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Choosing and Maintaining your Applicator

Having the right applicator whether injecting, drenching or pouring on is critical to overall good treatment result. The risks using the wrong applicators are many and following a few small guidelines can improve your animal health practice.

Good practice will eliminate things such as:

Over dosing - Wasting money

Under dosing - Risk of resistance and effectiveness of the product

Incorrect administration - Ineffectiveness of the product, animal injury

Less than ideal cleanliness - Spreading disease

Malfunctioning or inaccurate dosing - Non maintained applicators

Applicators for Drenching

Oral administration, especially viscous product is a challenging job requiring proper handling, technique and equipment. There are range of products on the market today in both plastic and metal with various dose sizes and nozzle accessories. Always refer to the drench manufacturers recommended dosage, applicator and application technique. Some quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Size Matters - choose a drencher that is close as possible to the maximum dose that you will need, this insures the highest accuracy and comfortable handling
  • Nozzles - check the length based on the animal size
  • Priming - Setting the barrel on maximum dosage allows easier elimination of any air in the system during set up which you want to evacuate, prime than adjust downward if needed
  • Accuracy test - Set the required dose and test the accuracy of the drencher with a scaled measuring cup before going to work
  • Maintenance - After working, clean and disinfect the drencher according to the manufacturer's instructions and always oil the o-rings with food grade oil, to keep the piston running smoothly. Dry and store in a clean location.

Applicators for Injecting

Keeping animals healthy is a priority, we spend a lot of money on vaccines and herd health programs, part of this should be choosing a quality vaccinator that does the job correctly. A compromise on the syringe to save a few pounds may end up costing a lot more. Choosing the appropriate vaccinator consideration should be given to the following points:

  • Bottle Mount or Draw off - A general rule of thumb for comfort is 100ml and smaller use a bottle mount, 200ml and larger go for a draw off connection
  • Draw off syringes - Using a bottle holder on arm or waist eliminates the bottles from getting in the way of work or tubing getting caught up with the animals and loss of product
  • Protecting the Bottle - When using Glass bottles consider a syringe with a basket for added protection
  • Bottle Neck Sizes - There are variety of shapes and size bottles in the market, most tend to have either 20mm, 30mm or 33mm necks. Before you go out to vaccinate verify you have a syringe that fits your bottles. Many syringes are packaged with only one connection size
  • Dosage - As with drenching, choose a syringe that is as close to the maximum dose you will be giving for accuracy. The further the dose setting is away from maximum dose, the less accurate the syringe will be. Refer to instructions on adjustment settings, some syringes are to the end of the plunger others to the o-ring
  • Bottle Set Up - to avoid small pieces of bottle bung getting stuck in the vaccinator, prior to connection, it is recommended to pre-puncture the bung with a clean needle. Use this 'pilot' hole as a base to insert the draw off spike or bottle mount spike.
  • Priming - Always prime on maximum and dose test into a scaled measuring cup to verify accuracy

Cleaning your Applicator

Always refer to the manufactures guidelines. Most manufacturers recommend the following procedure for cleaning your applicators:

  • Rinse thoroughly with a hot water & soap mix
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water
  • Remove the applicator from container, wrap cloth around the handle and pump it dry
  • Lubricate the O-ring with a food grade oil (Petroluem based products harden the piston)
  • Store in a clean dry place

In summary, whether you are administering oral, topical or injectables fit the applicator for the purpose, take time to care and clean. Following these basic steps will insure that treatments are effective and efficient. Reusable applicators with care will last for many thousand treatment cycles.

For more information, please contact your local Wynnstay representative or visit your local store.

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Our team of experts are always on hand to help you out with any advice you may need on Animal Health.

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