Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Vets urged to change cattle injection method
“Based on our study findings, I strongly advise to inject all cattle in the neck where possible..."
Study finds current technique more likely to cause nerve damage 

Cattle vets and farmers are being urged to adjust their vaccination technique to reduce the risk of damaging the sciatic nerve in dairy cows.

New research from the University of Nottingham shows there is a high risk of damaging this nerve when injecting cows in the gluteal region. This is particularly true for cattle with a low body condition score, such as those that have recently calved.

In beef cattle, this area is avoided because of the value of primal cut meat; however, the site is still used for injections in dairy cattle owing to convenience.

Participants in the research - who had injected cattle in the gluteal region before - were asked to inject the left and right gluteal region in a cadaver, as if it were ‘a normal cow’. Researchers were surprised to find that 69 per cent of participants injected within 5cm of the sciatic nerve, while several injected right onto the sciatic nerve.

The study also revealed that the nerve is far wider than previously reported in textbooks. In the gluteal region, the nerve was 3.5-4.5cm wide. The depth of the nerve varied depending on the cow’s body condition, but the shallowest point between the skin surface and nerve was just 2.5cm.

Lead author Dr Wendela Wapenaar said: “Based on our study findings, I strongly advise to inject all cattle in the neck where possible; when this is not feasible and the gluteal region is used as a site for intramuscular injection then a more lateral location should be chosen.

“The region between the tuber coxae (hook bone) and the tuber ischium (pin bone) has a substantial muscle mass, and there are no underlying neurological structures at risk. This small change in injection technique may prevent nerve damage and we hope farmers and vets will take this advice on, so we may see less cows with sciatic nerve damage in the future and avoid inflicting pain unnecessarily.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Survey seeks to learn about racehorse aftercare

News Story 1
 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching a survey to improve understanding of aftercare for thoroughbreds. The survey has been emailed to trainers, who are asked to share their own experiences, with a focus on life after horses finish their racing careers. It forms part of an equine health and welfare strategy being developed by the BHA. 

News Shorts
Charity welcomes new ambassadors

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has appointed the actor Anthony Head and renowned canine behaviourist, Sarah Fisher, as official ambassadors. They join existing ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Jacqueline Wilson.

Anthony is best known for his roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Iron Lady and Girlfriends. He has previously lent his voice to Battersea’s videos and appeals, as well as performing readings at the charity’s Christmas Carol Concert and Collars & Coats Gala Ball.

Meanwhile Sarah has worked across all three of the charity’s centres, offering advice in dealing with a variety of complex and challenging dogs. She has also fostered several Battersea animals and trained many members of staff in using the Tellington Touch method of training, to keep dogs calm and relaxed.