The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: tanyalou on June 20, 2016, 01:25:15 pm

Title: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: tanyalou on June 20, 2016, 01:25:15 pm
Hi there, 

My partner and me are smallholders in sunny Suffolk. Mostly to be a little bit kinder to the environment by producing as much food as we have time for for ourselves and other things including cooking and heating solely with wood, saving grey water etc. Not Saints or preachers about it all just try our best.
We have  :pig: :pig: :pig: :pig:'s  :sheep: x23  :chook:'s  :cat: and two tortoises. Oh and a couple of grown up kids   

Have to heptavac p my  ryeland (very thick fleeces) lambs. Had experienced help before but on my own this time and a bit nervous. Got all ready yesterday then bottle out. Lambs are a couple of months old now so fleece thickening and not sure how to hold to make sure I get the needle in properly. Tried the pinching behind the neck but worried I won't go into flesh enough.  Any tips please?  :thinking: 
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: pharnorth on June 22, 2016, 02:24:51 am
I have just done my coloured Ryelands and it is much easier to turn them over and inject under the front leg (armpit!) as there is no wool there. My Vet showed me that method. Also, as they are turned over they tend not to wriggle so easier to do. I had 3 novice friends over last week and they were very quick to do all of mine.
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: Womble on June 22, 2016, 09:07:56 am
Yes, necks are just so wriggly!  It helps if you can turn the head towards the side you're injecting as that loosens the skin. The problem with that is that if you've got somebody else holding the head, it's really easy to prick them by accident (It never actually happened, but I always worried it might).


The armpit is easy because there's no wool. However they often come up in lumps at the injection site, and whilst not serious on the neck, I think an armpit sore could be really painful.


Our vet advised trying over the ribcage, which worked easily enough this year. Does anybody else do that?


We use a Sterimatic injector (http://www.molevalleyfarmers.com/mvf/store/products/molecare-injector-gun-2ml) for heptavac. It took some getting used to (http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=71975.msg), but I wouldn't be without it now. It makes the job so much easier for a beginner IMO, and significantly reduces the likelihood of self-injection. The needles and steri-caps are expensive, but this year we just used a standard disposable needle with it and changed needle a couple of times, which worked fine  :thumbsup:  .
(http://www.molevalleyfarmers.com/mvf-static/images/product/1073755-large.jpg)
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: Jukes Mum on June 22, 2016, 10:23:48 am
Quote
Tried the pinching behind the neck but worried I won't go into flesh enough.
It is a subcutaneous injection so no need for any flesh.
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: pharnorth on June 22, 2016, 10:26:03 am
Yes Womble is right about the injection site lumps. When the Vet used the under leg method two out of five limped a bit next day.  When I did it I was careful to inject an inch or so out from the joint so it is in the flap of skin only and had no problem with it. Doesn't mean I am more skilful than the Vet because it was practically dark when they did it.
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: Womble on June 22, 2016, 10:40:56 am
I practiced with a needle-less syringe before our first attempt!  Pinch tent of skin, then press point of syringe into the correct spot on the lamb and at the correct (shallow) angle. It feels silly, but as long as nobody is watching  ;). When you come to do it for real, just watch you don't go so shallow that you only inject wool, and also that the needle doesn't go through the 'tent' and out the other side. The telltale sign you've done this will be liquid on the fleece. Otherwise, as long as the liquid left the syringe, and isn't on the lamb's wool, there's only one other place it can have gone!!
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: tanyalou on June 23, 2016, 05:27:52 pm
That's brilliant. Thank you for are your helpful hints.
Luckily I have the lady who came to help with the first injections coming back to give me a hand. I didn't want to ask but the other half saw her and said I was struggling.
So, hopefully I'll get the hang of it this time  :excited:
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: TheSmilingSheep on June 24, 2016, 03:53:33 pm
Good luck going it alone...
Womble, we also inject in their sides (on vet's advice since the lambs are really small when first done), and swap sides between injections...
Also just started using the 'gun' last year... didn't think one could use normal needles... do you mean the 'plastic' sheathed ones as opposed to the sterimatic metal ones?
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: Womble on June 24, 2016, 09:11:47 pm
@TheSmilingSheep , I just meant the regular Terumo needles (http://www.medical-world.co.uk/ProductFiles/product/Terumo_Hypodermic_Needle_Agani_Green_21G_x_1.5.png?width=440&height=394&scale=both). If you slide it over the spigot and twist, it locks on fine (on the Molecare model injector at least). We still used the spring loaded sheath thing, but without the white stericap. Obviously the needle isn't disinfected between injections that way, but otherwise it worked exactly the same.
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: tanyalou on June 26, 2016, 12:28:46 pm
All done  :thumbsup:
I had help Friday morning and I've got it now. Happy days  :excited:
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: SallyintNorth on June 26, 2016, 12:43:40 pm
Just a word of caution about injecting over the ribs... If you do it in adults before shearing, the resultant lump can catch the shears.  Shouldn't be a problem in a lamb that won't be shorn until next year, or in a sheep that's already been shorn.  (But I'm assuming any heptavac'ing at this time of year is lambs, as you'd be doing your adults a few weeks before lambing.)
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: suziequeue on July 05, 2016, 09:48:08 pm
Yes - turn them over (or get another person to hold them up if they are still small enough), armpit, injector gun. Very quick
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: twizzel on July 06, 2016, 08:43:24 am
We bought a sterimac gun this year too and it is definitely the way forward. No accidentally stabbing yourself, much quicker and soooo much easier!
Title: Re: Hi Everyone - help with heptavac injection
Post by: Marches Farmer on July 06, 2016, 10:49:48 am
Get someone to stand astride the lamb's shoulders and back it against a fence or hurdle, to minimise wriggle room, then just hold the head steady.  If they pull it to one side it will tauten the skin and that's not what you want.  Just pull up a little tent of skin then angle the needle slightly downwards towards the body so the needle doesn't go through the tent.  If the lamb wriggles wait for it to stop before proceeding with the injection.  I always rub the injection a little site to disperse the vaccine and have found this prevents lumps forming.  Use a lamb needle too - their skin is thin and you don't need something that would work through pigskin.