Section 1 | Extra-Label Drug Use in Sheep & Goats

Ontario Sheep & Goat
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Working With Your Veterinarian

It is extremely important for you to work closely with your veterinarian. Veterinarians not only provide valuable insight into the health of your animals, they also are the only people who are able to use and prescribe drugs in an extra-label manner. Veterinarians will only resort to extra-label drug use (ELDU) when:

  • No suitable drug is labelled for the required purpose
  • The health of the animals to be treated is immediately threatened
  • The risk of suffering or death will be great without immediate treatment

This means that for you, the producer, you must receive detailed instructions from your veterinarian to use medications in an extra-label manner. Some of the detailed instructions could include:

  • The dose or the amount that should be given per kilogram/pound of body weight
    • For example, 3 mL per 45 kg of body weight
  • How often and how long the drug should be given
    • This might include instructions such as ‘Provide once daily for 3 consecutive days’
  • Who can be treated with the drug
    • For instance, this drug is intended for use in kids and should NOT be used in lactating does
  • The route the drug should be given
    • Should it be given via intramuscular or subcutaneous injection?
  • Withdrawal times for meat and/or milk
    • How long until the drug has cleared from the animal’s system and their products (meat and milk) are safe to consume?
    • Because these medications are being used extra-label, the withdrawal time printed on the product label does not apply. Veterinary direction for withdrawal times is of the utmost importance to ensure food safety and reduce the risk of violative residues in any animal products