Factsheets - Sheep & Beef
The following fact sheets have been prepared by Anexa FVC Veterinarians as a guide to topics of interest. For specific information please contact your local vet.

Steps to safe zinc bolusing of calves and sheep

Steps to safe zinc bolusing of calves and sheep
By Julia Baynes, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets, Morrinsville

As spore counts are rising, and the risk of facial eczema increases, many of our farmers are bolusing calves and sheep with slow-release zinc.

However, bolusing needs to be done carefully, to reduce the risk of bolus gun injuries to the throats and mouths of the very animals we are trying to protect. Every year, Anexa vets get called out to look at these animals – who can suffer from secondary complications such as woody tongue, or permanent throat damage, or worse.

Therefore, we thought we would remind everyone of the steps they should take to ensure safe bolusing of stock this season:

Step 1: Determine the required zinc dose and load the appropriate number of boluses into the applicator gun.

Step 2:With the animal restrained, tip the head back to create a clear path down the throat and open the mouth.

Step 3: Gently insert the applicator downwards over the tongue towards the throat. Rotating the applicator slightly or dipping the end in medical grade lubricant may ease entry.

Important: As the animal moves, ensure the sides of the mouth and throat are NOT scraped by the applicator. If you feel resistance against the applicator gun, withdraw it and try again – do NOT force the gun in any way.

Step 4: As the animal swallows, the applicator can be gently pushed over the back of the tongue. Squeeze and hold the trigger to release boluses. Carefully remove the applicator.

If you have any questions about bolusing your stock this season, please speak to your Anexa vet. Alternatively, Anexa technicians provide a bolusing service – please contact your local clinic for more details 0800 284 3838.


Date Added: Tuesday, 5th March 2019


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