Each one of us was inoculated against diseases during infancy. We carry these marks as proof on our upper arms. This was done so that our bodies could build up resistance against contagious diseases such as smallpox. The same is done with animals. When you inoculate an animal, its body builds up resistance against diseases such as brucellosis, lumpy skin, anthrax and botulism.
When inoculating animals:
- Gather the animals you want to inoculate beforehand and keep them calm before and after inoculation. Stress during inoculation can give rise to problems.
- Do not expose an inoculant to direct sunlight or store it at a high temperature. This reduces its effectiveness.
- The needles and syringes to be used to inoculate the animals must be boiled for approximately 10 minutes so that they can be completely germ-free. After the needles and syringes have been used, they must be cleaned to prevent them from rusting. Dirty equipment can also spread infection.
- Follow the directions on the inoculant container very carefully. Never use an inoculant after the expiry date – it no longer has any value.
- Inoculants can be bought from agricultural co-ops or vets. The assistants will also advise you on which inoculants to use.
Remember to manage your animals as well as inoculate them. This includes good feed and grazing, clean water, a clean milking area and clean stalls.
Source: Infopak by G Brand, Elsenburg veterinary services.