Vaccination Lesions

General description
  • Vaccination can result in local reactions at the site of injection.
  • These can include swelling, infections, pain and scarring.
  • Vaccination lesions must be trimmed at abattoir processing.
  • Affected animals may also be lighter and of lower carcase value than animals with no adverse response to vaccination.
  • Good vaccination practice can reduce risk of lesions developing.
  • Some vaccines produce local reactions as part of the body’s immune response. These mostly pass with time.
  • Poor hygiene and/or technique can result in infection at the site of injection. These can producer unsightly swelling, pain and ill-health in the animal.
Clinical signs
  • Swelling and pain at the site of injection. Swelling may result in discharge of pus and can lead to scarring and permanent lumps.
  • Animals with infection may show signs of systemic disease, such as reduced appetite, weight loss and altered behaviour.
  • Swelling at the site of vaccination injection that persists beyond a few days is often an indicator.
  • Lumps/abscesses/scars at common sites of vaccination (e.g. neck) identified at meat inspection, especially in more than one animal from the same consignment are strongly suggestive of vaccination lesions.
  • Infections at the site of vaccination resulting in abscess formation may need to be drained by surgical incision.
  • Your veterinarian may prescribe a course of antibiotics for any systemically unwell animal with a vaccination site lesion.
  • Good, hygienic vaccination principles should always be used to minimise risk of vaccination site lesions developing.
  • Store vaccines appropriately, use according to directions.
  • Use sterile needles (change regularly), clean equipment.
  • Operators should regularly wash their hands. Avoid vaccinating muddy or dirty cattle.
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