June 2022 Issue
IN THIS ISSUE:
GOAT MEDICATIONS AND HOW I USE THEM
In 1990, when I started raising goats, there were 12 million goats in the USA. As of 2013, per the USDA, there were only 1.9 million, and the number has declined since then, primarily because goats are difficult to raise. Goats are a minor ruminant species, so very few medications are made for them. Drug development, testing, and approval costs do not justify focusing on such small numbers. Almost all of the medications we use to treat goats, prescription or over the counter, are "off label" or "extra label" usage. Lack of government approval does not mean that such products are dangerous, illegal, or ineffective. It means that manufacturers have not spent many dollars to get government approval to market for usage with goats. You as a goat raiser must learn which to use and how to use them.
Veterinarians know very little about goats. You as a goat raiser must locate and rely on knowledgeable breeders for the help you need to raise healthy goats. Find yourself a knowledgeable mentor and stick with that person until you decide their information is incorrect. There is much bad information about goats on the Internet, especially on social media.
I am NOT a vet. I have been raising goats since January 1990, and I have met only two vets who knew anything about goats. Use the information in this article at your own risk and only after you have consulted with a qualified goat veterinarian. (You will have to search diligently to find one.) I have a consultation service that involves talking with a goat raiser, finding out about his management and goat issues, and telling him what I would do in similar circumstances were the goats under my care. If you are interested, details are available in MeatGoatMania and on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.
Goats are fragile creatures, contrary to popular belief. All prey-prone species with short gestation and multiple births are going to experience high mortality without human intervention. When a goat gets sick, it requires IMMEDIATE attention. It is likely to die quickly if you don't take fast action. This requires both a knowledge of goat health and having appropriate supplies and medications ON HAND. You won't find what you need locally when you need it fast. Almost all antibiotics already require a prescription. You MUST develop a relationship with a local veterinarian so that you can buy what you need and have them on hand IN ADVANCE. If you don't do this, you are likely to have dead goats.
Medications are presented in alphabetical order; some of the medications are interchangeable with others, i.e. they provide similar treatment benefits but are offered when specific products are not available in all areas. I have not addressed meat or milk withdrawal timeframes. Some of the products may not be approved for use in food animals; Gentamycin and Baytril 100 are restricted from usage in food animals in certain species and jurisdictions. Check with your local vet to find out what you can legally use with vet approval.
Products listed below and comments about them are based upon my personal experiences or those of vets with whom I have had a working relationship. Jeffers 1-800-533-3377 www.jefferspet.com carries most of these non-prescription items. Jeffers will soon offer prescription medications with a script provided from your vet if he cannot or will not get what you need.
In December 2016, antibiotics were prohibited as feed additives. All sulfa-based products are subject to VFD (Veterinarian Feed Directive) which means prescription- only usage. Animal health businesses are restructuring to sell antibiotics only to veterinarians or via vet prescription. Penicillin and all other antibiotics will be prescription items in the not-too-distant future. Stock up and develop a relationship with a vet, because it is going to happen .
A comment about antibiotics: Due to the goat's very fast metabolism, antibiotics (whether given orally or injectably) must be given for five consecutive days. These one- time injections do NOT work with goats. Some vets refuse to believe this and goats die.
A-180 (danofloxacin) - Vet prescription. Injectable respiratory antibiotic. Neither I nor my vet like this product's use with goats. Nuflor Gold and Excenel RTU have worked better for us.
Albadry Plus - Teat infusion medication containing procaine penicillin and novobiocin sodium for treating mastitis in non-lactating goats and drying up lactating goats. Can be used topically on staph infections. Have the udder's contents tested to find out which organism is causing the infection so you can choose best antibiotic.
Albon (Sulfadimethoxine 12.5% or its generic equivalent DiMethox 12.5%) - Vet prescription. These products are the drug of choice for preventing and treating Coccidiosis. Give orally undiluted to kids at a rate of 3-5cc and to adults at a rate of 5-10cc for five consecutive days. Mixing with drinking water as directed on the label is another option, but I recommend against it. Sick goats should be treated individually with oral dosing for five consecutive days. The gallon jug is the most cost-effective purchase. Will not work with automatic waterers due to continual dilution of the product.
Albon 40% Injectable - Vet prescription. Dosed orally to treat coccidiosis. 1.56 cc given orally on first day per 25 pounds bodyweight; days 2-5, dose at .78 cc per 25 pounds bodyweight. Mix with Nutri-Drench or similar product for palatability.
Alushield - Aluminum-based water-resistant aerosol bandage spray for topical use only.
Banamine (FluMeglumine) - Vet prescription. Anti-inflammatory that helps reduce fever, soothes irritation in the gastro-intestinal tract (gut) when diarrhea or other gut-related digestive illnesses occur, relieves pain and soreness associated with animal bites and other injuries. Use no more frequently than every 12 hours (stomach ulcers are possible) unless goat is dying, justifying the risk. Dosage is 1 cc per 100 lbs. body weight IM. A newborn kid with fever at Onion Creek Ranch would receive an injection of no more than 1/10 cc IM. Must-have medication; never run out. Buy the cheaper generic version.
Baycox - See Toltrazuril for cost-effective alternative.
Baytril 100 (Enrofloxacin 100 mg/ml) - Vet prescription. (not Baytril 2.27%). Usage in goats is "off-label" or "extra-label," but this antibiotic is being used in goats by some veterinarians. The appropriate IM dosage is 4 cc's per 100 lbs. of body weight for five consecutive days. This medication is very effective against gut-related illnesses and works synergistically (better together than individually) with SMZ (sulfadimethoxazine with trimethoprim). Some jurisdictions prohibit use of Baytril or Baytril 100 in any form (injectable or tablets) in food-production animals because the withdrawal time from meat and milk has not been determined. Great for treating Joint Ill when no other antibiotic works. For treating Metritis (uterine infection), I use 2-1/2 cc Baytril 100 given IM for 8 to 10 consecutive days. If you have a sick goat on which no other antibiotic is working, Baytril 100 is the drug of last resort. Do not use without vet approval and supervision.
Beet Pulp, Shredded - While this isn't a medication, I mention it because it is useful and often misused. I use shredded beet pulp to add fiber to the rumen of old goats whose teeth have begun to wear out. This is in addition to their normal feed, not in place of it.
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) - Another non-medication, it is useful to add fat to the diet of thin and/or old goats. BOSS is 25% fat. Lightly top-dress feed with BOSS.
BoSe (not MuSe) - Vet prescription. (A horse product, MuSe is too strong and should not be used with goats.) Injectable medication for selenium deficiency (white muscle disease, aka nutritional muscular dystrophy). Since selenium deficiency exists at different levels throughout the United States, follow a qualified goat veterinarian's directions on the usage of these products, as well as offering supplemental loose minerals containing selenium. Google "selenium deficiency" to see the general locations in the USA. Most of the East Coast, down to Florida and westward through the Great Lakes region, plus the West Coast, including California and parts of Nevada and Idaho, are selenium deficient to different degrees. Selenium deficiency usually shows itself in the form of weak rear legs in kids. Older goats don't put on weight, have weak legs, and generally stay in poor condition and poor health.
Selenium is toxic at relatively low dosages, and the dosing margin of safety is narrow. The addition of selenium to feed is controlled by US law. In some areas, producers only need to provide loose minerals containing selenium. In other regions, selenium injections are necessary. When BoSe injections are required, they are usually given at birth and again at one month of age (one-half cc SQ). Pregnant does receive injections six weeks before kidding, and bucks are injected twice a year. Adult dosage of BoSe is 2-1/2 cc per 100 lbs bodyweight given SQ. It is easy to overdose selenium.
C&D Anti-toxin - Over-the-counter made-for-goats product that can be safely used for many problems when they already exist. Severe diarrhea in very young kids, toxicity caused by plants, poisons (bites, overeating disease, bloat, ruminal acidosis, and ingestion of toxic substances like azaleas and antifreeze are several examples), one of the products administered to combat Floppy Kid Syndrome . . . these are a few of the applications of this very versatile product. C&D Anti-toxin provides short-term protection (about 12 hours) but works quickly towards solving the immediate problem. Follow label directions. Must be refrigerated. Freezes at very high temperatures.
C&D Anti-toxin negates any protection previously given by the CD/T vaccine, so you must wait for at least five days after completion of C&D Anti-toxin therapy and re-vaccinate the animal with the initial CD/T vaccine injection plus the booster 30 days thereafter. Must-have medication. Always have on hand. There is no substitute.
CD/T vaccine (Clostridium Perfringens Types C&D + Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine) - Over-the-counter made-for-goats VACCINE that provides long-term protection against overeating disease (types C&D) and tetanus. Kids of one to three months of age and all newly-purchased animals regardless of age should be vaccinated with 2 cc and then a second vaccination should be given 30 days later. Two injections 30 days apart are required in order to provide long-term protection. Annually thereafter, one injection of 2 cc per goat will renew the protection. Give SQ. It may cause an injection-site reaction called a granuloma, which is an indication of the body's positive reaction to the vaccine. The granuloma goes away in time.
Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) vaccine - Introduced in May 2012 by Texas Vet Lab of San Angelo, Texas, this terrific vaccine made specifically to prevent and treat CL in goats was removed from the market in May 2021 because goat raisers wouldn't spend the money to buy it. It is gone forever. Goat raisers really hurt themselves and their goats by not buying this wonderful vaccine. Note: The sheep CL vaccine does NOT work on goats.
Chondroprotec - A skin regrowing medication. Prescription. Applied topically. The January 2013 issue of MeatGoatMania has an article and pictures of this amazing product.
Colostrum Replacers & Supplements - Do not confuse these two types of products. Newborns must have colostrum during the first hours after birth. If the dam is colostrum deficient, you must use a colostrum replacer. The best colostrum replacer is colostrum saved (and frozen) from does on your property who have already kidded. This colostrum will have antibodies that provide the kids needed immunity to the organisms existing in your particular location. If you don't have a supply of frozen colostrum, then you must use a commercially-prepared goat colostrum replacer (*not* "supplement"). Do not use colostrum or colostrum replacer beyond the first 48 hours of the kid's life. Switch to goat milk or goat milk replacer. Do not use cow's milk; it is too low in butterfat. Colostrum has already done its job for the newborn after 48 hours and the kid's body can better digest goat milk.
CoRid (amprollium) - Over-the-counter product for preventing and treating coccidiosis. Comes in granular packets and gallon liquid. This product is a thiamine inhibitor, so I prefer other coccidia medications. When using CoRid, also dose with thiamine (Vitamin B1) at 4 cc per 100 lbs bodyweight given IM or SQ. Albon or its generic equivalent Sulfadimethoxine 12.5% (Dimethox 12.5%) is preferred over CoRid. If you must use CoRid, buy the gallon liquid and maintain better control over dosages. Follow package directions. Treatment dosage: Mix 1 oz CoRid in 5 oz. water and orally drench the sick goats twice a day for five consecutive days; kids should receive 20-40 cc of this mixture twice a day, while adults should receive 40-80 cc. This is a higher-than-label dosage but is what it takes to control coccidia in goats. For prevention of coccidia, use 2 oz. per 15 gallons of water; for treatment, use 3 oz. CoRid per 15 gallons of water. Limit the goats' water supply to one source and treat for five consecutive days. Daily individual dosing into each goat's mouth is much better than using in water.
Dewormers, Feed-based - Feed-based dewormers are usually not effective. Dewormers are dosed based on the goat's bodyweight; there is no accurate way to do this with feed-based dewormers. The goat needing the dewormer the worst will also be the least aggressive goat who will get less feed, therefore a lower dosage of the feed-based dewormer. Unless you can control the precise amount of feed that each goat receives, I recommend against using feed-based dewormers.
Dewormers - There are multiple classes of dewormers. Some still kill stomach worms; many are no longer effective. Generally speaking, the white-colored dewormers (Safeguard/Panacur and Valbazen) no longer kill stomach worms in much of the USA. All dewormers should be given ORALLY, regardless of package directions. See my article on Deworming & Vaccination Schedules on the Articles page at www.tennesseemeatgoats.com.
Dexamethasone - Vet prescription. Cortico-steroid. Use sparingly and under the direction of a vet. Dex can have bad side effects. Used for swelling and inflammation after infection is under control. Do not use if broken bones exist; Dex interferes with bone repair. Do not use on pregnant does unless you are trying to induce labor. Used to induce labor in pregnant does when the slow introduction of labor over a 48-to-72 hour period is desired (pregnancy diseases like Pregnancy Toxemia & Ketosis). Dex interferes with the functioning of the goat's immune system. Usage of this drug must be tapered off slowly. Reducing the dosage each day for five consecutive days is normal procedure. Dosage varies depending upon the problem being treated.
Dextrose Solution (50%) - This over-the-counter product in a bottle is used orally with weak newborns by slowly dropping one or two cc in the mouth and under the tongue for quick energy. Can be mixed half and half with water and offered short-term to weak goats or kids who are either having trouble digesting milk or have overeaten on milk (Floppy Kid Syndrome) and need to be taken off milk for several days until the toxicity caused by undigested milk has been successfully treated.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - Although this product is being used by some producers as a "natural" dewormer, DE does NOT kill internal parasites (worms). Every controlled test done to determine efficacy of this product in killing internal parasites (worms) in goats has failed. It is somewhat effective on external parasites like flies. If a producer chooses to use DE as a food additive, make certain that "food-grade" DE is purchased and use DE in conjunction with an ethical (commercially-produced) deworming product. There is no such thing as an effective "natural dewormer" for goats.
Dopram V - Vet prescription. Eliminates respiratory distress in newborns caused by troubled births, including C-sections. Drop 2/10 cc under kid's tongue immediately upon birth to stimulate lung activity. Also use on "pulled" kids since the normal squeezing of the body during the delivery process is altered. This is a must-have medication at Onion Creek Ranch.
Draxxin (tulothromycin) - Vet prescription. Injectable respiratory antibiotic. Very expensive product that purports to be a one-time-only usage antibiotic. Because goats have the fastest metabolism of all ruminants except deer, they need to be dosed daily for five consecutive days. Nuflor Gold and Excenel RTU given for five days work and are far less expensive.
Dyne - Over-the-counter oral high-calorie food supplement for animals off feed or needing quick energy. Must-have product.
Electrolytes, Oral (Bounce Back, ReSorb, , or equivalent) Over-the-counter products packaged in powered form. For rehydrating sick animals, regardless of age. Can be used as an oral drench, put into baby bottles for kids to suck, or mixed in drinking water. Can be used in conjunction with Lactated Ringers Solution on dehydrated kids or adults. Store in a cool, dry place. Never be without this product.
Entrolyte- This terrific product was pulled by Pfizer in January 2008 and will never come back on the market. It was an over-the-counter oral nutrient product for both rehydrating and providing nutrition to ruminants that were not ruminating or off-feed. Contained 13.4% protein in addition to electrolytes. No comparable replacement product is on the market, to my knowledge. Best alternative: Mix a package of electrolytes such as Bounce Back or ReSorb and mix enough powered milk replacer to make an 8 oz bottle and combine with electrolytes.
Epinephrine - Vet prescription. Used to treat Shock. Always have it on hand when giving injections. Shock must be treated within seconds or the goat will die. Dosage is 1 cc IM per 100 pounds body weight.
Excenel RTU - Prescription injectable antibiotic. Ready-to-use equivalent of Naxcel. Effective against respiratory and urinary tract infections. Dose daily at 6 cc per 100 lbs bodyweight. Day One: dose twice 12 hours apart. Days 2 through 5: dose once daily. Give IM.
Ferrodex iron injectable - Over-the-counter Injectable iron supplement for treating anemia. Interchangeable with oral Red Cell. I prefer dosing Red Cell orally.
Fleet's Enema or generic equivalent - Over-the-counter product that is useful for constipation and toxicity reactions to clean out the intestinal tract. If a doeling is born with her vagina turned inside out, use part of a children's Fleet's enema to move her bowels for the first time ("pass her plug") and the vagina will return to its proper position. Make sure to put the enema into the rectal opening -- not the vagina.
Formalin (10% buffered formaldehyde) - Classified as a disinfectant, this product works well when injected into CL abscesses and also is very effective in treating hoof rot/hoof scald. I am no longer recommending using Formalin but prefer rather lancing and cleaning out abscesses because too many goat raisers are not using it correctly. Abscesses other than CL should not be injected with Formalin but instead should be lanced and cleaned out.
Fortified Vitamin B Complex - Over-the-counter product. This product can be used instead of Thiamine since it has 100 mg/ml thiamine in it. Products without "fortified" in the label have inadequate levels of thiamine. All B vitamin are water soluble; a healthy rumen produces B vitamins daily. Dosage is 4 cc per 100 pounds bodyweight.
Gentamycin Sulfate - Injectable prescription antibiotic. Not authorized for use in all jurisdictions in food animals due to concern for antibiotic residue in meat. Works extremely well when used in conjunction with penicillin in the treatment of post-birthing infections and other bacterial infections. Mixed in equal parts with Dexamethazone and Sterile Water, the resulting product is a very effective eye spray for treating Pinkeye. Do not use on ulcerated eyes.
Gentosin Spray - Topical prescription spray useful in treating Pinkeye in non-ulcerated eyes. See Gentamycin Sulfate for details.
Goat NutriDrench - Oral quick energy supplement for stressed and/or off-feed goats. Contains many of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that a sick goat requires to survive its illness. Mixes well with propylene glycol or mineral oil for flavored dosing.
Granulex - Topical spray for removing dead & dying skin. Vet prescription.
Hoof Rot vacccines - Volar & Fusoguard are hoof-rot prevention vaccines for other species. Goat producers have told me that these vaccines don't work well with goats.
Immodium AD - Do not use this anti-diarrheal with goats. It can stop the peristaltic action of the gut, causing death.
Ivomec 1% injectable dewormer or generic equivalent Invermectin - Over-the-counter product for eliminating stomach worms. This clear liquid works best if used orally at a rate of 1 cc per 20 pounds body weight. Do not under-dose. Store at cool temperature and keep out of sunlight. Also used in treatment of Meningeal Deerworm Infection. Clear dewormers do not kill tapeworms. Ivermectin 1% is one of several dewormers used to kill stomach worms. All dewormers should be given orally to goats. Before deworming, DO FECAL COUNTS FIRST.