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Who does their own IV shots?

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  • Who does their own IV shots?

    I am starting my 13 y/o gelding on Legend. How many of you do the IV shot yourself?
    Is it worth it to have the vet administer once month, or to have them teach you?
    I am a whiz at the monthly Adequan injections, but IV is a whole other story.
    Where are the best places to find veins?
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  • #2
    If you have to ask where the vein is, you obviously aren't ready to do IV shots. Ask your vet to show you and then attempt to teach you. I have done probably 10,000 IV shots over the years without any problems but I did have a good teacher.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      Holy sh*t! What Laurie said! Please don't take a blind stab at something you don't know! Even vets can "miss" the jug from time to time. I'd hate to hear that someone caused damage to their horse because they wanted to save a fee.
      I do some of my own, though it is frowned upon. I hit the pipe with accuracy. I am pretty sure I saw it a zillion times before I tried it.
      I have had 2 fillies. one needed tranq/dantrium daily and I would used ace injectable, and the other a bad bleeder that worked early early in the am and the vets never wanted to be there before 4am. So they would give me a syringe of lasix. On this filly I couldn't get the vein, so I ended up giving it IM. And took extra time getting to her for her work.
      Please don't mess around with getting it in the pipe. Let the professionals do it.


      • Original Poster

        I know the vein is under the neck. What I was asking is what other veins do people use. I guess I wasn't clear. I am planning to have the vet show me the how to do it the first time. I would never go poking around in my horse with a needle. I wanted to know if people who can do it, regularly do, or if they have the vet come out for them. I understand that any IV shot can cause anaphylaxis, and I am trying to assess if the risk is worth the savings of not paying a farm call once a month for a routine injection of Legend.


        • #5
          The juglar vein is the only one used for IV injections in horses.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            The jugular is the only vein used.
            I do my own and have for years. But as others have said I would have your vet do the Legend for you for a while. Try to be there during the appts so he/she can teach you and supervise for a while before trying solo (my vet taught me how to find/hit the vein by first having me draw blood instead of risking an injection...I was pretty young). Lots can go wrong (Artery hit, blown vein, missed vein, etc) Art hits are terrifying and very dangerous....it's very easy for a novice to hit the artery instead of the vein and not realize until it's too late. I've never had a problem in the countless times I've done IV shots but I've seen two artery hits with different drugs in the past. Both collapsed instantly and one very nearly died...not good.


            • #7
              Personally, I would not worry about anaphylactic reactions with Legend - it's just HA, right? I do all my own IV. I think it's pretty easy to learn, and some day you may need to be able to do it in a pinch. IV Bute is one you don't want to get outside the vein as it will damage the tissue in the surrounding area. I'd get the vet to show you. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to learn how, and if you hit an artery - you will know because it will spurt out and will be bright red. You must know that you will get holy hell on this BB asking if you should learn how to give IV shots...... right????? Only special people can learn that!
              P.S. The artery lies closely behing the Jugular in the bottom part of the neck. I always go at least 2/3 of the way up the neck.


              • #8
                Originally posted by poopoo View Post
                Personally, I would not worry about anaphylactic reactions with Legend - it's just HA, right? I do all my own IV. I think it's pretty easy to learn, and some day you may need to be able to do it in a pinch. IV Bute is one you don't want to get outside the vein as it will damage the tissue in the surrounding area. I'd get the vet to show you. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to learn how, and if you hit an artery - you will know because it will spurt out and will be bright red. You must know that you will get holy hell on this BB asking if you should learn how to give IV shots...... right????? Only special people can learn that!
                P.S. The artery lies closely behing the Jugular in the bottom part of the neck. I always go at least 2/3 of the way up the neck.
                No one said it was brain surgery. I was 12 when I learned how to do it. I think we just responded the way we did b/c the OP sounded quite misinformed. I think everyone just suggested she have a vet there the first few times. I don't think that's unreasonable advice.


                • #9
                  Sigh. Please have the vet show you and then guide you through the process. For me it's a bleeding out under the skin causing a HUGe "bubble" of blood. IV shots are nothing to mess with.


                  • #10
                    I think every horse owner sould be capable of giving an IV shot to thier horses. Have the vet show you how to administer the first time or two.


                    • Original Poster

                      thanks everyone!
                      i will stick with the vet.


                      • #12
                        I don't think you need to stick with the vet. Ask the vet to teach you how to do them and then make sure you know what you are doing. Legend is insanely expensive, add in a vet call and you could practically buy a new horse for what you are spending. If I had it to do over again, I would learn how to give IV shots by placing the needle itself DOWN in the vein and then attaching the syringe. I didn't learn that way and after all these years am very set in my ways, but it may be time to teach an old dog new tricks as that method seriously reduces your chances of problems to almost zero. Practice drawing blood, even if you just shoot it right back in until you are positive you have the feel for it. Then buy some syringes and a bottle of banamine. It will no doubt save a life someday.
                        McDowell Racing Stables

                        Home Away From Home


                        • #13
                          Ask your vet to teach you. Develop a feel for what the vein should feel like. See if you can find it somewhere else (not an injection site, just for fun), can you trace it? follow it?

                          I've been specifically shown at least a hundred times, watched thousands of times. I have a fantastic sense of touch and I still don't like doing IV. I can do it, but if I don't have to I don't like to.

                          I know it might seem senseless to have a vet call once a month to administer a drug that you can give yourself, but that prebooked call may save you an emergency call in the middle of the night on a holiday weekend.
                          Riding the winds of change

                          Heeling NRG Aussies
                          Like us on facebook!


                          • #14
                            I was trained by my vet to give IV shots, and have had to do it on a few occasions- including one emergency with my mare. I hate giving them though because of the risk and I only give them to my own when absolutly necessary- I'd never do it on other people's horses... too much risk involved.
                            "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"


                            • #15
                              They're a whale of a lot easier in horses than in people. I'm very comfortable doing IV shots. Have always done jugular--just not worth going elsewhere, although the giant vein inside the hindleg has always tempted me. . . just too much potential for violent objection back there!
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • #16
                                Butterfly infusion sets can make doing IV injections easier. KV vet carries them for something like 65 cents per butterfly needle. If the horse moves, the butterfly usually doesn't come out. The needle is so small that it is hard to go too deeply. It is also easy to make sure you are still in the vein, as you see the blood go into the tubing when you pull back on the syringe plunger. If you go into an artery, it should be easier to see that the blood is brighter red, and that it comes down the tubing with more force.

                                I had the vet teach me how to do IV injections. Then, I practiced drawing blood before I gave any injections. IVs are not hard to do, but there is a slight risk, particularly if you are not completely comfortable with medications and assessing for reactions. There are situations when it is very good to be able to give IV injections. I would not recommend that a horse person learn how to do IV injections unless he or she is very comfortable with horses, knowledgeable about medications, and unless you have a vet who will tell you exactly what you need to do to decrease the risk of problems (e.g., not giving caustic medications like bute that will make the skin peel off if you miss the vein).


                                • #17
                                  Don't be discourage! Learning to administer IV medications for you horse could be potentially life saving someday. You will probably struggle a bit since giving a shot only once a month doesn't allow for a lot of practice, but always ask your vet if you can pull the blood for the coggins (they still need to be there, its just for the practice) or any other chances to practice.

                                  If your just giving legend, there is practically zero risk associated with giving this drug in the vein. As long as everything is kept sterile the biggest risk is missing the vein and waisting the shot. To make sure you stay in the vein for the whole dose pull back a little bit at the start and in the middle and again at the end for more practice and feel. When your really good, you probably won't check mid shot, but is very good for a begginner to do. And remember only pull back enough to see you're clearly in the vein or the syringe will have too much blood in it and you would be able to do a 2nd check


                                  • #18
                                    If you have a cool vet, he won't mind teaching you. It's really not that hard. I'll give my own horses IV shots if I have to, but I'm not very experienced at it and avoid it if possible. IM shots or Sub-Q(for the dogs) I don't even think twice about.


                                    • #19
                                      I give my own. My vet showed me once, walked me through it, and now I give my horse Legend monthly in addition to whatever else she needs. She's quite complicated, so I do get more practice than your average owner. It's an incredibly useful thing to be comfortable with and I'm honestly surprised with how many people don't know how to go IV.


                                      • #20
                                        Yes I give my own. Agree with others that it is an invaluable skill to have in that it just might save a life someday. I have too many horses here that I am responsible for to have to call and depend on a vet if one of them needs banamine. And IV is much more fast-acting than paste.

                                        The vet that taught me recommended using 1/2 inch needles - they decrease the risk of hitting the artery. So they are what I normally use.

                                        Agree with the method of hitting the vein from above instead of below. I was also not taught this way but I have seen it done and it was explained that it does reduce chances of problems significantly.

                                        Also, if you just inject the needle first without the syringe - it is good to do this. If blood comes spurting out - you are in an artery. Not what you want. You want blood to just sort of slowly drip out - you are in the vein.