Consult with your veterinarian about diagnosis. As a producer, know what diseases are prevalent at particular production stages or seasons and remember that some bacteria are only sensitive to certain antibiotics.
Take the sheep’s temperature. Normal is 101 to 103° F. If there is no temperature, there’s no infection, so you shouldn’t use an antibiotic. Fever may precede other signs.
Treat early. Organisms become more resistant after they are well established. An antibiotic will not remove scar tissue from lungs. Prevent the scar tissue by early and adequate treatment.
Maintain drug dosage for two to five days. Identify lambs previously treated.
Prevent problems. Don’t rely on drugs to replace good management.
Check for management shortcomings as a cause of the problem before using drugs.
Vary antibiotics. Bacteria do develop resistance.
Take care of drugs. Refrigerate them, keep them out of the sun, and don’t freeze them. Read directions!
Recognize the limitations of antibiotics. They won’t bring an abscess to a head and are ineffective in treating for diseases caused by a virus.
Administer antibiotics correctly.
Remember that sick animals usually don’t eat. Mixing an antibiotic in feed may prevent further attacks but won’t help those too sick to eat.
If sick animals will drink, you can administer sulfa treatment by adding sulfa to the water.
Use an effective injection method. Intravenous (IV) injections result in a high drug level in the blood rapidly, but antibiotics injected intravenously also are eliminated more rapidly. Intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SQ) injections require the least skill and last longer.
Remember that drenching requires a high drug dosage. Not all drugs are readily absorbed.