Safe Administration and Delivery of Veterinary Drugs and Vaccines


Source: Inspection Canada, Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard- Schedule 4

Veterinary drugs and vaccines are currently regulated by two different agencies in Canada. Veterinary drugs are regulated by Health Canada’s Veterinary Drug Directorate, while veterinary biologics (vaccines) are controlled by the CFIA‘s Canadian Centre of Veterinary Biologics.

Veterinary drugs approved for use in Canada will have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and only these products should be used.

Veterinary drugs and vaccines should be used as directed by a veterinarian and stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that they are effective.

There are a number of different delivery methods for drugs, depending upon the medication, the formulation, the disease and the species and number of animal(s) in question. These include:

  • Oral
    • Bolus
    • Feed Additive
    • Water
  • Injectable / Implant
    • Subcutaneous
    • Intradermal
    • Intramuscular
    • Intravenous
  • Topical, e.g. pour-on or spot-on
  • Intranasal

Do not administer drugs by routes other than those recommended by the manufacturer or your veterinarian, as there can be severe adverse reactions.

Veterinary vaccines for beef cattle are administered by an intramuscular or subcutaneous route.

Appropriate needle use is also important. Individual needles should be used when treating animals for health concerns. Re-use of needles is a concern for a number of reasons, including disease transfer, needle breakage and resulting food safety concerns.


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