VetGun & VetCap: what it is and how it works
The VetCap is a patented new dosage form that encapsulates liquid parasiticides in a special softgel capsule. It is delivered using SmartVet's VetGun delivery system. The VetGun is designed to fire the VetCaps out to a range of about 30 feet. The VetCap bursts on the cow, releasing its contents; the formulation then goes to work in a similar way to pour-on products. The VetGun and VetCaps are engineered not to startle the cattle, and minimize any discomfort caused by the dosing process. Putting down a lick, hay or feed creates a positive association with the dosing process, and helps reduce any stress. With most animals there is only a momentary reaction before they return to feeding. The entire process can be completed quickly, and with far less disruption or stress than any conventional processes that require cattle to be gathered, yarded or run through a chute. The VetGun is proving to be an excellent tool in low stress handling systems. For more about low stress treatment and our Best Practice treatment guide, click here.
Eliminating herding and yarding reduces the amount of time and labor needed to control parasites; it also improves overall welfare by making the process safer for both the cattle and the ranchers. Cattle relieved of parasite burdens are less stressed and healthier. Healthier cattle have better conversion rates, higher conception rates, calve more successfully and wean heavier calves. Using the VetGun translates into better animal welfare and substantial productivity gains for producers!
For more information about the VetGun and VetCaps click here
Parasites are the leading cause of economic loss in every one of the world's largest beef cattle producing countries. Horn flies cause the highest rate of productivity loss in North America; damage to the beef cattle industry is estimated at up to $1Billion per year. Horn flies interrupt grazing activity and their feeding results in up to a pint of blood loss per animal per day. Research shows that horn flies can cause 17% to 33 % reduction in weight gain per animal over an 80 day period (for more information about the cost of failing to control parasites click here).
Applying insecticide normally requires gathering and confining cattle for spraying, dosing with pour-on or applying ear tags. Many ranchers just don't have access to suitable facilities at all times of the year. Most ranchers find the physical difficulty involved, finding the labor they need and the time it takes to work the cattle safely a real inconvenience. There are also safety risks involved, and it is stressful for both the cattle and their handlers. Ranchers therefore tend to avoid working cattle whenever possible and their cattle often go untreated.
Watch the VetGun demonstration video here
The VetGun delivery system removes the hassle, stress and danger associated with working cattle to control parasites. It is the only system offering the convenience of quickly dosing an entire herd out in the field. The VetGun removes the need for expensive handling facilities, and reduces the labor requirement by up to 75%. Timing the delivery of parasite control to when it will have maximum impact unlocks the potential for significant production benefits (click here for more information on the importance of timing of control strategies). The VetGun saves time, saves money and increases productivity.
Dr Andrew Li, the leading expert on horn fly at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, has researched various VetCap products. In his published research findings he states:
"In conclusion, we documented the ability of the VetCap treatment method to be used as an effective method for the remote delivery of insecticide gel capsules to control horn flies infesting cattle. Optimization of this versatile technology offers the opportunity to enhance efficiencies through diverse veterinary applications in livestock production systems." (for a copy of the research paper click here)
Using the VetGun delivery system relieves cattle of parasite stress, enabling them to convert grass into muscle more efficiently. Maintaining good animal welfare makes dollars and sense!