A Suggested Health Program for Club Goats
- Inquire about the previous vaccination history. If you did not see it go in, vaccinate.
- Give a booster or start CD/T vaccinations.
- Deworm with a goat drench or if using a cattle deworming product use at 2.5 times the cattle rate.
- Treat with a rumen microbial culture to stimulate appetite (probios).
- Use an insecticide for lice control (permethrin) if needed.
- Establish a twice daily feeding routine using a pelleted feed containing a coccidiostat.
It is best to purchase a goat that has been castrated and disbudded by the producer at the proper times. Show goats should be castrated past 8-10 weeks of age to allow the urethra to fully develop, thereby limiting the chance of urinary calculi. Normally show goats should be disbudded around 1-2 weeks of age to insure a clean skullcap. If it is impossible to purchase a goat that is disbudded and castrated, the goat should be on feed and healthy before any dehorning or castration is done.
Injection sites- IM-under the front leg or on side of the neck; Sub Q-under the front leg. Never inject in the rear half or top of the goat. Change needles often. Do not use any product IM on a goat unless absolutely necessary. Use Quality Assurance methods always!
- CD/T booster in 2-3 weeks, then every 2 months thereafter.
- Deworm at least monthly using the same product until it is no longer effective.
- Re-treat with the microbial culture at any signs of stress, feed changes, and treatment with antibiotics.
- Use ruminant food animal approved drugs only. Goats have high metabolic rates and need at least 1.5 times the label dose. A veterinarian-client-patient relationship is needed as most goat treatment methods will be off-label or extra-label applications. Extend label slaughter withdrawal times (1.5 to 2 times) because of off-label use.
- Be sure you need to use an antibiotic before injecting any product. In most cases it is best to take a temperature to make sure there is a fever present prior to treatment. A goat's normal temperature is 102 F to 103 degrees F. If you have a sick goat, the first thing you should do is take its temperature. If the temperature is above normal, there's probably an infection. Antibiotics might help at this point.
What to use:
Wounds and/or Surgery - Penicillin G at 1cc per 20-50 # daily for 3-5 days.
Respiratory - Excenal at 1.5 times the cattle dose daily for 3-5 days, or Nuflor/Resflor at 1.5 times the cattle dose (check label) alternating days for 3 doses, or Penicillin G at 1cc per 20-50 # daily for 3-5 days.
Digestive Problems – Treat with a microbial culture, then encourage and/or force fluid and electrolytes. Check for worms, coccidia or stress. Know what you are dealing with prior to treating…..
Pinkeye – Start ophthalmic antibiotic ointment early, not powders or irritating injectable antibiotics like LA 200. Penicillin G dripped on the eyeball works well. They may have associated respiratory problems. You can help prevent problems by controlling dust, flies and undue stress on the premises.
Skin Fungus\Ringworm – Isolate and treat early and aggressively!! Clip hair, remove scales/crust, scrub with Nalvasan or Betadine, apply topical antifungal often and continue for up to 6 weeks. Disinfect all equipment and area daily. May need a systemic antibiotic like Penicillin G or Nuflor if deeper than the skin only. May need a systemic antifungal drug. These will have a long withdrawal time. Always use insecticides to remove lice. Lice do not cause fungus! Always remember that a skin fungus is contagious to humans and hard to treat. Take proper precautions.
Urinary Calculi – Prevention is the best policy! Demand proper Calcium to Phosphorus ratios (at least 2:1) in your feed. Ammonium Chloride should be added in feed at a rate of 10-20 lbs/ton. Don’t add a bunch of junk to a balanced ration! (Corn, cottonseed, dog food, magic dust, etc.) This will throw the ration out of balance and increases the risk of urinary calculi. Clean, fresh, cool and high quality water is a must and should always be available. Change water daily!! Check the pH of your water source if in doubt! A high calcium/low phosphorus mineral with added ammonium chloride can be left out free choice.
Inappropriate Drug Uses:
Micotil – not safe for sheep or goats and especially for people! Can kill humans!
Gentocin – Very long slaughter withdrawal time!
Baytril – Restricted to beef calves only!
Almost any systemic drug should be discontinued at least 30 days prior to a terminal show or possible slaughter. READ the label!!! FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!! Ask your veterinarian!!
Extension Livestock Coordinator-Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences
Mississippi State University