Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Tips for doing SC injections  (Read 4807 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Tips for doing SC injections
« on: March 11, 2015, 06:35:34 pm »
We injected our flock with their annual Heptavac booster a couple of weeks ago, and though we got the job done, it wasn't exactly professional!  :innocent:

Everything I read said "make a bulge in the skin, then go in at a shallow angle". However, I found this all but impossible, since the neck skin on our ewes was very tight and I couldn't pinch a bulge in it. Also they have about three inches of wool to contend with at this time of year, which makes things harder again.

I have four who need to get a follow-up injection on Sunday, so can I ask for your methods and top tips please?

Thanks!  :thumbsup:

P.S. I did search, but it seems we haven't really covered this before, believe it or not!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Thyme

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Machynlleth, Powys
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 07:19:30 pm »
I had a similar time of it -- straddling increasingly exasperated sheep while I rummaged through their wool trying to find a bit of skin!  Eventually I started by finding the point of the shoulder and then moving upward a bit until I could pinch an inch.  I agree the neck seemed impossibly tight.
Shetland sheep, Copper Marans chickens, Miniature Silver Appleyard ducks, and ginger cats.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2015, 07:20:18 pm »
Buy one of those vaccinators and use the right sized needle - 1/2". It's transformed our vaccination routine  :thumbsup:

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 07:29:15 pm »
This series may be useful background:

http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/livestock/general/injecting-livestock/

And I second Rosemary on the vaccinator gun, it's so much quicker, easier and less stressful all round.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 07:47:59 pm »
Keep calm. Use a half inch needle. Have someone stand astride her if possible, and turn her neck a little to one side.  Part the wool and make a little tent with the skin.  Aim the needle in at a 45 degree angle at the bottom of the tent.  Draw back the plunger a little to check you haven't hit a vein (there will be blood entering the needle if so).  Push the plunger in slowly and steadily.  If the ewe jibs let go of the hypodermic - if she's being held firmly enough she'll calm down in a few seconds and you can carry on where you left off.  I rub the injection spot after I withdraw the needle, but then I remember how much I hated vaccinations when I was a child.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 08:29:10 pm »
turn her neck a little to one side.

DOH!  so THAT'S where we were going wrong!  It seems so obvious now - thankyou MF!  :thumbsup:

I will also look into getting the proper vaccinator for next year though.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 09:01:22 pm »

I've got 800 to do tomorrow ---I am a one man band & the best tip I can give is to try and put them fairly tight in a pen so they can't move about too much. They hardly seem to notice what's going on then-----

I can't get on with the vaccinating guns and prefer to use a 10ml syringe but that's a personal preference

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2015, 09:25:49 pm »
I prefer the syringe to. I have also found that it's easier injecting them in the skin at the top of the leg.

Melmarsh

  • Joined May 2014
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2015, 09:49:37 pm »
I do mine just behind the front leg, don't have to worry about the meat as I eat the meat!! Always did the goats in the same place, I separate the wool, then holding one side of the parted wool, lift the skin ,in goes the needle , job done. I use 7/8th needle and 2ml syringe but don't have many sheep.  :innocent:

farmvet

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2015, 11:42:04 pm »
Over the ribs is much easier than the neck. I prefer the vaccinator guns where the bottle sits on the syringe, the tubes always seem to get tangled up especially with horned sheep, but that's just personal preference. If you're right handed use the left hand to raise a large vertical fold of skin on the opposite side of the sheep to you; the just slip the needle into this fold horizontally from head to tail or vv. By keeping the fold taut it acts to restrain the sheep and makes it easy to move with her. By injecting on the opposite side you can use your knees to steady her and also wont inject yourself by mistake.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 10:12:48 am »
I use a gun (a phillips repeater vaccinator - very good! no bottle, no tube) with a sterimatic doobry on the end. That gives you about 1/2" of needle once you plunge the sterimatic cap.  It protects you from accidental stabbings too as well as disinfecting the needle every time.


...well it mostly protects you from accidental stabbings .... I did my heptavac injections the other weekend no problems, but when it came to do the cydectin injections the following weekend the sheep had gotten wise to me ... two managed to throw their heads up just and the wrong moment resulting in two nice needles pricks to my left hand!!  Doh.


I agree with Tim, get them in as tight as you can (obviously being careful with heavily pregnant ewes).  I just wish I had a third hand to turn the head slightly to make some loose flesh! lol

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 08:38:10 am »
Just in case it isn't obvious - to make the 'tent' where the needle has to go, pull the wool up.  You only need a max of 10mm of tenting and it's just for a second or two, so it won't hurt enough to be a welfare issue, honest.

BH uses his left hand to part the wool to expose skin, then uses the side of his right hand (holding the needle/injector) on the right hand wool to keep it down while his left hand uses the lefthand wool to make the tent.  He jabs behind the shoulder blade.

When I do my fleece sheep, I do it high up on the neck - because on my fleece sheep I don't want bumps and nubbles on the body. BH's technique isn't so easy to use up there, so I usually have to use two hands to find the skin and get hold of the lefthand wool ready to tent, then get my injector in position, tent and jab.

The more you do it, the quicker and surer you will be, and the quicker and surer you are, the less it will bother the sheep ;)

The other thing I take note of is that I expect some resistance when I inject - if there's no resistance, I have probably gone right through the tent and injected wool  ::).  If I am sure they didn't get the dose, I inject again there and then, otherwise I will give them another jab in a few weeks just to be sure.  (And if this was the first of the first two, I may give them another two a few weeks apart, just to be sure.)
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Tips for doing SC injections
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2015, 09:40:11 am »
Just in case it isn't obvious - to make the 'tent' where the needle has to go, pull the wool up.

No, it wasn't obvious (the Tesco chicken thigh I initially practiced on didn't have wool  ;D ) - thanks very much for the tips and clear step-by-step  :thumbsup: .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 
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