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Poster here with permission granted by Sue Reith.

Sue Reith writes: Good Meds to have on hand.

The items mentioned below are for me personally the ones that I am most
comfortable keeping on hand in order to meet any management crisis head-on.
I have a favorite saying which is, "It's great to know what needs to be
done, but that doesn't help much if I don't have the tools to work with!" I
am virtually never caught at 11 PM on a Sunday night with nothing to handle
an emergency situation. (BTW: I have been in such situations a number of
times, trust me, and after losing a favorite animalon such occasions I have
learned that it is best to be prepared.)

As a preface to what I write below, I want to state that I recommend that
ALL meds be refrigerated at all times excepting while being used.

Another preface: No vaccinations (toxoids, bacterins) given before 2 months
of age will infer proper permanent immunity on the kids they are given to.
It takes the body 2 months to mature enough to start making its own
antibodies, so before 2 months of age Antitoxins are the only things that
will be effective in a crisis.

The following items are kept on hand in my barn for emergency and other
important general management use.

This first group of meds listed is available through catalogs (some
from feed stores and vets as well, but prices will be much higher from those
sources). Many are listed by 'brand' names, but generics will be available
often, with identical ingredients and at less cost.
Tetanus Antitoxin: All newborns should receive 1/2cc within 24 hours of
birth as an immediate but temporary protection against Tetanus. It
continues to be effective for about 10 days. If castrations or disbuddings
are done after that, but before Tetanus Toxoid has been given, I
re-administer the Antitoxin.

CD Antitoxin: Clostridium Perfringens C&D (Enterotoxemia) Antitoxin.
Emergency measure, for immediate use at first sign of Enterotoxemia, and the
difference between life and death in the victim. Most victims are under 2
months of age. A great insurance policy, even if I never use it. Cheaper
than emergency trip to the vet, who rarely keeps it on hand anyway!

CD/T Bacterin-Toxoid: for permanent immunization of all goats against
enterotoxemia and tetanus. 2 shots 3 wks apart starting at 2 months, and
boosters at 6 months and a year, the yearly booster given annually within 1
month of forthcoming parturition.

Oral sulfa: excellent for treatment of Coccidiosis in young kids.

Oral Neomycin Sulfate: great for handling bacterial enteritis.

(Excepting for sulfa drugs and Neomycin Sulfate, I do not give ANY oral
antibiotics to goats. They depend upon the good bacteria in the rumen for
digestion of their food. Oral antibiotics other than Neomycin Sulfate and
sulfa drugs will kill the good bacteria in the rumen and cause serious
scouring.) BTW: Sulfas are not true antibiotics, but are used similarly.

Oral wormer such as Safeguard: good general wormer for young goats.

Chlorpheniramine maleate: simple oral antihistimine, 4mg tablets (cheapest
is Kirkland Chlor tabs, available at Costco) for correction of simple
aspiration pneumonia in neonates, any other aspiration or inhalation
difficulties, simple allergic reactions.

CMT: California Mastitis Test kit. Essential when I am milking does,
as its regular use can determine presence of sub-clinical mastitis while it
is still treatable before udder damage occurs.

Propylene Glycol: Oral energy supply. Any time a pregnant or lactating goat
does not eat for even a couple of meals there is a danger of ketosis (a
killer) because the animal uses up its own body reserves during that period.
Propylene Glycol keeps it from using its body reserves.

Calcium/Magnesium supplement: Some form of this (CMPK, MFO) either oral or
injectable, as emergency measure when pregnant or lactating doe suffers from
either Pregnancy Toxemia or Parturient Pariesis, both dangerous results of
low Calcium levels in the animal.

Vitamin A/D injectable: Vitamin A makes Vitamin D available to make Calcium
available! Important adjunct to Calcium therapy. I also administer 1/2cc
to neonates in gray winter months.

Probios: Oral paste for replacement of friendly bacteria in ruminants when
digestive crisis occurs.

Penicillin G injectable: Basic broad spectrum antibiotic that covers just
about all common bacterial infections of goats. For therapeutic use,
injected daily for 5 days minimum, first dose doubled. Useful topically as
well for minor eye infections.

Penicillin G Procaine/Benthazine injectable: Long-acting Penicillin for
preventative use. Stays in bloodstream for a week. I use it along with
dexamethasone to protect the immune system that has been compromised by the
presence of the dexamethasone.

Oxytetracycline LA 200 injectable: Long acting Tetracycline injectable,
200mg/ml, very broad spectrum and excellent for dealing with a wide range of
bacterial infections, including topical use for eye infections.

Tylan 200 injectable: Tylosin 200mg/ml. Another excellent broad spectrum
antibiotic. In the event of Mycoplasma infection, the best treatment for
it. Also good for topical use for treating eye infections.

Saline Solution: 250ml bottle should be kept on hand for dilution of other
meds when necessary. Very inexpensive.

Vitamin B Complex: Useful in restoring health to depleted animals.

Iodine 7%. Strong iodine for immediate dipping of newborn kid's navel cord.

Betadine Solution: Good for lavaging open wounds.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Good for lavaging open wounds.

VET perscription only
The following are prescription meds that I personally consider essential to
good management procedures (if a veterinary prescription can be obtained for

Epinephrine: for anaphylactic shock. Basic backup to have on hand when
administering ALL shots. ( This now has been changed to VET ONLY 3/2003 in some states) ck with Jeffers you may can order it.

BoSe: Selenium/Vitamin E injectable: Essential for health balance in goats
in deficient areas of the country. A myriad of problems result from

Thiamine injectable: Vitamin B1 injectable. The emergency correction for
Bracken Fern poisoning, Polioencephalomalacia, both of which have similar
characteristics and treatment, and both of which respond quickly to Thiamine
therapy but are lethal without it.

Oxytocin injectable: Great assist during labor, expulsion of afterbirth.

Gentamycin injectable: Highly effective antibiotic which clears up pathogens
untouched by Penicillin, LA200, Tylan. Very careful dosage by weight

Lidocaine injectable: Numbing agent used by dentist while filling people's
teeth. Excellent for deadening pain in scrotal area when bucklings are

Banamine injectable: Non-steroidal pain killer, anti-inflammatory,
temperature regulator all rolled into one. Outstanding supportive therapy
for any sick animal. Has animal eating and feeling better while I wait
for the antibiotic to kill the pathogens causing its illness. I use it
following a difficult disbudding if I have any concern that the iron was
left on the burn area too long. Banamine injection will prevent swelling of
the kid's brain in that situation.

Prostaglandin injectable: (Lutalyse) will bring a doe into season, abort
her, or bring her into labor when necessary in the course of a management

Panalog: An excellent topical ointment that deals with both bacterial and
fungal pathogens. Anti-inflammatory as well. Wonderful for healing all
sorts of wounds. I pack open wounds with it after cleaning for fast
healing, and I use it for my family as well as my goats.
Accessories and Suppliers
Important accessories to have on hand for caprine management:

Syringes: 1cc, 3cc, 6cc, 12cc, 20cc, 35cc, 60cc. I recommend many 3cc
syringes, at least 6 of every other size.

Needles: I use the 20gauge, 1/2 inch needles almost exclusively for just
about all regular injections on dairy goats. I buy them by the box of 100
from the catalogs. Other useful sizes are 16gauge x 1 inch, 18gauge x 1
inch, (both very large needles), 22gauge x 1 inch and 25gauge x 3/4 inch.
Those would all be useful to have on hand, about 6 each...

Cotton balls: Essential to keep a bag on hand at all times. I save the
cotton filler in vitamin bottles and store it in clean zip-lock bags for
this purpose.

Alcohol: Isopropyl, for sanitizing syringes and needles before use.

Catheter: very thin, used for bladder catherization in hospital procedures.
Excellent for tubing weak newborn kids.


Important terms:

IV: Intravenous injection (in the vein)

IM: Intramuscular injection (in the muscle)

SQ: Sub cutaneous injection (just beneath the skin)

ID: Intradermal injection (between layers of skin)

IP: Intraperitoneal injection (into the peritoneal cavity)

Emergency situations which need advance preparation:

Anaphylactic shock: Immediate allergic reaction to an injection. Requires
immediate injection of Epinephrine, 1/2cc for kid to 3cc for mature
dairy-goat sized buck. Without Epinephrine in this emergency the animal will
die within 30 minutes. With Epinephrine it will be up and acting normal in
10 minutes.

Enterotoxemia: Clostridial organisms are multiplying in a static
(non-moving) rumen, generally caused by bloat or heavy carbohydrate
ingestion, most often in young kids under 2 months that are not yet
vaccinated for Enterotoxemia. The only way to save a goat's life is to
administer Clostridium Perfringens CD Antitoxin ASAP. Supportive therapy
must also be provided for 5 days, in the form of Penicillin, Probios,
Electrolytes, Pepto Bismol, Banamine.

Weak or Premature kid: Tube with warm colostrum. I lie kid the down on its
side with the neck straight. Measure from mouth to last rib of kid. The
tube is orally inserted that far. I oil tube for easy entry, then
carefully guide tube down the straightened throat of kid, allowing it to
assist by swallowing as I do so. If kid begins to cough I take tube out
quickly, as it is in lungs. If tube goes in without coughing and moves as
far in as I originally measured it to go, I then fasten 60cc syringe full
of warm colostrum to end of tube and plunge contents into kid. I elevate
the head of the kid for this procedure, and then the kid is sat or stood up
right away and the tube removed quickly.


The following catalogs are available at no charge with a simple telephoned

(Preface: We soon get used to none of the stores or catalogs having things
specifically for goats. Very little research is expended on their behalf in
order to approve meds for them, as they are a minor species. So generally
we used things approved for sheep, and for cattle as well. (Actually, if it
is approved for swine and I know it is the proper strength of the proper med
for my purposes I do not hesitate to use it on my goats.)


Caprine Supply is a great source for goat supplies. It is an excellent
catalog to read as well, as it has lots of management tips between its
covers. It is retail, however. The phone # is: 1-800-646-7736.

All 4 of the catalogs below carry similar livestock products. It is helpful
to shop in all of them all as products and prices vary from one to another.

Omaha Vaccine's catalog has a wide range of livestock supplies. Ask for the
Professional Producer catalog. Its phone # is: 1-800-367-4444.

Jeffers Catalog is similar to that of Omaha in its coverage of livestock
supplies. Its phone # is: 1-800-533-3377.

PBS Livestock Health Catalog is a good source for supplies as well. Its
phone # is 1-800-321-0235.

Valley Vet Supply is an additional source of meds and supplies that is worth
browsing thru while deciding who has the best buys! Its phone # is

Two other items I find useful to keep around
Toxiban for use if your goat gets into a toxic substance or poison, Jeffers Supply
Therabloat for use of frothy bloat also from Jeffers

(While I urge you to share this information with other individual goat owners, please do not reproduce the article for publication without my specific permission. Thank you. Sue Reith.)

Sue Reith
Carmelita Toggs
Bainbridge Island WA
[email protected]
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