how to give penicillin?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ajaxlucy, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Can anyone tell me the basics of giving sheep a shot of penicillin (I've given plenty of shots to humans before)? Some strange dogs got through my fencing. My dogs ran them off, but not before one of my ewes sustained some bite injuries - nothing so deep as needs suturing, I think. I can't get a vet today, so I'm headed to Tractor Supply this morning to pick up some penicillin. Do I give it intramuscularly or subcutaneously? Once a day for how many days? Is the correct dose information on the bottle label? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    IM in the neck and yes doseage should be on the bottle.
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sub Q or IM depends on the type of pennicillian. We always use the Sub Q type. Read the bottle.
     
  4. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    I was shown to find the shoulder joint and then go up "two fingers' width". You'll find good muscle there (assuming you are doing an IM injection). That is "in the neck" in that it's along the side of the neck, more or less. The very back of the neck was hard to get to on my sheep, and was where he'd been injured anyway.

    After that, it's the same as giving a shot to a human. Note that the penicillin I had was very thick and seemed to sting quite a bit so you may want someone else holding your sheep still for you while you do the deed.
     
  5. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Oh yeah: key point is not to inject into any of the muscle that will be served as meat (so not in the leg for instance).
     
  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    You will find that Procaine penicillan can be given IM or SC. Procaine penicillan is for general use and is not injury specific and is probably what you will be purchasing. As others have suggested, read the label as this gives you the basics of what you need to know. All penicillan, drugs, copper etc. should be admininistered in the anterior part of the neck in meat producing animals - this is because any inflammation or ulceration in the area of the injection site is not going to downgrade the meat.

    I always inject SC unless otherwise specified. Tent the skin, insert the needle, release the skin and inject. Over in a jiffy. Give a course of injections once a day over a course of 3 days.

    I keep a bottle of procaine penicillan on hand permanently. More often than not the bulk of it gets turfed as it goes by it's use by date but there have been many times I've been thankful to have it on hand for assisted birthings, joint ill and injuries.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    For potentially serious infections like those from a bite I go IM so it gets into the blood stream faster. Doubt it makes a huge difference, except for things like foot rot I do use a SubQ injection because I want it to enter the system more slowly. That or I use (prefer) an IM of LA PenG. I just don't always have LA.
     
  8. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, everyone. I got some procaine penicillin and gave her the first shot (IM) yesterday. She's limping but walking around grazing; when I clipped away more wool, I saw that there were more punctures and more tearing than I'd thought at first.
     
  9. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Clipping the wool down to the skin so you can see what's going on is a great idea.

    Did you rinse out the wounds? They'll need a good washing - that hurts, so you'll need help to restrain the sheep.

    Straight saline will do, iodine (diluted) is better ... put it in a bottle that you can 'squirt' with so you get the liquid into the punctures and holes. I used a Rubbermaid sports drinking bottle - a dish soap bottle would work, too, anything with a squirter top.

    We just got through a major episode of this with my ram, who had a run-in with the guardian dog. Bites go deep and infect easily - the pennicillin is the right thing to do, and irrigate those wounds at least once a day until they stop looking gucky (they'll start looking gucky soon, if they haven't already). Clean pink wounds need no irrigation as they'll heal up nicely, but anything that has pus or is oozing a gray/yellow/off white liquid should be rinsed until it turns into the nice clean pink healing-up-type of skin. Don't be afraid to use sharp scissors to trim off dead skin/scabs/wool that's caught ... the wound has to be kept clean to heal properly, or you end up with abscesses. If it is deep, make sure it heals from the inside out as well, sometimes the front edges seal together with unhealed stuff inside, and that makes for an abscess. Ick.

    There's a thread here I started when the sheep got bitten by the LGD - you may want to check it out for more gory details. :) Good luck! Sheep do heal up very well - I was surprised at how well the ram did, given the seriousness of the bites he took.