In cattle, a headbail will make things safer and prevent the head from swinging around.
- Preloading the gun before getting to the animal is essential, you don’t want to have to grab their head twice!
- A little bit of obstetric lubricant on the tip of the bolus gun helps a great deal.
- Hold the animals head up and out straight, not pointing to the sky. This will give a good straight line to the back of the throat.
- In cattle, you can gently hold the tongue to the side before inserting the gun. Gently as you can hurt the nerves/bones at the back of the tongue!
- Insert the gun at the side of the mouth where there are no teeth- often in sheep this means you don’t have to put your hand in their mouth.
- Go slowly – preventing scratches/injury to the mouth.
- Once inserted to the base of the tongue WAIT until the animal swallows to go further-pushing without a swallow can cause damage. Rotating end of gun gently from side to side helps encouraging swallowing.
- Once swallowed, release the bolus by squeezing the gun. Keep the trigger depressed as you withdraw the gun from the mouth. That way the bolus does not push back up the gun
- Remove carefully. In cattle don’t release the head with the gun half out as they can swing the metal gun into you.
- Hold the head for a moment whilst animal swallows. Watch to make sure they have swallowed before moving on to the next animal!
With the 2020/21 season complete, it’s important to reflect and consider what went well and...