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 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.


  1. Good job Danni...but please no more sticking yourself!!! Don't make us send you boxes of bandaids!!

  2. Just a suggestion: Maybe have the glass of wine first next time? LOL

    Sure hope this helps clear up the cough and yuck.

    Oh and also, I think Roxie might need a sip of your wine too. Ya know just to come the nerves.

  3. Quite the day you had there! (Next time you might want to move the wine to the front of the procedure.) It does get easier and you will figure out how to stop vaccinating yourself. All that bleating sure doesn't help though!

  4. I'm a big fan of the LA-200, we use it on the chickens when they have colds (haven't had an issue with the goats yet), and it almost always clears the cold right up. I inject high on the inside of the leg.Mike holds the bird. With my left hand I pull leg straight, and with right hand inject. I rarely have a bird that acts like it really hurt.

    I sure hope his cold clears up soon.

  5. Great pictures Danni. I swear that Pete has the prettiest goat eyes I have ever seen....and I've seen a lot.
    You did just fine on your first shot, except for the part when you stabbed your finger. I think I jinxed you.

  6. from an aspiring goat lady, thank you for forging the trail for me. your posts are going to help me tremendously, i have no doubt. your little goats are the cutest!
    i love the photos of your dog with the goats. he/she looks so concerned.

  7. I think you did a great job. Im sure each time you do it it will become easier and easier. And now, even you yourself, dont need to worry about getting any C, D, or T.

    That little vet set up in your kitchen was great. You even had some lovely lilacs there to make the kitchen smell fabulous. And sweet little Rox...always there to help in case you need her. (And wow, who knew Mr Jim was so assistant Jim, trapper Jim, shooter Jim....just to name a few) Hes a great guy, that Mr Jim.

    I feel very hopeful that the vaccinations will make Pete and Reggie all better. They are so lucky to have such a great goat mama.

  8. When our goats were little,giving them vaccinations was easy. Yesterday we gave our Nubian wethers their shots and Freckles would not let us do it. She kicked and cried like we were killing her. We finally stopped because we were afraid the needle would break.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    Your babies are so cute.

  9. Good job! The goatmother says to tell you that you do get better, but it never gets easier. :) It is just hard. Not to worry if you ever get an abcess at the injection site either. It happens sometimes.

  10. Oh-my-gosh! You did great! A well deserved glass of wine waiting for you was a perfect solution following such a stressful procedure!

  11. Did you ever imagine that one day you wouldn't be injecting goats in your kitchen????

    Great, great job! Kim

  12. One thing we've learned about goats... they like to kick up a fuss when you do anything to them. We can do something to a sheep and it never makes a sound, then do the same thing to a goat and it screams bloody murder!

    You did a fine job. It's easier every time. You did great with your little guys!

  13. The first time I gave Orion a shot was hard! It does get easier. Where did you give the shot. I've found it is easier to do in the side.

  14. Some good points in the comments. Goats do put up a fuss when other animals wouldn't make a sound. You should hear Orion when I trim his hooves and I know that doesn't hurt him at all.

    Also, abcesses at the injection site aren't unusually so don't panic if they get a big bump there.

    Farmlady - we've found if we put our goats on the milk stand with a bowl of grain they don't even notice the shot.

  15. Good job, Vet Mama! The adorable quotient of your little fellows is off the charts...gosh, I'd have the hardest time getting anything done...I'd just be right there amongst all the fun :) so happy for you, Danni!


  16. Oh Boy....

    Where did you learn all that stuff about goats?! I get a new furbaby and it's a huge learning curve, for both of us.

    I get very nervous when I have to administer anything like that. When my cat's kidneys were failing, I opted to give her an injection every morning. Poor little girl took it like a trooper. I think the trick to helping reduce the pain when giving a needle is to inject it slowly. If you push the liquid in quickly, that's when it hurts. It's tricky if they're squirming around though...

    Roxy is an excellent nurse's aide. What a sweetheart she is, so concerned.

    That photo of the two of them peering out the door in the morning is absolutely priceless. What a pair they are. I can see they're going to be providing a lot of entertainment around here for a while.

    BTW, thank you for your really lovely notes over at my place. I REALLY enjoyed the video you recommended. I'd not heard of it before. LOVE it. :o)

    *Hugs all 'round*

  17. Poor babies! Glad you're a good goat momma and got them fixed up before they got too bad.
    Rox just slays me with her need to attend to them. What a good dog!

  18. Hey,

    I need to pick up some Probios myself...Daisy is having digestion problems :-/

    Have you seen/heard of the shots where the needle is seperate from the syringe? It makes giving a shot to a horse a lot easier. You can start tapping the horse on the neck in different spots, and then just randomly put the needle in. They can squirm and once they're calm you screw the actual vial of antibiotics or whatever it is in...It also helps to completely distract them by filling your pockets with treats :-P.

    You're brave to do it yourself...I couldn't do that! :D Good job!

  19. How did I overlook this post? I guess I wasn't paying attention. Giving shots is always a bit nerve wracking. I never get used to it. And I have stabbed my finger many a time with those sharp needles! I am sure the medicines will help them both be healthy. Those young ones are hearty. And cute.

  20. Did the cough clear up? IO, our new goat has a cough. I guess I need to get an antibiotic tomorrow. And Orion needs his last CD/T. Ugh.


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