Vaccination Needle Lengths

Dr Tristan Jubb of Bendigo Sheep Vets recently undertook a study into best practice vaccination technique for sheep.

The key findings were as follows:

  • lambs and ewes in short wool – use ¼ inch needles at a 45° angle to the skin
  • ewes with significant wool growth – use ¼ inch needles at a 90° angle to the skin.

Whilst most vaccines for sheep in Australia are designed to be injected subcutaneously (under the skin), even experienced sheep producers and contractors may be unintentionally administering vaccines incorrectly, into muscle tissue.
Vaccinating on the side of the neck, approximately 5cm from the base of the ear, helps to avoid hitting structures including bone, ear cartilage and glands in the head/neck region, whilst also minimising the risk of injecting into relatively valuable meat cuts.

By vaccinating at the correct site, using the right equipment and approach, sheep producers can maximise vaccine efficacy and minimise the risk of adverse reactions.

Article courtesy of SheepConnect Tasmania