diabetes medication materials need to be safely and securely disposed of to prevent accidental sticks that can cause injury and illness. An approved sharps container is recommended because it’s designed to hold needles and syringes and is compliant with state and federal requirements. Discuss with your vet what to do once your sharps container is full—you may be able to bring it to their facility. If not, you can get in touch with a local medical waste provider to find out about drop-off locations or other options. It’s critical that sharps and syringes are not thrown in the household trash, left on counter tops or anywhere they can pose a risk to other animals and to family members.

Caring for your diabetic pet can be managed easily if you follow the instructions of your veterinarian and take the necessary steps to dispose of the needles and syringes properly. For more information about sharps and other medical waste, check our blog.

All Points Medical Waste is a full-service, family-owned company in Stuart, Florida. We serve a variety of medical organizations including veterinarians, doctor’s offices, clinics, assisted living facilities, treatment and surgery centers, dental offices and many more. Get in touch with us today to find out more about what we do.


Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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