In case you didn’t know, medication isn’t cheap. This holds true whether you are buying for a human or any of our livestock. It would be a shame if that livestock medication never made a proper transition from bottle to animal, wouldn’t it? This is actually a more common situation that you might imagine, but it’s not because of improper injection. It’s from improper storage.
Many of our vaccination medications require to be kept within a range of temperatures within a refrigerator. But how do we know our fridges are doing their job? Refrigerator temperatures are actually in constant fluctuation; when the temp reaches its high threshold the compressor kicks on and lowers the temp to its low threshold and waits to do it again. But if your fridge is old and outdated, it may not be able to maintain a proper temperature. And this could cost you your medication. The University of Idaho found that only 33% of the fridges used by ranchers to store vaccines were at a proper temperature 95% of the time. And The University of Arizona saw that 76% of refrigerators used by ranchers were “unacceptable” for storing animal health products. And let’s not forget about where we get our vaccines from. If you are getting medication through the mail system, be sure to get it shipped as quickly as possible and make sure that it is shipped in a properly cooled container. Many companies send their medication in Styrofoam containers with cool packs to keep the temp low. If you are buying from a store, check and see if there’s a thermometer in the fridge. Improper storage from a local store can also a major offender in medication storage.
If you are curious to see if your refrigerator is operating at proper temperatures you have several options. Purchase a thermometer or seek out a free one and put it in the fridge. Check the reading frequently to get a good idea for the ranges of your refrigerator. Also, if you are a resident of Orange or Seminole Counties, I have a device that logs temperatures and stores them on a SD card. Just contact me and we can leave it in your fridge for around 24hrs and then we can see how well your refrigerator is keeping your animal medication cool.