July 2009 Issue



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Knowing the Difference Can Mean Life or Death

Toxoids and Anti-toxins are medications for identical goat health problems, but the former is for prevention and the latter is for treating an illness.

The two most common goat products that come in both toxoid and anti-toxin forms are for overeating disease and tetanus. The vaccine to prevent overeating disease also comes in combination with the vaccine used to prevent tetanus. The anti-toxin products do not come in combination form.

item7Toxoid vaccines are used for long term protection. The vaccine used to prevent Overeating Disease combined with Tetanus prevention is called "CD/T." These letters represent protection against Overeating Disease caused by the most common overeating organisms --- Clostridium Perfringens Types C & D. The "T" part of the vaccine provides long-term protection against tetanus. Colorado Serum's version of this vaccine, which I recommend, is called Essential 3+T and Jeffers carries it.

Toxoid vaccines are given once, with a booster injection following 21 to 30 days later. Essential 3+T vaccine should be given to all unvaccinated adults and to kids twice in the first year -- 21-30 days apart. Booster vaccinations are then given annually. Some producers are boosting this protection twice a year. Additionally. pregnant does should be boosted with Essential 3+T six weeks before the first doe is anticipated to kid to jumpstart the immune systems of the soon-to-be-born kids.

Anti-toxin vaccines are used in medical emergencies when immediate treatment is needed. The two most commonly used goat anti-toxin vaccines are C&D Anti-Toxin and Tetanus Anti-toxin. C&D Anti-toxin should be used whenever Overeating Disease is suspected to be the cause of the goat's illness. As with the toxoid vaccines, the anti-toxins should be used SQ (sub-cutaneously -- under the skin). C&D Anti-toxin vaccine is very safe to use and can be overdosed without hurting the goat. It is one of the few medications which can be used without fear of hurting the animal, even if the problem turns out not to be Overeating Disease. Ruminal acidosis and bloat are goat illnesses against which C&D Anti-toxin must be used -- in conjunction with other medications.

Tetanus Anti-toxin is used after castrations (wethering), in treating injuries (bites, cuts, puncture wounds), and when symptoms of tetanus appear (locked jaw, head bent alongside the body in sleeping-bird fashion).

The temporary protection afforded by both of these anti-toxins lasts from 7 to 14 days. If the goat survives the illness, the producer must wait at least 21 days and begin the two-vaccination toxoid series again, because the anti-toxin has cancelled the benefits of the toxoid vaccine.

Sometimes these products will cause an injection-site abscess. Avoid these knots by using Colorado Serum's products and give the injections SQ over the ribs with a 22 gauge x 3/4 inch needle.

This word association will help the producer remember the difference between toxoid and anti-toxin:


Suzanne W. Gasparotto ONION CREEK RANCH 7/8/09

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