Immobilizer questions & answers
Is the Rau Immobiliser safe on animals and can it be used on pregnant cows.
The Rau Immobiliser has been used on cows in all stages of pregnancies for over 12 years now without any recordings of any slips or any abnormalities. Research shows that the Rau Immobiliser has no negative effect on the animal’s breathing, blood pressure, feed intake or cortisol (stress hormone) levels while in use or after use.
How long can the device be applied to an animal without hurting the animal or losing its effectiveness?
Consistent results have been obtained from veterinarians working on the hooves of dairy cows. These procedures take approximately 30-40 minutes, and no animal has been hurt or shown any after effects. The unit has been used for more than 1 hour while putting a lazy calf to a cow. The Immobiliser has remained effective for the full duration.
Do all cattle respond the same way to the stimulator?
Each animal is different so the effect of the Immobiliser may be slightly different, depending on the degree of contact with the nerve, size of animal, breed, moisture content of the stool, as well as the level of pulse applied. It is important to observe the reaction of each animal and use that as a guide as opposed to relying on a preset setting on the pulse generator. If the rectal passage and stool is very dry, the animal might not respond effectively to the pulse. A Small amount of lubricant or water may be placed on the tip of the probe to improve the contact.
How difficult is it to immobilize the front part of a cow?
It is not difficult at all. As the probe is inserted deeper into the animal, and a slightly higher pulse applied, the animal will extend its head and may lift one of its hind legs. This indicates the front is being immobilized and will afford greater control of the animal and immobilization of the head. It is important to note that the animal’s breathing is not affected.
Do you need to restrain animals in a head gate or squeeze chute to use the immobiliser?
No, you do not need to have the animal in a squeeze chute before you can immobilize it. If a head gate or squeeze chute is available by all means use them but there is no need to squeeze the animal at all.
When using the RAU Animal Immobiliser, it is best to have the animal in a chute or small pen for the animal to lean on and for safety reasons. When the animal is immobilized, it may lean to one side or become unstable if one leg is raised off the ground.
When putting the animal in a squeeze chute with a head clamp, make sure that the head clamp does not restrict blood flow to the head as this may cause the animal to collapse.
Note that each animal is different, and the reaction of each animal should be observed to ensure best results.
Always take adequate sensible precautions to prevent injury to the animal and handlers when working with large animals
Where is the unit placed and how do you tell if it is correctly positioned?
The Immobiliser probe is placed in the animal’s anus. The depth of insertion varies depending on the part of the animal to be immobilized and the relative size of the animal. Approximately halfway between the hooks and pins is the targeted area for the tip – roughly under the tailhead.
It is advisable to watch the animal’s reaction for the desired effect rather than relying on fixed settings or depth. One will get to know the ideal setting through regular use. The on-line manual may also give you an idea of the operation of the Immobiliser. See http://www.igd-usa.com/manuals.htm for some more detailed information.
What does the Rau immobilizer use as a power source?
The RAU Animal Immobiliser has a 12 Volt, self-contained, sealed lead-acid, rechargeable battery, capable of delivering 8 – 10 hours of continuous use. The battery is easily charged using the 12 car charger provided. Simply plug it into your car or truck.
An optional AC 220V/DC 12V adapter is available for faster battery charging.
Can this be used for AI work?
Breakthrough research has shown the unit to be effective for artificial insemination and embryo work. With the use of the RAU MP2000 mini-probe (an additional accessory), the animal is sufficiently immobilized to pass the straw of semen to successfully inseminate the heifer.
Simply insert the mini-probe along the back of the arm between the glove and the rectal lining to hold the animal still.
Is there an ejaculator for semen collection from Sheep and Goats?
Semen collection from sheep and goat rams is possible with the immobiliser. The standard probe is adequate for use as an ejaculator when pressed down on the prostate.
How widely used is this product and who uses it?
RAU Immobilisers are used internationally in at least 25 states in USA along with Canada, Mexico, Africa, South America, Central America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to mention some of the locations.
Its users include Veterinarians, University Ag and livestock departments, feedlots, cow-calf operations, small and large ranchers, hoof specialists, AI workers and everyday cattle folk with anything from a few head to thousands of head of cattle. Rodeo cattle breeders, sheep and goat farmers, horse owners and farriers. Deer breeders along with owners of elk, buffalo, camels, donkeys, mules, llamas, alpacas and camels have immobilized these animal species in order to provide treatment and make working a safer experience.
New uses are being discovered all the time.
How does it work?
The unit is powered by a low voltage current supplied by a 12 v rechargeable battery. A gentle electrical pulse is applied via the rectal probe which is inserted into the rectum of the animal to be treated. This pulse works with the animal’s natural nervous system to control the muscles. The depth of insertion is varied by means of a flat rubber ring which slides up and down the shaft of the probe. The tail rests against the flat ring to help hold the probe in place. The pulsed signal is introduced by switching on the unit and turning up the signal strength with the control knob on the pulse generator unit. As the signal is increased the animal will be immobilized more and more until the entire animal from tail to head is under the operator’s control. Only the “voluntary” muscles are affected i.e. the ones it uses to flee or fight you. “Involuntary” functions such as heart and lungs are not affected.
Immobilization is immediate when the pulse is applied. Likewise the animal will return to normal immediately the pulse is switched off or the probe is removed.
How robust is the product?
This product is engineered for the tough working conditions associated with large animal work. The electronics are sealed and encased in a steel protective shell, which in turn, is encased in the steel casing of the pulse generator.
The unit is weatherproof and if it gets wet simply allow it to dry and it will carry on working. The probe is made of aluminium and the cable is heavy duty. The battery is protected inside the steel casing. Access for battery changes is simple and quick. The entire unit is supplied in a tough carry case, which accommodates all the components and makes it easy to transport.
Maintenance is minimal and involves keeping the probe clean and free of acids from the animal’s bodily fluids and keeping the battery charged at regular intervals. Wipe down the control box and probe with a damp cloth after use to keep it clean.