Where do you give IM injections - neck, buttocks, pecs?
I've always given IM injections in the neck except for the very rare occasions when I've given them in the buttocks. Recently, a friend told me her equine chiropractor told her to give them in the pectoral muscles. I asked my FEI trainer, and she says that's where she always gives them. I asked another friend who said that's where she and her vet have given them since her horse had a reaction to a shot in the neck. Then I asked a vet who said she also gives them to her own horses in the pectoral muscles. I did some internet research and found a couple of articles that said the pecs are more dangerous because the handler has to lean over, and the area supposedly tends to get sore. But everyone I spoke to said they'd never had a horse get sore. And, as far as having to lean over, I gave my first one in the pecs today and didn't have to lean over or put myself in a vulnerable position. It was super easy
So I'm throwing it out to COTH. Why don't more people use the pectoral muscles for IM injections? Or do they?
Usually in the neck, switching sides if there are multiple. Recently we were giving penicillin IM which makes them tender. Vet suggested doing neck, butt and pec and switching up sides. Luckily, vet did the first butt injection (mare happened to be sedated also) and mare kicked the sh$t out of the wall. We only used the neck and pecs after that!!
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
Simkie...do you "seat" the needle alone? Then put in then lock on the syringe after they've settled down?
I've never giving a hamstring injection with the syringe attached to the needle.
No instructions intended..., just wondering. I've found hamstring injections to be the most easy, kicking out an all...less kicking if the needle is seated before the syringe is attached and injected.
When I found a new vet who saw I was doing this with foals he thought I was nuts...but I was working alone with no handler and found it worked best for me and baby.
He's with me 25 years later .
That said, as adults I alternate neck sites if there are DAYS of antibiotics, then I head to the hamstring when I must rotate sites. I've never used the pectorals as I somewhere learned the is one of the last sites to use. Have to go back and learn if that protocol has changed over the years..
I'm not sure I buy the theory that abscesses "drain downhill". Abscesses drain along lymphatic channels, which run basically alongside the venous channels back to the spleen, the thoracic duct, and to the heart.
I'd always heard that one wanted to avoid the croup/gluteal muscles since DRAINING an abscess surgically is a gigantic ordeal if they occur in the pelvis, not because infection goes downhill via gravity. If that were the case, then we wouldn't see ascending streaks of infection running UP to the groin in people with terrible infections in the foot, ankle, and leg.
For what it's worth, I've seen more injection site reactions in the pecs than I have in the neck and semitendinosus combined. I don't know why that area is so much more sensitive than the larger muscle masses. I've never seen a pectoral site abscess, but personally, that's too close to vital organs for my comfort zone.
When working in vet hospitals, we never used the pecs except when rotating injections sites on a horse getting IM injections over a long period of time.
Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO