Storing animal health products like pour-on’s, injectables and vaccines is vitally important for the effectiveness and safety of the products when being used on your herd.
Correct storage protocols will ensure efficacy rates are maintained and the product continues to do what it was purchased for, whether that be clearing internal and external parasites, controlling ticks, or preventing disease.
What do you need to consider when storing animal health products?
Firstly, always store in a well-ventilated area, as some products can have a strong odor.
Keep out of direct sunlight, as sunlight can break down some chemicals and packaging causing problems with efficacy over time.
As a general rule, animal health products should be stored at a temperature below 30 degrees celsius (room temperature). Although this can vary depending on the product, it is imperative to read the information supplied with the product for the correct storage temperature. An example of this is with the combination cattle pour-on Eclipse which is recommended to be stored at below 25 degrees celsius.
Unfortunately, we often hear of products being stored against a western wall of a shed or container where the temperature in summer can far exceed the recommended storage maximum. The heat destroys the product and customers don’t realise until they use the product and it doesn’t work. So to avoid problems like this, always ensure products are stored appropriately and in accordance with the directions included with the product.
Why do animal health vaccines follow a completely different protocol?
Most vaccines will need to be stored in a refrigerator and not a freezer. They need to be stored at a temperature between 2-8 degrees celsius. It is important not to freeze vaccines as they will no longer be suitable for use. Even when vaccines are being transported in coolers with ice bricks, they must be separated to avoid the vaccine getting below the storage threshold at the contact point with the ice pack.
Vaccines need to be kept properly mixed and can be used for 30 days after opening provided they are kept refrigerated at the correct temperature. Store unused product upright and in the original cardboard packaging to protect from sunlight.
One of the misconceptions we often get asked about is whether injectable drenches need to be stored in the fridge with the vaccines. The answer is to simply check the storage instructions on the packaging or container. In this instance (for Dectomax Injectable Drench), the instructions state to store below 30 degrees ie room temperature.
Most importantly when storing animal health products, is not to be complacent. Read the storage instructions and follow them to ensure your product continues to work and look after the health of your animals.
If further information on storage advice is required, please refer to the product label which is regulated by the APVMA