Thursday, May 14, 2009
Happy goats should also be healthy goats
It's been an interesting week here at Critter Farm. Extensive caprine (caprine: of or pertaining to goats) knowledge is being acquired at an almost alarming rate.
At the beginning of the week, I was feeling pretty darn cool just having this little bottle sitting in my refrigerator:
It's CD&T goat vaccine that goat kids need to receive at 4 weeks of age, 8 weeks, 12 weeks and then annually. (The CD&T provides three-way protection against enterotoxemia (overeating disease) caused by Clostridium perfringins types C and D and tetanus (lockjaw) caused by Clostridium tetani.) Having this in my fridge means that I am going to give the injections...AWESOME.
Then I got my much anticipated package in the mail from Jeffers Livestock (EXCELLENT prices, by the way - with a flat rate for shipping: $5 to Oregon) - In it was a digital thermometer, Magic Shears for hoof trimming, and Probios:
Probios is recommended by many goat owners for aiding digestion during times of stress, following antibiotic treatment or if a goat seems "off".
Meanwhile, my goat babies Pete and Reggie were thriving. We've had a ball getting to know each other. So I didn't worry much when Pete developed the sniffles...you know, a bit of a goopy goat nose and slightly runny eyes that would be crusty in the mornings. This seemed to clear up fairly quickly, but then the cough came. Just a little at first, but it was always there...a nagging sort of wet cough. Could it be pneumonia? Was it just sniffles from the stress of moving? What if it was (gasp) lungworm?
So off I went, researching everything I could about goat ailments, penicillin, antibiotics, etc. I went to feed stores looking for what is carried in my area.
Oxytetracycline is the antibiotic generally used to treat pneumonia. LA 200 is one type of oxytetracycline available for livestock, but it comes in a liquid base that makes it an extremely painful injection. I don't like that:
Bio-Mycin is another form of oxytetracycline but comes in a different base that is supposedly non-painful. I like this better:
But I was having a hard time deciding which route to take. Should I really try to diagnose this on my own? How can I be certain he needs oxytetracycline and not penicillin? And what if I'm treating the wrong problem?
So, after discussing my options with my wonderful goat-loving friends on a Yahoo goat owner's group, I consulted my local vet. He advised that I should give them both a course of antibiotics. "It can't hurt", he said. Off I went to his clinic:
I came back with these. Two syringes with 1ml each of Tetradure, a more powerful oxytetracycline. Since Reggie's eyes were sort of drippy, we decided to give him a dose, too. "This shouldn't hurt," he said:
The vet also said it would be fine for me to give them their CD&T vaccinations at the same time. So, I laid out all my stuff:
I filled my CD&T syringes:
and accidentally jabbed myself in the finger:
Because it's been so rainy and cold out, I set up a spot on the kitchen floor to give the injections:
My assistant (a.k.a. husband, Jim) helped with goat holding. Pete got to go first (poor lad):
I can only say I hope I get better at this - for their sakes. I had to stick Pete three times with the antibiotic shot because I kept losing my grip when he would wiggle. Roxy was quite concerned with Pete's crying:
Then it was Reggie's turn:
The CD&T injection went smoothly, but the antibiotic - WOW - I can tell you, it must've hurt like the DICKENS (the vet was WRONG), which explains Pete's earlier crying. Reggie let out a bleating shriek like you would not believe as I pressed the syringe plunger. It was awful. It must really burn or something. Poor little sweetie:
The second I was finished, though, he was back to his usual docile, mellow self. Roxy, again, hovered nearby, in case she was needed:
Once the boys were safely back in the goathouse, I had a big one of these to calm my nerves:
When I checked on them at bedtime, all was well. They were being their usual silly selves:
Appetites were not affected in the least:
Pete got his nightly requested kiss:
This morning, two pairs of bright eyes were waiting to be let out (I was the blurry one this morning, as you can see by the photo quality):
And our day proceeded as normal. Nobody seems to remember a thing about shot day:
I'm really hoping the antibiotic shot works on Pete's cough. I'll keep you posted.