Luer Slip Tip Syringes for Oral Pet Medication

Choosing a Luer Slip Syringe For Oral Pet Medicine | Oral Veterinarian Syringes | When Should I Use a Luer Slip Syringe Instead of Luer Lock Syringe | Cat Rescue Syringes |

Do you have a veterinarian practice, animal shelter, cat rescue or own a cat or dog?  If so, you have likely seen syringes intended to measure and administer oral veterinarian medication.  A luer slip tip syringe is used daily by veterinarians and pet owners to administer oral medications.

What should be considered when choosing the correct syringe for use?  

A syringe can be used for administering oral medication and for injections.  

Syringes can be used for many purposes.  A syringe is basically a sealed tube with incremental measurements to use.  A non-sterile syringe can be used in industrial applications such as applying glue to hard to reach areas.  Other non-medical applications for syringes are: refilling printer cartridges, injecting marinades into food.  While there are many uses for syringes, we will focus on both oral syringe use and syringes for injection.

What syringe is best for oral medications prescribed by my veterinarian? 

For oral medications, lets first consider the tip of the syringe.  A syringe tip can be either a luer slip or a luer lock.  These two tips describe the type of connection the syringe barrel will have with the needle.  For oral medications, a luer slip tip will provide a cone shaped tip almost like a nipple, which easily allows the contents of the syringe to transfer to its destination.

Just to make a quick comparison: The luer lock syringe tip is flat in appearance and has visible grooves and ridges allowing for a “spin on” connection similar to any common soda bottle and cap.

I recently had to give my cats a liquid OTC medicine, and I chose to use a 1mL luer slip syringe.  I was able to easily measure and fill the syringe.  My cat was not very cooperative with the process and I learned quickly there is one more consideration I had previously not considered: the ease and speed of the transaction.  While it was not difficult to wrap my kitty up like a tortilla and position her securely so I could gently get her mouth open, I found it very difficult to accurately squish the liquid into her mouth before she could wiggle her paws out to claw me.  Her mouth was a moving target attached to a head wiggling frantically for an opportunity to liberate herself and escape.  What I found was the 1mL did a perfect job of measuring the liquid, but I was not able to push the plunger with accuracy.  A significant amount of the medicine ended up on her face and on the blanket she was being restrained in.  I asked myself what I could do to improve this process.  My answer was a larger syringe.

Why would a larger syringe make oral medication for pets easier?  

The size of the luer slip tip is literally the connection location for the needle to “push on” if a needle were to be used (for a different purpose).  Each needle produced for medical use is the same size and syringes and needles universally fit together.  Why are we mentioning this?  We want you to understand that the size of the syringe has nothing to do with the size of the luer slip tip.  The luer slip tip on a syringe will always be the exact same size.

Continuing on to my recent attempts to give my cat oral medication:

The 1mL syringe with a luer tip did measure perfectly.  For a docile, unafraid kitten this syringe would have worked perfectly.  For my scared kitten, in the midst of a fight or flight reaction, a larger syringe barrel would have definitely made the process simpler.  A larger syringe, or a syringe which is able to hold more liquid was a better choice for me for two reasons.  Firstly, the larger syringe allowed me to push the full dosage of oral medication into my cat’s mouth in the few seconds I had available to complete this task.  Secondly, the larger syringe allowed my hand to hold the syringe more securely so I could push on the plunger while still accurately aiming the luer slip tip syringe into my cat’s mouth.

What is a luer slip syringe tip?

A luer slip syringe describes any size syringe which has a luer slip tip.  A luer slip describes the connection where the needle would be pressed on, if a needle were needed for use.  A luer slip syringe can be used for both injection and oral medicine.  A luer slip syringe connection will not detach spontaneously for no reason, but a luer lock syringe might be a better choice if a thick medicine which must also pass through a needle is involved or if there is any worry about the syringe and needle detaching due to how it is being used.

When would a luer slip tip syringe be used? 

A luer slip syringe has a nipple-like or cone-like tip ideal for administering oral medications into veterinarian patients.  Cats and dogs are often sent home after a veterinarian visit with a luer slip tip syringe pre-marked for the oral medicine prescribed by the doctor.

Your vet might provide oral antibiotics or other oral medications after seeing your pet.  If you are required to administer oral medicine to your pet, you might see a small luer slip syringe without a needle with the medication dosage marked on the syringe barrel.  Luer slip tip syringes are used by veterinarians and pet owners daily.

What is a tip? 

A luer lock syringe tip is a syringe with a spin-on secure connection very similar to what we would see with any common soda bottle.  There are visible grooves which allow a needle tip ridge to thread into for a secure connection that will not come apart.

When would a luer lock tip syringe be used? 

In many cases, both a luer lock or luer slip tip syringe could be used interchangeably.  Oral medications are better administered with a luer slip tip syringe.  Thick medications are better administered with a luer lock tip syringe because the viscosity or thickness of the liquid medication might create too much pressure to successfully use a needle tip secured only by pressing in place.  A luer lock syringe might also be useful in situations where the connection needs to stay in place.

What sizes do syringes come in?

Syringes come in a variety of sizes ranging from .5cc or 1/2cc up to very large sizes of 60cc or greater.

Why would I choose one size syringe over another?

Choosing a syringe size brings two important considerations to mind:

Firstly, the volume of medicine being measured.  Are you measuring a minute amount of medicine and want to be very accurate?  If so, the very smallest syringe which would allow you to measure a full dose would be a good choice.  This would allow you to measure as specifically as possible.

Let’s think about an example: 

If you have a medication dosage of .4cc or slightly less than 1/2cc, you could use a 1/2 or 1cc syringe to do so.  If its a dose of insulin or something water based and thin, that will easily pass through a tiny needle tip, an Insulin Syringe would be an option.  If its a thicker medication, an oral medication, or you only have 1cc and larger syringes available, the 1cc would measure more accurately than a 3cc.  

If you look at the side of a syringe barrel and read the measurements listed, you will notice it appears very similar to a measuring cup.  If I were to measure 1/4 cup using a 1 cup measuring cup, the result would be more accurate than if I were to use a 4 cup measuring cup.  So, when accuracy counts, use the smallest syringe possible to obtain the most specific, accurate result.  So a 1cc syringe would always measure more accurately than a 5cc syringe for example.  

Secondly, how fast does the medicine need to be administered? For my example about my recent experience giving my cat oral medication with a luer slip tip syringe, I would conclude the speed of administering the medication should be a consideration (at least for my personal experience).   If a medication is being given and the speed of administering is a factor, both the size of the syringe and the size of the needle tip will facilitate a fast transfer (or slow down the process).

Are all syringes made the same?

All syringes are made from plastic that is safe for human and animal use.  All syringes have the same identical luer lock or luer slip connection so that a hypodermic needle tip will fit perfectly.

Are all syringes the same quality? 

Not all syringes are the same quality.  The US government does have quality and safety standards in place to ensure all products used in the US are safe for the population, but small variations in quality might be noticeable.  The quality variation we would place as #1  would be a noticeably less sharp needle tip.  A needle tip that is less sharp would result in an injection that is less comfortable with increased reported pain during injection.

Are syringes reusable?

Glass syringes are reusable but plastic syringes are disposable, intended to be used one time and then discarded in an appropriate location.  Sharps containers are made of very thick plastic resistant to puncture and are the proper location for disposal of used needle syringes.

Do I need a prescription for syringes? 

Each state has its own law regarding syringe purchases.  In some states it is legal to purchase syringes, and in other states there are regulation on what can be purchased and how many syringes are allowed at one time.

Can I buy syringes at the store?

Syringes are always available at your local pharmacy for purchase.  Patients filling prescriptions requiring syringes have a legitimate need for syringes and the pharmacist should be able to assist.  Buying syringes while not filling a prescription which requires a syringe to administer would leave the purchase up to the discretion of the pharmacist and the state’s laws and regulations.

Can I buy syringes online? 

Online syringe purchases are allowed without prescription.

How do I dispose of a syringe?

Syringes should be disposed of safely.  Sharps containers are made of thick, puncture resistant plastic.  A used syringe needle tip can be safely disposed of in a sharps container.

product image
Author Rating
Aggregate Rating
no rating based on 0 votes
Brand Name
Product Name
1mL Luer Slip Syringe without Needle

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *