Territory Stories

Katherine rural review



Katherine rural review


Northern Territory. Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries


Katherine rural review; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Katherine rural review






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Agriculture; Northern Territory; Katherine; Periodicals; Animal industry; Rural industries; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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Katherine rural review

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Northern Territory Government



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Selenium poisoning Sudden illness and mortality were noticed in a mixed mob of 250 yearling Brahman cross cattle south of Darwin in early February. The mob was given an injection of a common trace mineral injection for cattle, however the vaccine gun had broken and delivered the wrong dose to approximately 60 head. Three heifers died over the next four days, while 12 more were noticed to be depressed and lethargic, but these recovered over the next week. Minimal signs were seen on post-mortem however lab samples showed severe liver damage and high levels of selenium. Selenium is a component of many trace mineral injections and can be fatal if dosed incorrectly. This case highlights the potential for even non-prescription products such as vitamin and mineral supplements to be dangerous when administered in the wrong circumstances. Before using any injection, drench or backliner, always read the labelled instructions. Dosage: check the volume each animal is to receive. If scales are available, weigh stock instead of estimating weight. Always have another person double-check dosage calculations before administering to stock. Route: check if the medication should be given under the skin, in the muscle, by backlining or by mouth. Equipment: check drench and vaccine guns are working properly before using them on stock. Ensure the correct volume is being delivered. Have spare equipment on hand. Hygiene: ensure that all equipment is clean and dry (leftover soap and water can stop some vaccines from working), and that clean, sharp needles are used and changed as needed. To minimise the risk of tetanus, never leave needles on the ground. Product: ensure the product is within the expiry date, kept at the correct temperature and is mixed well so it doesnt settle. Some products are sensitive to light so check the label. Always consult your vet before using any new medication or supplement. If you have any suspicious livestock deaths or illnesses please contact your Regional Veterinary Officer or Livestock Biosecurity Staff.

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