Using injectable treatments: picking the right option for your needs
With winter mustering and marking happening this month, producers are considering the wide range of animal health products and treatment options on the market. But with so many choices it can be overwhelming to decide on the best solution for your investment.
Rural products sales manager for Elders Mudgee, Peter Baker says that sales for livestock vaccines, vitamin supplements and parasite control has increased recently, in line with the increase in livestock prices across Australia.
“When you look at the value of sheep and cattle at the moment, and you break the cost of an injectable treatment to a dollar-per-dose basis, the benefits far outweigh any costs,” says Mr Baker.
“For those producers rebuilding their herd or flock, vaccinations and effective parasite treatments has become a high priority,”
“People want to safeguard their investments, and with an injectable you know the product is getting straight to where it is needed.”
The popularity of injectables is largely due to ease of administration, lesser safety risks (both for the operators and for the environment since waste disposal is usually not a problem) and reduced application errors or missed animals.
Administration of injectables is also highly flexible for timing and location, with efficacy completely independent of weather conditions following treatment.
Additionally, for wool growers injectables targeted for parasite control do not leave residues in wool that can affect timing of management or sale.
There can be drawbacks to using an injectable treatment which should be taken into consideration. Administration with needles can increase the risk of transmitting infectious microorganisms, if the injection equipment is not properly disinfected. Improper application can also cause adverse reactions at the injection site, and even cause damage to the underlying muscle, reducing the value of livestock bred for consumption.
In a practical sense, for large-scale livestock properties individual handling for injectables is not always an option throughout the year, hence the use of alternatives.
Evaluating each client’s situation is essential to deciding on a suitable product, says rural products sales manager for Elders Blackall, Cassie Scriha, who recommends testing before treatment.
“The process is a lot easier than many producers think,” says Mrs Scriha.
“Fecal testing, for example, can help narrow down the parasite variance and levels throughout a herd or flock, making selection of treatment much simpler,”
“The same goes for nutritional supplements. Should a test show that there is a deficiency in one key area the producer can select, or rule out, a treatment to target that need,”
“The timing of handling and other management factors also come into play but knowing stock needs (through initial testing) beforehand means that the correct products can be chosen every time.”
For advice specific to your needs contact your local Elders branch.