Where and How to Give an Intramuscular Injection

Injections in the neck must be given in the correct place in order to avoid important structures such as arteries, vertebra and nerves. A method to identify this area is to:

  • Place your hand flat on the horse’s neck just behind the halter
  • Slide your hand down the neck towards the shoulder blade
  • Stop when you reach the front of the shoulder blade
  • Spread apart your index finger from your middle finger
  • Between your fingers is a good place to give the injection.

The injection should be given in the last 1/3 of the neck, in the middle 1/3, halfway between the top of the mane and the bottom of the neck. A triangle is created by the front of the shoulder, the bottom of the crest and the top of the vertebrae.

Possible complications include a local reaction, an injection abscess, or an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis while extremely rare, can be life threatening. Call your veterinarian immediately.

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