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Returning to the Vet Cupboard

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
March 29, 2017        
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties

Returning to the Vet Cupboard
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (04/12/17) — Last month, I released an article about spring cleaning the vet cupboard.  The major points of that article were to review current medical supplies on hand, clean and organize them, and replace items that needed to be thrown away.  Supplies and items included syringes, vaccines and antibiotics, ear taggers, dehorners, and calving equipment.  One item I would like to offer some further discussion on is vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications.

These items expire and need replacement from time to time.  If you are dealing with expired items, never throw them into a trash can heading for a landfill.  Just like human medications, veterinary medicines need to be disposed of properly, not just thrown or flushed.  These items can poison water.  Some veterinarians are authorized to collect outdated vaccines, antibiotics, and medications for disposal, but not all are.  Call them before having them out to collect items to ensure they can take them.  If they are unable to, it’s likely they will know of some disposal options.  You could also ask your local pharmacist if they accept veterinary medicines during take-back events or through collection receptacles.  If you are still unable to find disposal options, you can contact the county environmental office or search the web for drug disposal locations.

Taking the time to clean out the vet cupboard for spring will help you stay organized during the busiest time of year.  However, making sure outdated items are disposed of correctly is crucial for human, animal, and environmental safety.  Whenever you’re dealing with veterinary medicines of any form, contact your veterinarian with any questions.


Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
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