Although widely used as a means of administering substances, particularly injectable anaesthetics, this is an inherently unreliable technique, since inadvertent injection of some material into the gut, abdominal fat and subcutaneous tissues is a relatively frequent occurrence. For this reason, it may be preferable to use other routes such as subcutaneous or oral administration.
It is not usually necessary to try to sterilize the skin with antiseptics – their use is almost always ineffective and they simply prolong the duration of restraint needed and may cause additional disturbance to the animal.
As with all injection sites, a new needle should be used for each animal, since this will reduce discomfort caused by the procedure and also reduce this risk of any injection-site infection. Any discomfort can be further reduced by injecting fluid that is at body temperature.
Material that is irritant or with a high or low pH can cause pain both during and following injection.
As with other routes, if repeated injections of material are needed, consider alternatives such as use of minipumps.