If you’ve got a horse who needs daily injections during an illness, try these tips for your horse’s comfort and your confidence.

Credit: Kevin McGowan

Ask your vet. Have your vet show you the best way to give an injection, and the best shot sites for your horse and the medication you’re administering.

Switch sides. If you’re giving a watery medication in doses of 20 cc or less, alternate giving the shot in both sides of your horse’s neck (Tip: divide dose over 20 cc into two shots).

Clip the zones. If you have trouble remembering the correct shot “zones,” consider clipping the hair in that area to help you feel more confident, and to avoid hitting critical structure.

Groom first. Before giving your horse a shot, brush him to help him relax, and remove excess dirt and dust. Massage the site to further relax him and to feel for bumps, heat, or sore spots. (If lumps, heat, or pain persist for more than 12 hours, call your vet.)

Distract him. Just before giving the injection, give your horse a diversion—like a handful of alfalfa hay. If your horse is on a restricted diet, check with your vet first.

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