Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Injecting sheep....  (Read 120 times)

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Injecting sheep....
« on: May 16, 2021, 12:51:16 pm »
Hello people. Advice needed please!
For those of you who have a small number of sheep and use an injection gun is this something that is worth getting even with only a few sheep and any recommendations for which one? I've just had a rather unpleasant experience despite my very careful use of it ( the sheep is fine!) with a non retractable needle given to me by one of our vets and my farming friends were not impressed with the vet..... :thinking:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2021, 01:08:18 pm »
I have never used an injection gun, even when we had 100 sheep.  I use disposable syringes and needles, but as I rarely inject my sheep I don't use all that many.  If you use this method, keep a clean needle in the bottle, then use a different one for the injections.  That way, the bottle remains uncontaminated.  I have been told in all seriousness that you don't need to keep the contents of antibiotic bottles sterile because 'it's antibiotics'. You DO need to keep the contents of all drug multiple-dose containers sterile unless you are using the whole contents in one go.
As a former hospital nurse working in paediatrics, I am used to using dinky syringes and very accurate dosages, so a big clumsy gun with it's dangling tubing doesn't appeal.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2021, 01:31:45 pm »
We have a sterimatic gun where the bottle attaches directly. It's only used for Heptavac, but I find the added safety afforded by the needle guard to be worthwhile.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2021, 01:56:22 pm »
I use this one for the sheep- Heptavac mainly https://www.sterimatic.co.uk/shop/multi-dose/bottle-mounted-syringe-with-sterimatic-12mm-injection-kit-12mm-300-dose/


I tend to only use an auto injector for vaccines be it cattle or sheep, where youíre injecting a large number of animals all at once. Saves a lot of time drawing up individual doses. For one off injections of antibiotic or anti inflammatory  just a normal needle and syringe.

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2021, 02:43:50 pm »
Not a retractable one twizzel? I seemed to have a minor issue ( luckily!) with the non retractable one I was given. It was for antibiotics.
I understand Fleecewife about the clumsiness of a gun type but I'm probably safer (and the sheep  ::) with a sterimatic gun  :roflanim:
Thanks all. Lesson number 1 thousand and rising.......!  :hugsheep:

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2021, 05:34:18 pm »
I donít really understand what you mean by retractable ? I just use a bog standard needle normally 18g 1inch and a syringe. I wouldnít use a gun for antibiotics, in fact I think it would be near on impossible to use one. The guns are more for treating batches of animals with vaccines.

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2021, 07:57:52 pm »
Ok thanks twizzle. I guess it gets easier with practice like all things  :thinking:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2021, 08:10:35 pm »
No, I don't know what you mean by retractable either? I know you can get spring loaded needles which retract after a dose is given, but I've never seen ones which extend AND retract?

@wildandwooly , this might be controversial, but let me throw it out there:

I really struggled with injections initially. For example, you're always told to inject into the neck because it's a nice cheap piece of meat in case you cause an abscess. However, it's also a really wriggly jumpy bit, right?  So, what I do now for breeding animals is to do intra-muscular injections into what would be their bum muscle if they had bums (!?). What I mean by that is that if you feel a triangle of hip bone, top of tail and top of leg bone, then go vertically downwards right in the middle of that triangle, and you're into muscle (You might need somebody to show you the first time).

My logic with that one is that any loss due to leg meat being condemned is offset by increased convenience and safety for me when injecting. I can keep a sheep immobile against a fence or gate with my thigh and other knee, and then reach over to give the dose. Immobilising a neck is a much harder proposition.

Vaccinating lambs is similar. For wether lambs that are never going to be clipped*, I hold them still by putting their neck between my calves (facing the opposite direction to me) and then inject over the ribs. For ewe lambs, I again hold them still between my legs (facing the same direction as me) and inject them into the side of the neck.

* heptavac usually leaves a raised scar which would be nicked by the shearer.

I'm happy to be corrected on all this by others, but I find it works for me. Also critically, it means I can do these things on my own, so there's no risk of sticking a needle into my helper!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

wildandwooly

  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2021, 08:52:17 pm »
Yes Womble I think that's what I meant, the spring loaded ones that retract after a dose is given. The needle I was given by the vet didn't do that and left the actual needle bit in the poor sheep (who was fine I hasten to add!). I was being supervised by a neighbour farmer who is an expert on giving injections and the sheep was perfectly calm, no wriggling. He said I did the injection fine and he was surprised it did that. I was in a panic but tried to stay calm and just pulled it out  :(. No harm done to the sheep thank goodness but it shook me a bit  :-[

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2021, 09:00:57 pm »
For injecting animals not intended for meat, using the 'gigot' site is the least likely to cause a problem, such as hitting nerves or blood vessels, which are deeply buried there. In the days when I was strong enough, I would sit the sheep on its bum, lean over it and draw up the chosen leg so it's bent and the muscle is relaxed and at its thickest, then inject into that.  It gives you a good hold of the sheep so it's less likely to make a run for it, with your needle still in!
Subcutaneous injections go under the loose skin over the ribs, heptavac and such like (which we don't use) goes along the neck but is very dodgy to do, or I think so anyway. An addition to Womble's contortions, is to reverse the sheep into a corner, rather than just against a flat surface.
For any injection, tapping the site a few times sharply with a pointy finger seems to reduce any chance of the animal noticing the actual needle.  The narrower the gauge of the needle, the slower the liquid should be injected in.  Injecting fast with a small gauge needle (green for example) can damage the tissues. A larger gauge needle counter intuitively hurts less  :idea:


I was writing this while you were writing your reply to Womble wildandwooly, and I see you probably don't need any hints, but I've written it all now (I type with two fingers  :roflanim: ) so you're getting it anyway  :eyelashes:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2021, 09:11:27 pm »
In my view, the neck is for subcutaneous, never for intramuscular.  As you say, you can also do sub-cu over the ribs if the animal won't be getting sheared.  Or if you are giving 80ml calcium to a pregnant ewe that's gone down, you end up having to go over the ribs (because it's no more than 10ml in any one location)  - but I haven't ever had abcesses at shearing time from these.

Intramuscular, I do that spot in the pelvic triangle too, Womble, having been told by the vet that it is the safest place to jag.  Back of or fleshiest part of the thigh could give a condemnable abscess, and you could also hit a nerve (which is also the reason I wouldn't use the neck for i-m.)  The altenative location for i-m the vet showed me is the fold of muscle behind the elbow (the bit that would be "bat wings" in an old lady ;). ) In a very scrawny ewe, sometimes there isn't enough muscle in the pelvic triangle to use.  There won't be much meat behind the elbow either, but you can see where the needle tip is if you go there, and you are not at risk of scratching bone.
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

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2021, 09:19:15 pm »
In my view, the neck is for subcutaneous, never for intramuscular.  As you say, you can also do sub-cu over the ribs if the animal won't be getting sheared.  Or if you are giving 80ml calcium to a pregnant ewe that's gone down, you end up having to go over the ribs (because it's no more than 10ml in any one location)  - but I haven't ever had abcesses at shearing time from these.

Intramuscular, I do that spot in the pelvic triangle too, Womble, having been told by the vet that it is the safest place to jag.  Back of or fleshiest part of the thigh could give a condemnable abscess, and you could also hit a nerve (which is also the reason I wouldn't use the neck for i-m.)  The altenative location for i-m the vet showed me is the fold of muscle behind the elbow (the bit that would be "bat wings" in an old lady ;) . ) In a very scrawny ewe, sometimes there isn't enough muscle in the pelvic triangle to use.  There won't be much meat behind the elbow either, but you can see where the needle tip is if you go there, and you are not at risk of scratching bone.



I think itís specifically Draxxin that is injected into the neck muscle in sheep- I wasnít overly comfortable doing it but the vet chatted me through it, and actually it was very easy.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2021, 09:54:33 pm »
and left the actual needle bit in the poor sheep (who was fine I hasten to add!).


Aha, that makes more sense. Just next time give the base of the needle a push and twist to make sure it's properly mounted on the syringe. Like you say though, no harm done - I thought you'd managed to inject yourself!


@twizzel - I had draxxin for the first time this week and the vet gave no specific instructions other than IM.


@Sally - the sheep keeping course I did definitely said everything in the neck (as it was a cheap cut), but I'm with you - "pelvic triangle" (yet another thing I never thought I'd need to type  :o ).
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2021, 10:14:36 pm »
and left the actual needle bit in the poor sheep (who was fine I hasten to add!).


Aha, that makes more sense. Just next time give the base of the needle a push and twist to make sure it's properly mounted on the syringe. Like you say though, no harm done - I thought you'd managed to inject yourself!


@twizzel - I had draxxin for the first time this week and the vet gave no specific instructions other than IM.


@Sally - the sheep keeping course I did definitely said everything in the neck (as it was a cheap cut), but I'm with you - "pelvic triangle" (yet another thing I never thought I'd need to type  :o ).


https://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/?id=-456997
The datasheet does specifically say into the neck for sheep. Interesting as in cattle draxxin is subcut. I wonder if IM it can cause reactions hence advising into neck rather than rump. Thatís only speculation though, Iím not a vet  :thinking:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Injecting sheep....
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2021, 10:19:00 pm »
Hmmmmm, it did seem to sting a bit, but she's still walking fine, etc.

I'll be honest, I didn't check the datasheet - the vet specifically said "standard IM for the draxxin and standard SC for the metacam", so a jist did whit a wis telt!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 
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