Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to give a Shot Under the Skin to a Calf

Subcutaneous or Sub-Q Injection is an injection placed under the skin, between the muscle and the skin. The most common injection given by ranchers for vaccines or antibiotic for cattle, because it does very little damage to the muscle of the calf.

Use a 18 gauge needle either 1” or 1 1/2” long and syringe size large enough for the dosage amount needed, refer to product label of the inject able cattle medicine that you will be administering to the calf. Example, if the dosage amount for a calf weighting 300 lbs is 5 cc or ml, then use a syringe size 6 cc or ml or larger depending on what is available to you. You always want to limit the number of injection sites to as few as possible, so avoid unnecessary injections do to syringes not holding the dosage amount. Some antibiotics function better when applied in multiple injection areas, and the manufacture will place instructions on the recommended number of injection sites per dosage on the product label.

Load the vaccine or antibiotic for cattle by turning the bottle upside down, placing the needle into the bottle of medicine and pull the stopper of the syringe filling the syringe just a little pass the mark of the amount of dosage you will be administering to the calf. Then pull the needle out of the cattle medicine bottle, shake the air to the top of the syringe by flicking the syringe with your finger. Once the air bubbles are at the top of the syringe squeeze the stopper to get the air out and leaving only the cattle medicine in the syringe.

To administer to the calf, once the calf is restrained, grab the calf’s skin above the front shoulder with your thumb and forefinger, lift up pulling the skin away from the muscle, making a tent, then place the needle under the skin and injection the cattle vaccine or antibiotic in to calf between the skin and the muscle.

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