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Synovex® growth implants from Zoetis are valuable tools available that help producers maximize profit potential in every growth stage, but only if administered properly. Poor implanting techniques can significantly impact how well implants work and can result in poor gains, feed conversion and behavior issues. Implant defects include improper site, abscessed, walled off, located in ear cartilage, missing due to abscess, pellets missing and/or bunched. There are multiple ways to prevent implanting errors for effective administration and thus optimum performance.


Almost 35% of implant defects are sanitation related.1 Cleanliness is key to a successful implant program on your operation and preventing issues in the future. The following are some ways to ensure sanitary implanting:

- Disinfect the needle. Make sure a tray filled with disinfectant and a sponge is ready in the workspace. Cleaning the needle with the disinfectant and sponge between each animal (and after an attempted inserting of the implant where the needle does not penetrate the ear but slides over the skin) reduces implant abscesses.

- Use chlorhexidine disinfectant. A chlorhexidine solution should be used to scrub dirty ears before implanting and can also be used for cleaning implanting tools as well. Never use iodine or alcohol, and make sure the chlorhexidine solution is mixed fresh daily and replaced when it begins to discolor.

- Always clean dirty or manure contaminated ears. Use a brush and the chlorhexidine solution to scrub the ear and remove the debris. This helps prevent abscesses forming from needles carrying contamination from the surface.

- Keep hands and implants clean and dry. Wearing latex or nitrile gloves and cleaning with water or the chlorhexidine solution is an easy way to further ensure cleanliness. Make sure implant cartridges are clean and dry by keeping them in their packaging when not in use and protected from moisture and contamination.


Taking labor costs and gain potential into consideration, feedlots can lose over $100 per head for every incorrectly implanted animal.2 Make sure everyone on the team has learned these to help get the most out of your implant investment.

- Know your applicator. Practice loading, unloading, changing/sharpening needles and maintaining a clean implant applicator to prevent errors during the implanting process. This can prevent malfunction of the implant applicator and make the process more efficient.

- Train employees. Make sure the entire implant team is trained in implanting. From ear placement to routine checks make sure employees know all aspects of the implanting process.

- Handle cattle properly. Calm cattle are easier to handle and reduce unexpected movement while implanting. Use Beef Quality Assurance best practices to properly restrain and work cattle with low stress.

Routine checks

After cattle have been implanted, it is important to do routine checks to make sure the implants are working. These checks should be done 15-30 days after administration. When feeling the implant during a check, evaluate the following:

- Location. The implant should be in the middle third of the ear at least a finger’s width away from any holes or ear tags. The implant pellet should be placed between the skin and the ear cartilage.

- Orientation. The implant pellets should be in a straight line, not bunched up or crushed in the ear.

- Defects. Check if there are any abscesses, and if the implant is walled off or rejected.

Producers can help prevent profit loss due to improper implanting by following these steps for sanitation, training, and routinely checking the implant. Properly implanting cattle significantly reduces the risk of profit loss on your operation.

For more information on implants from Zoetis that can fit your program, visit Synovex.com.

Refer to individual labels for complete directions for use, precautions, and warnings. Reimplant only if and as directed in labeling.

About Zoetis

As the world's leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide, from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners. The company's leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. A Fortune 500 company, Zoetis generated revenue of $7.8 billion in 2021 with approximately 12,100 employees. For more, visit zoetis.com.