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Dosage Conversions

Although the information below is written related to medication for Cattle, the conversion information is the same for your goats.

Cattle and drugs are, according to this story, both too expensive to take a chance on miscalculating dosages just because the label writers think every cowboy is some sort of math-matics whiz. At best, an overdose is a waste of money. Often it also does more harm than good, and underdosing is not much better. With dosages, little mistakes in arithmetic can have big consequences. This story explained that pharmaceutical calculations can be confusing because they employ the metric system as well as standard U.S. weights and measures. So the cowboy who thinks in pounds and ounces winds up trying to dose so many cc's or mg's to a kg. Conversion factors serve as bridges between the two.

Example: You've got a 385-lb. calf and need to dose him at 1.5 mg/kg. To determine the kilogram weight, divide 385 by 2.2. He weighs 175 kg. Then multiply 1.5 mg times his 175 kg weight, so he needs 263 mg. The drug is labeled with a concentration of 50 mg/ml, so you'd divide 263 by 50 and come up with 5.25 ml. That's the dose to administer. If there is a question about a conversion factor, or you are unsure of your final answer, always call a veterinarian or pharmacist to ask, or have someone double-check your answer.

This story warns to be cautious of losing decimal points in calculations. If, for example, the correctly calculated dose to give an animal is 5.5 ml a decimal point mistake can lead to answers like 55 ml or 0.55 ml. When writing dosage calculations, be aware of significant digits such as leading decimals and zeros. For example, always write dosages of 0.5 ml with the preceding zero, otherwise the decimal in front of the 5 can get lost or not copy well from carbons or photocopies and can be construed as  5 ml. Likewise, always drop insignificant zeros. For example, 30 ml should never be written as 30.0 ml. The decimal point can get overlooked and the dose will incorrectly look like 300 ml.

Important Conversions

1 ml  =

15 drops  =

1 cc

1 Tsp  =

1 gram  =

5 cc's

1 Tbsp  =

1/2 oz.  =

15 cc's

2  Tbsp  =

1 oz.  =

30 cc's

1 pint  =

16 oz.  =

480 cc's