June 12, 2017

(Dan) Hey folks, Dr. Dan here from DocTalk. Sure glad you joined me today. We’re gonna talk about injection sites in beef cattle. It’s a huge issue, something that we do every day, something we take for granted. Let’s talk a little bit about it and let’s move on down the road. Thanks for joining us and more after these messages.

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(Dan) Hey there folks, Dr. Dan from DocTalk. Thanks for joining me here from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and we’re talking about injection sites. And really when I break it down I start to think about injection sites, there are many different topics that come to mind. So today what we’re going to talk about it choosing the proper equipment, making sure that we use the proper sites as far as anatomically on the cattle. We’re also going to talk about proper injection techniques. And then we’re going to talk about remote injection techniques that are being used more and more out in the field. When we start to think about using the proper equipment, the first thing that I start to pick out is the proper needle. And depending on what type of injection that we’re gonna do, we’ll have different needle sizes and depending on the viscosity or the size of the animal that we’re giving the inject to, we’ll have different gauge sizes. So, as we move down the number in gauges, the bore of the needle gets bigger and so most of the needles that we’re gonna use in beef cattle production are going to be 16 and 18 gauge needles. It’s gonna come in the silver and the green caps. Sometimes we use 14 gauge when we’re giving intravenous injections to cattle. But for the most part for Sub-Q and IM, we’re gonna use 16 and 18 gauge. Now the length of the needle starts to change depending on the type of injection that you’re giving. If you’re giving a subcutaneous injection, which is between the skin and in front of the muscle, so in that space between the skin and the actual muscle tissue in the neck, that’s a subcutaneous, and that we’re gonna use a shorter needle. I like to pick out a 5/8ths to 1/2 inch needle, 16 or 18 gauge. If you’re gonna do an inter-muscular injection, which we want to bury in the muscle, which when I get my flu shot it’s an IM injection, we’re gonna use a one inch to inch an a half length needle. In that, usually we’re gonna use the 18 gauge rather than the 16 gauge for a lot of our IM injections. Most products today are Sub-Q, but if we do go IM we want to make sure that we use that type of needle. When we talk about vaccines and proper vaccine storage, whenever you’re giving injections you know remember this, the bottle of vaccine is very sensitive to the ambient temperatures. So on a hot day we want to make sure that we’re not drawing out of the bottle. We want to make sure the bottle is in a cooler where it’s cool. And also in a place that it’s dark because ultraviolet light can kill the modified live vaccine. So when we’re looking at proper equipment, not only do we need to think about the needles, but we need to have coolers that we can keep temperature and UV light away from the products that we’re using so that they don’t become denatured. Today syringes, most people are using plastic monoject syringes. We used to use the stainless steel and glass syringes a lot that were not disposable. Now they’re priced at a point in time where most people are going to use those. Use the one, the smallest one that you can to handle the load of the vaccine or the product to deliver that, because it’s easier to handle in your hand and it’s cheaper to buy. We’re gonna take a break now and when we come back, we’re gonna talk about the proper injection site map on the steer or heifer. You’re watching DocTalk. We’re glad that you joined us. Come back and see us here after these messages.

(Dan) Hey folks, Dr. Dan from DocTalk. Thanks for joining us here on the show today. We’re talking about something that we do everyday and that’s giving injections to cows. And you know the one thing the Beef Quality Assurance Program has done is, it’s done a great job of moving the injection site, from where we have edible product to a place where we have decreased amount of carcass value loss based on our injection sites. It’s amazing to me that improper injections even given to baby calves, at the time of branding can wind up causing injection sites in the trim losses on fat cattle when they go to the plant. And so when we think about that, the industry needs to be commended for providing the proper education on where to give injections to. But also we have to give some compliments to our pharmaceutical and biological companies that noticed that intramuscular injections given in larger volumes are also things that cause us some issues with injection site lesions and lost product and in the end, decrease the profitability of us in the beef industry. So, it’s been a long time coming. It’s been a big team project with many people having many different roles to get us there. So, anatomically when we start to look at pictures such as the one that we have up here, looking at where we’re going to position our injections, we’re going to position the injections in the neck region. And there’s a triangle region on the neck that goes with three borders. The three borders of the injection site triangle, the dorsal border or the top border is the nuchal ligament. This is the ligament that is about as big as a rope that goes from the pole of the head to the withers of the calf and helps the calf with the head up and down type movements. The next boundary for injection site triangle is the point of the shoulder. And a lot of times in the restaurant and in the packing industry today, we’re taking that muscle on the point of the shoulder and using that as a whole muscle cut and being able to sell that as a roast or as a whole muscle into a roast or steak type product. So, making sure that we’re in front of that is vitally important. And the last landmark is the vertebral column. The vertebral column runs right down the middle of the neck. So, between the middle of the neck to the point of the shoulder, and the top boundary being the nuchal ligament as we have outlined here in this picture, gives you an idea of exactly where those injections should go. Now, when we give an injection, the injection we’re gonna talk more about the techniques. But the big thing is if you’re giving an antibiotic that is over 10 cc’s. We need to only give 10 cc’s of a product per injection site. And I always say that when we move from one injection site to another within that triangle, we want to be a hands width or three to four inches apart, as we move from point to point in that process to give multiple injections. It’s one of those things, I know that we harp on it with Beef Quality Assurance, we visit with producers multiple times. But understanding where those landmarks are, understanding why we give the injection sites at the places that we do are vitally important. Thanks for watching DocTalk. When we come back our next segment is gonna be about what are the proper injection techniques. Stay tuned. More to come.

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk, Dr. Dan Thomson here from Kansas State University. Sure glad you joined us today. Talking about injection sites. And the injection sites are something that you and I do everyday to cattle. But sometimes we take it for granted and we might get a little sloppy with our technique. And you know you always want to make sure you use clean needles and you want to make sure you never put a dirty needle into a bottle. So, if you’re gonna draw up, using some sort of needle for drawing up and the other one for injecting. And in between cattle make sure that you get any kind of manure or solid material off of that needle. We talked a little bit about the injection site and the injection site triangle. One thing that I failed to mention is if you are branding calves and you have the calves stretched out and you’re positioned on top of that calf where it makes it dangerous to inject yourself in the injection site triangle, the BQA approved alternative site for vaccinating calves subcutaneously when we’re stretching ’em at branding, is the dewlap there right underneath the neck and right in front of the thoracic inlet or right in front of the lower leg. So, another place that you can give that injection. When we give a subcutaneous injection, as I mentioned earlier, it’s an injection that goes between the hide and the muscle. We want to put it in that subcutaneous space. So when we give that injection as you can see in this picture, we are giving that at a 45 degree angle when we come in with a syringe. We used to tent the skin, call it the two hand technique, where we would stick a hand in, pull the skin back and then give the injection behind where we have the tented skin. Today with workman’s comp, people sticking themselves with needles, the recent survey showed that 80 percent of people who vaccinate cattle or work on beef ranches have injected themselves or stuck themselves with a needle at some time. What we need to do to protect ourselves is go in at a 45 degree angle, make sure that we have the needles positioned within the Sub-Q area. It’s very easy, use the proper needle size, 5/8ths to a 1/2 inch and inject the product. If you’re going to do an IM injection, we already mentioned that you’re going to use a longer needle, we’ll use the same injection size triangle to give that injection. But the difference is, is that you’re going to go in perpendicular to the animal’s hide. And so we’re gonna pass through the hide, through the Sub-Q area into the muscle and deposit the product. Very few products are labeled IM. Nearly all products we used are labeled Sub-Q. Two alternative products when we use the Exceed product that goes in the neck, or I’m sorry, use the Exceed product that goes behind the ear, at the base of the ear, that product needs to make sure you have the 45 degree beveled needle so that you do not inadvertently put that product into the artery, which could be very detrimental to the health of the calf. If it would wind up at the brain and actually kill the calf. The other product is Flunixin and Meglumine or Banamine. We need to make sure that we give that intravenously in the jugular vein because that product can be very necrotizing to the muscle and to that surrounding area where the injection is given if it’s not given in an IV manner. Intravenous products given in the jugular, we’re gonna stretch that calf, the biggest thing is this, with IV keep the head of the animal restrained. You have the head of the animal restrained then you can seal off the jugular vein, have that pop out and you can give that IV injection. Be sure to work with your veterinarian. They’ll be happy to teach you how to give an IV injection to make sure that you’re delivering these products adequately. When we come back, we’re gonna talk about the remote delivery system. You’re watching DocTalk, thanks for joining us.

(Dan) Hey folks, welcome back to DocTalk and I really appreciate you joining me today. I appreciate all of you watching the show. Thank you when you come up in the airport or if I’m out at some meeting or if you just see me at the State Fair, thanks for coming up and saying the kind things that you do about the show. This show is produced and done to help producers and help consumers connect and do best for the animals. But more important do the best for the people that have decided to spend their lives living with the cattle and raising wholesome beef. We’ve moved, this is the lesion of the top butt and this just goes back to the 70s and to the 80s and we just don’t give injection sites in the top butt anymore. We need to stay away. But with new delivery systems and specifically where we can now deliver products via dart guns, it’s more important that we go back and we review some of the things that we have talked about and still use that injection site triangle in the neck when we’re using these products as well. You know some of the things that we need to make sure that when you’re gonna use the dart gun, first of all we’ve had a lot of debate on it. I think that the dart gun is an effective tool that can be utilized out on the ranch, that both decreases harm to humans and can improve the welfare of beef cattle. And so it’s one of those tools that is great for our industry and it’s one of those tools that needs to be used appropriately and we need to give it the proper responsibility so that we can keep using this type of technology. You need to make sure that you’re very familiar with the gun and with the darts. And make sure that we’re using products that aren’t inappropriate for dart gun type, whether it’s for human safety or whether it’s something that is not labeled or something that’s being compounded or put in double strength. We want to use it per label directions. The dart gun is simply a remote syringe in my opinion. So, the same label and same product descriptions need to be utilized. You need to make sure that we use BQA principles. Let’s go and give that injection and let’s aim for using the dart injection in that neck region nuchal ligament, front of the point of the shoulder, and above the vertebral column. You need to really make sure that you identify the animals that you provide these treatments to. And if you can’t identify the individual animals, to make sure that that animal does not have an antibiotic residue, you need to make sure you hold the entire group until the last animal that was treated is cleared. All of it goes back to proper records and make sure that whether it’s, you know we can have foreign bodies, and a foreign body is a broken needle or a dart. If you do have any question that something like that might have happened, you need to contact your local veterinarian, and if you take that animal to harvest, you need to make sure that you tell the people at the processing plant that it could have occurred. Again, great technology, lots of things going on in this industry. We need to band together, not forget our BQA principles and guidelines. Adopt new technology that improves human safety and animal welfare and move things down the road. Thanks for watching DocTalk, be sure to work with your local veterinarian. If you want to know more about what I do here at K-State, you can find me on the web at www.vet.ksu.edu. I appreciate you watching DocTalk. I’m Dr. Dan Thomson and I’ll see you down the road.

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