August 2019 Issue



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Subscribe FREE now! Monthly issues with new articles and other educational information on meat goat health, nutrition, and management written by Suzanne W. Gasparotto of Onion Creek Ranch and Pat Cotten of Bending Tree Ranch. In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Neither Suzanne Gasparotto nor Pat Cotten are veterinarians. None of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.


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Some snakebites are worse than others, but because you probably won't know what kind of snake caused the bite, treat all snakebites as life threatening to the goat. Snakebites close to the heart are usually the most dangerous. Head bites are much less severe, as there is less blood supply to carry the venom to the rest of the body. Leg and body bites result in lots of swelling. Swelling will spread over the body for several days as the bloodstream disburses the toxin. A snakebite above the hoof will cause swelling to occur up the leg and across the chest. Note: If a livestock guardian dog or other dog is bitten, you need a vet, especially with rattlesnake bites. In my experience, dogs cannot survive rattlesnake bites without vet help.

I am calculating dosages on a 100 pound goat. Adjust upwards or downwards proportionately based upon the injured goat's weight.

1) Try to locate the bite and clean it thoroughly with a disinfecting solution like Betadine. If you can't find the fang marks, move on to the next steps.

2) Do NOT apply a tourniquet. Do NOT bandage the bite(s). Leave them open so drainage can occur. If the tissue begins to die, apply Trypzyme Spray (vet prescription) to help slough off necrotic (dead) tissue. Copperhead snakebites are usually less poisonous than rattlesnakes, which usually cause necrosis (tissue death surrounding the bite).

3) To reduce inflammation and swelling, I administer 8 cc Dexamethasone IM (into the muscle) on the first day. On days 2 through 5, I give 7 cc, 5 cc, 3 cc, and 1 cc Dexamethasone respectively. "Dex" is a vet prescription which you should always have on hand. This cortico-steroid has many uses, but should never be used indiscriminately. Dex induces labor in a pregnant doe. Dex should always be stepped down when dosing and never stopped "cold turkey." Buy a 100 ml bottle of Dex and keep it with your vet supplies.

4) Administer the antihistamine Benadryl every twelve hours totaling at least four dosages. WalMart's Equate brand is called "Diphedryl Allergy." The tablets are 25 mg and you must administer 1 mg per pound, so a 100 pound goat gets 100 mg orally per dosing (4 tablets).

4) Inject 5 cc of penicillin SQ daily for a minimum of 5 to 7 days. I give penicillin SQ over the ribs, using an 18 gauge needle.

5) If fever is present, I give 1 cc per 100 lbs bodyweight of Banamine IM every 12 hours until rectal temperature is back to normal (101.5* to 103.5* F).

6) Give the goat lots of fluids, preferably ReSorb or other electrolytes to flush toxins from the body. Don't be alarmed if soft feces occurs. See my article on Diarrhea which states that diarrhea is a symptom of other problems and a way for the body to rid itself of toxins.

7) Green leaves, fresh grass hay, and even some legume hays are desirable. The snake-bitten goat is not likely to eat grain.

If a veterinarian is available, he can give the goat an IV solution of 10 cc of DMSO diluted in 60 cc Sterile Saline Solution. Do NOT try this yourself. IV administration of medications is best left to trained professionals, especially when DMSO is involved.

If the goat survives the first few hours, it is likely to survive the snakebite.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 8.1.19


Multi-Min 90 (also sold under the brand name Mineral Max) is a concentrated formulation of four essential minerals (zinc, manganese, selenium and copper) in injectable chelated (slow-release) form. Because it is not water soluble, it builds up in fatty tissues, so it should be used sparingly and in smaller doses if the goat has received Multi Min 90 injections previously.

I use Multi Min when there is evidence of mineral (zinc or copper) deficiency. I eliminate the possibility of worms being the cause of the problem by doing fecals. I also check for external parasites. If the goat is not wormy and doesn't have external parasites (mites, lice, ticks, etc) and has patches of hair missing or poor hair coat, particularly if the animal is getting older, I give a Multi Min injection SQ one time SQ (under the skin) because it stings the goat when given IM (into the muscle). Oral supplementation of 1000 Internal Units of Vitamin E must be given in conjunction with Multi-Min injections. Vitamin E is critical to the effectiveness of selenium, which is one of the four major ingredients in Multi Min.

Dosage is 1 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight. Occasionally I follow up with a second injection in six to eight weeks if the hair coat has not fully regenerated . Do NOT use Multi Min repeatedly. This product builds up in fatty tissue. It is NOT water soluble.

If the problem is mineral deficiency, hair coverage usually returns in about three weeks. Multi-Min is particularly helpful with older goats whose ability to uptake and utilize minerals has become less efficient. Multi Min is is prescription medication used off-label for goats and should be administered under qualified vet supervision (if you can find such a vet).

In areas of the country where selenium deficiency is severe, some goat producers use Multi Min injections instead of BoSe on newborns, young kids, and mature goats. Despite what I wrote in my recent Selenium article, I recently learned that you can use Multi Min on newborns and young kids. I don't live in a selenium-deficient part of the USA, so I was unfamiliar with this usage. Multi Min dosage on newborns is 3/10th of a cc given SQ and kids approaching weaning age should receive 6/10th of a cc given SQ. Remember that 1000 IU of Vitamin E must be given orally any time Multi Min is injected.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, ONION CREEK RANCH, Texas 8.1.19

BendingTree Ranch TexMaster Goats

Pat Cotten 501-679-4936
Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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First photo yearling buck yellow ear tag. 

Second photo 4 yr old buck, Bending Tree Ranch Ansel


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