by: Dr. G.F. Kennedy

The question is often asked, “Do I use long acting or short acting pen?” The answer is simple, I don’t use or recommend long acting penicillin anymore. The reason is that for penicillin to be effective you need to establish therapeutic drug levels. No one uses label dosage anymore because penicillin is not effective at that level. Long acting penicillin is composed of half short acting penicillin so it is a little misleading anyway. Today, if I am relying on Penicillin as drug of choice, I recommend a dosage of one cc per ten pounds of body weight daily. This does extend slaughter withdrawal to 50 days.

I use penicillin to prevent what I call crud infections, examples would be retained placenta, opening abscesses and after prolapse procedures. I also use penicillin to prevent tetanus when banding. Another important role for penicillin in sheep and goats medication would be to prevent malignant edema associated with toxic mastitis.

About Ask-a-Vet Sheep

Veterinary services, procedures, biologicals, and drugs mentioned in this publication represent the personal opinions and clinical observations of the contributing author. They are in no way intended to be interpreted as recommendations without the consent of the producer’s own practicing Veterinarian. We strongly urge that producers establish a patient-client-veterinarian relationship that allows extra-label use when there are no drugs approved for treatment or if approved drugs are not effective. This procedure allows veterinarians to go beyond label directions when “prudent use” is necessary. The limited availability of drugs and biologics in this country is a major factor in restricting the growth of the sheep industry and allowing producers to compete in the world market place.
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