NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Hexasol  (Read 657 times)

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Hexasol
« on: February 26, 2020, 03:20:00 pm »
I spoke to our vets reference getting some meds in for use at lambing. From the courses we’ve attended I’ve learned that if it was for instance a large lamb then a painkiller would be good, and if you have to be involved much, or there’s an amount of blood, then an antibiotic also.

Vet recommendation (from one of the directors who has been lambing for years and this is what he uses says the receptionist) was Hexasol. So a combined painkiller/antibiotic. Cheaper than individually buying Alamycin and Metacam. Realise it may be giving antibiotics when not necessarily needed but don’t think one dose will do too much harm resistance-wise.

Called vets today to see if it was in stock for pick up and just checked details for it online and noticed it is designed for cattle. Receptionist confirmed it is not licensed for sheep so have asked them to double check with vet again that this is okay. They’ll do this as well as confirm the dose. If memory serves I don’t think Metacam is licensed for sheep either (in the UK at least?) and so know it isn’t unusual to use products off-licence, but just wondered if anyone else had used Hexasol with their sheep before?
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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2020, 06:03:55 pm »
I have both - Metacam and Alamycin, most of the time you only need one or the other.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2020, 07:33:54 pm »
I have both - Metacam and Alamycin, most of the time you only need one or the other.


Metacam is an anti inflammatory and alamycin is an antibiotic. Most of the time if you need one, you need the other too. But for lambing I tend to use a white antibiotic- pen strep, Betamox etc, not alamycin.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 08:46:48 am »

I have betamox. It has been in the fridge for two years. Unopened.


I spoke to our vets reference getting some meds in for use at lambing. From the courses we’ve attended I’ve learned that if it was for instance a large lamb then a painkiller would be good, and if you have to be involved much, or there’s an amount of blood, then an antibiotic also.



Large lamb. What's large? First timer as opposed to seasoned ewe possibly more painful. Yes, sometimes there are monsters. Isn't all birthing painful? What's "an amount of blood"? If you have to assist you should wear disposable gloves so do you need the antibiotic? Obviously, if the ewe has tearing, rotten lamb you need antibiotic but probably with your first lambing you'll have had the vet anyway.




SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 09:15:20 am »
If you have to assist you should wear disposable gloves so do you need the antibiotic?

If this happened : wash hands, gloves on, touch nothing at all, hand up ewe, lamb out, and lube used and its applicator was sterile, then no, antibiotic probably not necessary.  But in real life in the field or lambing shed, contamination is likely if not inevitable, so for me, it's one of the few times it's "better safe than sorry" with the antibiotics. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 11:22:40 am »
If i am just pulling a a lamb , so only my hand going inside covered in a plastic glove then i give nothing if i have go into the womb so full arm in a full length glove with lubrication and its just to sort out a tangle and there's lots fluid then i give nothing . If there is very little fluid and its a tight pull then AB'S and  a painkiller or if i have to open the cervix then the same .   A large lamb just needs time and plenty of lube and some times there is very little blood and some times lots with a perfectly normal lambing .  I carry arm length glove's  in a ziplock bag in my pocket and lube on the quad all the time at lambing .

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 11:42:49 am »
So I interpreted a large lamb to prob be a single that’s on the big side - I imagine judging  this on how long the birthing process takes, whether there’s any involvement, factoring in that their first-timers, and the actual size of the lamb. Both courses I went to said that relieving any possible pain can help with mothering as if the ewe is not in discomfort she will be more receptive to the lamb.

I have arm length gloves. Vets said can also disinfect arms/hands if no gloves or find them hard to work with.

Regards the antibiotic side they said if all the involvement included was a simple help to pull, externally or near the exit,  then not necessary; but any that require more involvement or if there’s bleeding (I guess because the blood would be coming from somewhere open to infection?) then it’s best to safeguard. They also mentioned internal tears which you wouldn’t be able to see. Someone I know jabs theirs if they get involved full stop. I thought this sounded a fair enough idea as bacteria is everywhere, even if you’re wearing gloves. They hammered home how important cleanliness was in the lambing shed and what a difference being strict about it could make. I just think one jab is not going to cause a resistance issue (as they generally won’t have antibiotics at any other time) and I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I checked with the vet once again when I picked the meds up. I asked about the cost getting the separate painkiller and AB, but although the AB was relatively cheap the Metacam was over double what the Hexasol was!!

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 12:11:50 pm »
Metacam (or it’s generic equivalent)  is expensive but worth the cost. I’ve not used Hexasol but I guess it doesn’t allow you to choose what type of antibiotic you use- not all bacteria will be killed by oxytetracycline.


I tend to give abs and pain relief if I’ve had to go in past my wrist for anything more than a simple pull.

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2020, 08:39:54 am »
Actually single doses will be a bigger problem than you think for resistance because you aren't exposing the bacteria in the ewe to a completely lethal dose. All you will do is kill off a proportion of the most susceptible and leave the vast majority, who have lower susceptibility alive. They will then multiply up and the whole population now has lower susceptibility. Repeat this cycle a few times and guess where we get to.

Interestingly here's a quote from a veterinary medicine website (https://www.msdvetmanual.com/pharmacology/antibacterial-agents/tetracyclines):

"Resistance develops slowly in a multistep fashion but is widespread because of the extensive use of low concentrations of tetracyclines."

Tetracyclines are broad spectrum antibiotics whereas penicillin G and streptomycin are both narrow spectrum. So the oxytet kills most things indiscriminately whereas the pen/strep are focused on certain types of organism. Broad spectrum drugs cause more resistance problems than narrow spectrum ones. We try and pick narrow spectrum agents when possible and choose the drug based on the likely pathogens involved - which you can generally work out from the type of infection/circumstance you are dealing with.

This is also important because you aren't just exposing any assumed pathogens from the lambing intervention, you are exposing all the bacteria in the ewe - the ones in her gut too for example. Gut bacteria are essential in ruminant digestion so you maybe don't want to be killing some of them off unless you absolutely have to. Broad spectrum drugs are going to cause more problems with this than narrow spectrum ones.

Combination products are great IF you need both/all ingredients. They are rubbish if you don't. This looks solely like a timesaver - give one injection instead of two - for a vet who will be rushed off their feet at lambing and where every minute saved is a bonus.

On top of that it isn't licensed for sheep. Which basically means the manufacturer hasn't done testing in them. In humans we have a principle which is you never use an unlicensed medicine unless you have exhausted all the licensed options.

We only have a small flock (lambing 18 this year) but have only needed antibiotics twice. One as a single dose for a ewe where we had to intervene and once as a course for a ewe with mastitis. On both occasions we were speaking to the vet anyway for associated advice and on both occasions they put up syringes of the doses we needed. The total cost was about £25.

For the amounts you are likely to use the most likely outcome is that the bottle goes out of date before you have finished it. My guess would be that you are likely to spend more in total with this wastage than you are if you get it dose by dose when needed and buy the separate, licensed for sheep products.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2020, 10:23:04 am »
Actually single doses will be a bigger problem than you think for resistance because you aren't exposing the bacteria in the ewe to a completely lethal dose. All you will do is kill off a proportion of the most susceptible and leave the vast majority, who have lower susceptibility alive. They will then multiply up and the whole population now has lower susceptibility. Repeat this cycle a few times and guess where we get to.

Interestingly here's a quote from a veterinary medicine website (https://www.msdvetmanual.com/pharmacology/antibacterial-agents/tetracyclines):

"Resistance develops slowly in a multistep fashion but is widespread because of the extensive use of low concentrations of tetracyclines."

Tetracyclines are broad spectrum antibiotics whereas penicillin G and streptomycin are both narrow spectrum. So the oxytet kills most things indiscriminately whereas the pen/strep are focused on certain types of organism. Broad spectrum drugs cause more resistance problems than narrow spectrum ones. We try and pick narrow spectrum agents when possible and choose the drug based on the likely pathogens involved - which you can generally work out from the type of infection/circumstance you are dealing with.

This is also important because you aren't just exposing any assumed pathogens from the lambing intervention, you are exposing all the bacteria in the ewe - the ones in her gut too for example. Gut bacteria are essential in ruminant digestion so you maybe don't want to be killing some of them off unless you absolutely have to. Broad spectrum drugs are going to cause more problems with this than narrow spectrum ones.

Combination products are great IF you need both/all ingredients. They are rubbish if you don't. This looks solely like a timesaver - give one injection instead of two - for a vet who will be rushed off their feet at lambing and where every minute saved is a bonus.

On top of that it isn't licensed for sheep. Which basically means the manufacturer hasn't done testing in them. In humans we have a principle which is you never use an unlicensed medicine unless you have exhausted all the licensed options.

We only have a small flock (lambing 18 this year) but have only needed antibiotics twice. One as a single dose for a ewe where we had to intervene and once as a course for a ewe with mastitis. On both occasions we were speaking to the vet anyway for associated advice and on both occasions they put up syringes of the doses we needed. The total cost was about £25.

For the amounts you are likely to use the most likely outcome is that the bottle goes out of date before you have finished it. My guess would be that you are likely to spend more in total with this wastage than you are if you get it dose by dose when needed and buy the separate, licensed for sheep products.

:bookmark: resistance to antibiotics esp single use

Fantastic explanation, thank you so much @Black Sheep
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2020, 10:27:48 am »

There's another consideration, in addition to the points Black Sheep makes, and that is if we intervene too much in the process whether that is physical or medical are we breeding sheep that can't manage a perfectly natural function by themselves the vast majority of the time?


Obviously, there are times we absolutely must intervene but we can do too much when it isn't needed.


I take the point about hygiene entirely and sheds can be the worst places ever but the vast majority of lambs are born outside where the conditions are far from sterile and they are generally fine.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2020, 12:45:06 pm »

There's another consideration, in addition to the points Black Sheep makes, and that is if we intervene too much in the process whether that is physical or medical are we breeding sheep that can't manage a perfectly natural function by themselves the vast majority of the time?

This is something I think about a lot, and a ewe who needs help more than once, if I can't see what it was I did wrong / failed to do that meant she needs help, is mutton next time around.  And I keep an eye on her descendants too - which I guess is why I have two ewes represented disproportionately in the breeding flock and have lost some lines entirely.  (And why I am able to say that my #1 piece of lambing equipment is a pair of binoculars :) )


Obviously, there are times we absolutely must intervene but we can do too much when it isn't needed.

I take the same line ex-BH did.  If an animal needs help then it gets it, no hesitation and no questions asked.  However, if it shouldn't have needed help, then it's gone before next winter, and the cards of its descendants are marked too - they'll be one strike and out.

I take the implied point as well, though - are we sure we really do need to help every time we intervene?  The one feeds the other, I find; the more my flock is bred to be self-sufficient, the more I can assume that the ewe will handle it and don't leap to intervene until I'm sure she needs it.   

I take the point about hygiene entirely and sheds can be the worst places ever but the vast majority of lambs are born outside where the conditions are far from sterile and they are generally fine.

Aye, but outside, the lambs and everything else is exiting only.  We are talking about risk of internal contamination when we shove our arms up their jacksies, which in general doesn't happen when they're doing their own thing outside, lol!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2020, 12:46:31 pm »

There's another consideration, in addition to the points Black Sheep makes, and that is if we intervene too much in the process whether that is physical or medical are we breeding sheep that can't manage a perfectly natural function by themselves the vast majority of the time?

This is something I think about a lot, and a ewe who needs help more than once, if I can't see what it was I did wrong / failed to do that meant she needs help, is mutton next time around.  And I keep an eye on her descendants too - which I guess is why I have two ewes represented disproportionately in the breeding flock and have lost some lines entirely.  (And why I am able to say that my #1 piece of lambing equipment is a pair of binoculars :) )

And now I'm wondering whether I'm tempting fate writing all that... :/
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Hexasol
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2020, 01:02:20 pm »
And while we are on the subject of selecting for animals which need help... one thing myself and ex-BH were in complete agreement about, and found ourselves very much in the minority within the farming community, was selecting breeding males because he was a strapping girt thing at birth.  No no no no no no NO!  We used to say.  Want a scrawny thing at birth that jumps out easily, and is a stonking girt thing at three months old.

The most extreme example of which was a pure Limousin we bred using AI.  We had very few Limousins as we found them too flighty (and some of them, downright aggressive), but we had the odd very quiet individual.  Cuddles was a venerable lady we'd bought from a farming friend who was going out of cattle; his daughter convinced us to buy Cuddles rather than one of the younger ones because of her temperament - and that the daughter knew that Cuddles would have a kindly home with us. 

Sure enough, we soon said that if all Limis were like Cuddles, we'd have a load more of them, and as she would only have another two or possibly three calves, ex-BH decided to put her to a good Limi bull and see what we got. 

What we got was the first caesarian his cattle had needed to have in 20 years.   :'(

The calf was an absolute stonker, and at 12 months old, fetched the highest price ex-BH had ever scored at market, by some distance, the extra more than covering the cost of the op.  It was the first and only time ex-BH topped the mart for a Limi stirk, too. 

When Cuddles had calved, we'd had another farmer staying with us while his divorce went through.  He'd admired this calf from the day the vet lifted it out of its dam, and when he bought his next farm and got himself set up, he rang us to get the name of the bull so he could use it.  Well, we had it to hand and passed it on.  But the reason we had it to hand was so that whenever we were booking a Limi straw from the AI, we'd ask for any bull but this one.  Financially Sidedoor had more than recouped the vet's attendance at his birth, but we never wanted to have to put us, the vet or any of our cows through that again. 

No, we stuck to Angus bulls, less beefy animals, and long-lived cows who did it all naturally. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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