HOW TO GIVE AN INTRAMUSCULAR INJECTION
HORSE QUESTION: I had the Vet out this morning for one of my horses. He left me with a bottle of Antibiotics, which I am to give 35cc of it once a day by Intramuscular injection. He showed me the portion of the neck to inject into but not how to do it properly? He said I could also inject elsewhere on the horse if I wanted too? Can you explain things to me?
Most Antibiotics and medications are given by Intramuscular Injection, basically meaning deep into the horses muscle. Where Subcutaneous Injections are given Just Under The Skin.
I am glad the vet showed you the portion of the neck which is safe to give intramuscular injections. Do not stray out of that area, as too high up, too low down or too close to the head region can all lead to problems with a horse getting a stiff sore neck from the injection or an abscess is more likely to form. Of course, too high up and you are getting dangerously close to injecting drugs in the region of the spine (Vertebra), to far down and you might just be hitting the horses main Jugular Vein, where only Intravenous (I.V.) should ever be given.
Both the rump and the Pectoral muscles on the front of the chest can be used as alternative injection sites. You should rotate the sites to prevent hitting the same spot, causing pain to the horse and/or an abscess to form, when you are giving drugs for an extended period of time. No more than 20cc should be administered in any one spot. So if giving 35cc, divide it into two separate sites.
Start with a sterile syringe and needles. For mature horses, 18 gauge, 1and a half inch needles. For small foals, use a 20 gauge, 1 inch needle. Some medications may be to thick for a 20 gauge, so you then are forced to use a 18 gauge on them too.
Disinfect the injection site with a 70% solution of alcohol. Remove the needle from the syringe. Some people tap the site a few times with the back of their hand to desensitize the area to the actual insertion of the needle, others just stroke it hard a couple of times. Then rapidly insert the needle to its full length in one even stroke. If any blood appears inside the needle, remove it and reinsert in a different spot.
Then attach the syringe. Pull back slightly on the plunger for a couple of seconds, if any blood appears, reinsert at a different location.
Inject the medication slowly and steadily. Always use a sterile, (100% clean) needle and syringe to prevent abscesses or blood poisoning from a contaminated needle or syringe