Suspension vs. Solution & Why It Matters

Published by Julie Madison on

Suspension vs. Solution & Why It Matters

Chemistry lesson on suspensions and solutions to help understand the use of medications.
For our purpose here solutions are an even dispersal of a medication or substance, like a powdered medication or a medication solution, in water, that results in a homogeneous mixture. With a solution there is an equal amount of the added product in each drink/dose. The products dispersement remains even over time, unlike a suspension. An example of a solution many of you are familiar with is Tiamulin (denagard). A water soluble powder that results in a homogenous solution is Cocci-Geel or Wormex.
 
Suspensions are medications that are heterogeneous, there for do not disperse evenly in water. If placed in water they will not evenly disperse, this means each drink or dose does not contain an equal amount of product, some drinks/doses may contain none. Examples of suspensions are Safeguard suspension and Valbazen suspension which people often recommend people add to water. These products DO NOT result in a homogenous solution. When using these products they must be shaken to evenly disperse the medication in the suspension before use. They are fine if measured out and each animal is dosed by weight orally.

Here is a good video that demonstrates the differences between suspensions and solutions. The video also mentions Colloids, an example of that many of you are familiar with is Colloidal Silver.

I hope this helps clear up the how and why products must be used in specific ways. Unfortunately, in the case of suspensions, the correct way is often not the easy way.

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