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Take the Ouch out of long term intramuscular injections for horses

Amanda Edwards - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Recently I was contacted by a horse owner who was desperate for some help.  Her horse had injured itself on a fence post and had a bone infection.  The prognosis was not great and his only chance was the high doses of antibiotics the Vet had prescribed for around 4 weeks.  Things had started out well but by day 8 the horse was over it.  He was becoming very stressed and fought the injections which was making it almost impossible to do.  Rather than switching to less effective oral medication the owner wanted to keep going.  We talked through a plan of action which included the following steps:

  1. Initially giving a dose of Bute before the injection to reduce the inflammation and pain in his neck.
  2. Rotating sites to include pectoral muscles.
  3. Applying heat packs prior to injecting
  4. Applying cool packs for 15 minutes after the injection to reduce pain and swelling
  5. Last, but most importantly, using the Steve Brinkworth training method to teach the horse to lower his neck and relax the muscle when the needle was inserted. www.stevebrinkworth.com

Fortunately, this owner was persistant and able to put the plan in place.  Her horse received all his medication and survived his injury.

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