For treating animals, Dairy Animal Care Quality Assurance (DACQA) guidelines for proper injections recommend the use of disposable equipment, including single-use needles, whenever possible. However, if you administer your injections with reusable syringes and needles, this equipment should be heat-sterilized by boiling prior to use. If any disinfectants are used - including alcohol - they must be thoroughly rinsed from equipment because they neutralize vaccine and can chemically react with some antibiotics. If a disinfectant is used, syringes should be thoroughly rinsed with sterile water before use. Sterile water can be purchased. Note, distilled water is not sterile water.
Consult your veterinarian before sterilizing equipment to ensure proper sanitation techniques. Improper sterilization can reduce the effectiveness of future injections and result in infection at the injection site. And, remember, do not contaminate modified live virus products with disinfectants as effectiveness will be decreased or even eliminated.
To learn about sterilizing equipment, watch this BQA education module featuring Dr. Dee Griffin of the Great Plains Veterinary Center in Clay Center, Neb., or visit BQA.org for more information.
DCHA's Gold Standards III vaccination recommendations
Work with a veterinarian to develop vaccine protocols to address local disease conditions and promote best management practices.
Immunity should support the standards for mortality, morbidity and growth defined in the Gold Standards I and II.
Store, process and administer vaccines according to manufacturer's label and best management practices.
Avoid vaccinating during times of stress, in extreme ambient heat or with more than two Gram-negative vaccines concurrently.
Keep epinephrine and flunixin readily available to treat adverse reactions.
Dispose of vaccine containers, needles and syringes properly.
Keep handwritten and/or computerized records of all vaccinations.
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