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Proper care needed to maintain effectiveness

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Huge amounts of time and money are spent by pharmaceutical companies to develop and research new products for the cattle industry. Once a product leaves the company, they lose control as to how the products are handled. It is up to the producer or purchaser to follow label directions to ensure the product will work as intended to maximize producer benefits.

Here are some suggestions that Dr. Larry Hollis, K-State Research and Extension veterinarian, has to offer:

* Read the label for instructions on handling and administration.

* If products require refrigeration, make sure they are refrigerated when you purchase them. Keep them refrigerated before use and while chuteside. Ice packs or a frozen gallon jug of water inside an ice chest works well to keep products cool.

* Be careful -- you can get too much of a good thing. Some products that require refrigeration may be damaged if allowed to freeze.

* If products are designed to be stored at room temperature or within a specified temperature range, it is important to follow the manufacturer's temperature guidelines. These products may be inactivated if allowed to get too cold or too hot.

* You cannot always see physical changes that indicate that a product has been damaged by excessive cold or heat, so you have to know how it was cared for before use to ensure that it will work as intended.

* Mark all syringes so you know which product they contain while chuteside.

A piece of masking tape, or better yet, a piece of colored tape (use a different color for each product) with the name of the product written with a permanent marker is ideal.

* Do not pour injectable products from original packaging into a different container. The injectable product was sterile when manufactured, but when you change containers there is a high probability of contaminating the whole container of product.

* Never re-enter a bottle with a used needle. The likelihood of contaminating the rest of the bottle of product is high. Put a new needle on the syringe each time you have to re-enter a bottle.

* To avoid having to re-enter a bottle, use a draw-off assembly and automatic refill syringe.

* Change to clean equipment any time existing equipment gets dirty enough that it creates a risk for injection side contamination.

* Clean and disinfect syringes and equipment at the end of each day's use. Washing them out with water from the horse tank does not constitute proper cleaning!

By following these tips, producers will know their product will be at maximum effectiveness.

Delta George
Agriculture Agent, Southwind Extension District
Editor's Note: Delta George is a K-State Research and Extension agriculture and 4-H extension agent assigned to Southwind Extension District -- Fort Scott Office, Bourbon County. She may be reached at the Fort Scott office by calling (620) 223-3720.