Website Display
Search Website
News & Articles
Live Webcast Auctions
The Dangers Of Using Livestock Medicines Incorrectly

The dangers of using livestock medicines incorrectly By Shane Brody |24 April 2024 | 8:00 pm As farmers we need to make ourselves conversant with the proper use of medications and other aids such as dips that counteract ectoparasites and doses that control internal parasites. Follow proper instructions for safe and effective dipping. Photo: FW Archive Animal health forms one of the important cornerstones of livestock farming, but medicines such as antibiotics should not be overused, incorrectly used, or used when a most minor health condition arises, because this can lead to such medicines later becoming ineffective. It can also lead to parasite and organism resistance. When using injectable antibiotics, always ensure that new or sterilised equipment, such as syringes and needles, is used. READ Understanding livestock medicine guidelines Sterilising should involve keeping the equipment for at least 10 minutes in rapidly boiling, clean water. Do not use disinfectants as some of these may harm the medication or vaccine that you intend using. Make certain the medication you intend using has not expired, because this could render it ineffective or dangerous. Expiry dates are present on the packaging of most medicines and doses. Make sure that you are injecting the medication correctly; ‘subcutaneously’ means under the animal’s skin, and ‘intramuscularly’ means into the muscle. To avoid unnecessary injury to you or the animal you are treating, ensure that the animal is properly immobilised in a neck clamp or by means of securing a rope around the horns. Sheep and goats can be carefully held in a lying position. Read the Pamphlet Read the medicine instruction pamphlet well in order to understand how much medication needs to be injected and when repetitions of treatment are needed. Giving too little or too much medication can result in toxicity or problems related to medicines being ineffective. Always make certain that your hands are properly disinfected both before and after treating sick animals and before handling equipment. Do not use injections or needles on more than one animal if you suspect that animals have a transmittable disease. It is also important that you do not use medications or other remedies that are not listed for use on the livestock that you intend treating, as active ingredients of such medicines are formulated differently in respect of different livestock species. READ Animal health: putting together a first-aid kit for livestock A common mistake that some farmers make is to try and mix their own pour-on dips using dips intended for spray or plunge dipping; this practice can lead to fatal toxicity and/or hide or skin damage. I have also heard of pesticides not made for use on livestock being used as dipping agents, and this dangerous practice can lead to livestock fatality or to harm suffered by humans eating meat or drinking milk produced by such animals. In respect of the use of doses or injectable agents to treat internal parasites, I advise that you abide by how much dose should be given and that you try use different remedies with different active ingredients from time to time as this nating assists in limiting the chance of parasites becoming resistant to remedies. As a farmer, you should get to know the average weights of your animals as almost all medicines and remedies include instructions that are based on the live weight of the animal that you intend treating. Again, if you get the weight wrong, the medication or remedy you are using may be dangerous or ineffective. Generally, communally farmed wool sheep weigh in the region of 45kg for ewes, 60kg for rams, and 15kg to 20kg for half-grown sheep. Meat-type or dual-purpose animals can be considerably heavier, however. In terms of goats, the average weights are much the same as for sheep, and in terms of treating cattle, cows can weigh between 350kg and 380kg while oxen and crossbred bulls weigh between 400kg and 450kg. It remains wise to weigh your livestock in order to ascertain average weights. Most livestock medicines, and particularly vaccines, are heat sensitive, and you should never allow the cold chain to break when transporting or using vaccines. Medications like antibiotics will usually have packaging that advises on what temperatures such medicines should be kept in. Essentially, excessive heat harms the ingredients of medicines and this can make them ineffective. Finally, most livestock medicines and remedies carry warnings of meat or milk withdrawal periods, and these periods should be strictly kept to before utilising the milk or meat of treated animals. I have heard of people dying after consuming the meat of animals treated with certain medications that contain dangerous ingredients. Shane Brody is involved in an outreach programme aimed at transferring skills to communal farmers 

Contact Us
Auction Selection
My Basket
Upcoming Events

Oktavia Beefmasters 12 July 2024

Oktavia Beefmasters Auction 

Date: 12 July 2024

Time: 11:00

Location: Andre Kock & Son Bela-Bela Pens

Date: 2024-07-12

Kalahari Beefmaster 3 October 2024

Kalahari Beefmasters Auction 

Date: 3 October 2024

Time: 11:00

Location: TBC

Date: 2024-10-03

Online Auctions
Copyright © 2023 Livestock Auctions. All Rights Reserved.