During processing, it’s easy to go through the same old routine without giving much thought to things you’ve done many times before. Take some extra time, however, to look at the labels on the animal health products that you administer to your cattle to improve efficacy and maximize your investment. The illustration below highlights the parts of a label that contain important information.
Other tips for vaccination. Beyond the label, contact your veterinarian for guidelines on which vaccines would be most beneficial in your operation. Never combine vaccines or use disinfectant on a syringe used for modified live. Use a new needle to load a syringe.
Needle cleanliness enhances the effectiveness of products and prevents adverse reactions such as
Avoid injecting animals through areas of manure or mud that might be on the hair coat. Always change bent needles instead of straightening them; the bend will weaken the needle and could cause it to break. Record broken needles on the processing record; if a broken needle is in the calf, remove the piece. Change dull or burred needles, as they cause excessive tissue trauma. Change all needles every 15 to 20 head. Dispose of needles in a sharps container.
Maintaining and using clean syringes is important for the successful administration of animal health products. Clean all syringes thoroughly at the end of each day.
Modified live vaccines are a critical component, and proper handling of these products is necessary for the protection of your calves. Usually, the viral product is the only modified live product. As a rule of thumb, if you need to reconstitute a powder and liquid component of the vaccine, handle it as a modified live product. These products work by a small amount of replication after injection to stimulate the calf’s immune system. If the product is inactivated, it will not work.
Once the products are mixed, precautions should be taken to prevent the premature death of the viruses. Mixed product is viable only for 60 to 90 minutes after combining the liquid and powder; unused product at the end of this time should be discarded. Mix only the amount of vaccine that can be used in one hour.