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Where do you give IM injections - neck, buttocks, pecs?

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  • 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?

  • #2
    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!!
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    • #3
      I use necks and pecs, never butt! My vet would give vax in the pecs with the ones who tended to get sore, they always seemed to recover more quickly.
      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


      • #4
        I use pectoral muscles ......I think if you get an infection you will get better drainage as it is low spot.



        • #5
          When you say "buttocks"...where in the buttocks? In the rump, or where?
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          • Original Poster

            Yes, that's what I was told about drainage. Plus, if a horse gets an abscess at the base of the neck, it will be hesitant to put its head down, and then you really have gravity working against you.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by sid View Post
              When you say "buttocks"...where in the buttocks? In the rump, or where?

              Either the top of the rump or the hamstrings.


              • #8
                Hamstrings only. I save the neck for the vet, the pecs if I run out of real estate, and never use the gluteal area.
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                • #9
                  The only shots I've had to administer have been vaccines, and I've always given them in the neck. I've seen my trainer use the pecs on one very difficult horse, and my vet use the rump before.


                  • #10
                    I've always used the neck with pecs as backup, never rear
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                    • #11
                      Particularly for large amounts, I like the rump, ( hamstrings). It's a muscle they have no choice about using.!!
                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                      • #12
                        The reason I ask is there is the "rump" can mean anywhere.

                        Like the others have posted since, I used the hamstring. Particularly good area for a larger amount of meds that may have propensity it abscess...drains downhill.

                        Typically for foals, that it my first choice to give an injection, not the neck. Surely not the pectoral.

                        Just wanted some clarifciation for newbies that may read this thread.
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                        • #13
                          The neck with the pecs as a back up. I have a horse that will NOT tolerate the hamstring--she kicks violently until the needle falls out. Finding that out sure wasn't fun.


                          • #14
                            Pecs then neck if necessary. I'd rather have sore pecs that will drain than a sore neck that won't.


                            • #15
                              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..
                              www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                              "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                              Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by sid View Post
                                Simkie...do you "seat" the needle alone? Then put in then lock on the syringe after they've settled down?
                                Yep. Needle in, kicking started immediately and did not cease until the needle fell out. Never got the chance to attach the syringe to the needle.

                                Not fun!


                                • #17
                                  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.
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                                  • #18
                                    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.
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                                    • #19
                                      Pecs except for my mare who will try to kill you. Neck for her.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                                        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.
                                        This is the same for me. Only saw one pec reaction, muscle became hard and we stopped injecting it, cleared up fine.
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