October 2012 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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Why You Must Know The Difference

Vaccines are toxoids; they prevent disease. Anti-toxins are used when a problem already exists. The two most frequently-used injectable medications used with goats that come in both toxoid and anti-toxin form are the overeating disease vaccine and the tetanus vaccine.

Toxoids are used for long term protection. The vaccine for overeating disease combined with tetanus prevention is usually called "CD/T." These letters represent protection against overeating disease caused by clostridium perfringens Types C & D. The "T" part of the vaccine provides long-term protection against tetanus.

CD/T, tetanus, C&D, and pneumonia toxoids commonly used with goats are given to unvaccinated adults and kids twice, 21 to 30 days apart. Booster vaccinations are then given annually to vaccinated goats, although some producers are boosting this protection twice a year. Always booster pregnant does six weeks before kidding to provide immunological protection for the newborn kids via their dams' milk. Newborn kids are born without a functioning immune system. Many producers use the combination CD/T toxoid vaccine rather than the two individual vaccines of C&D toxoid and tetanus toxoid.

Anti-toxin vaccines are used in medical emergencies when immediate but short-term protection is required. Goat producers use two anti-toxin injectables: C&D Anti-Toxin and Tetanus Anti-Toxin. C&D Anti-Toxin should be used whenever overeating disease, ruminal acidosis, or any rumen-related toxicity is suspected to be the cause of the goat's illness. As with the vaccines (toxoids), the anti-toxins are used SQ (sub-cutaneously, i.e. under the skin). C&D Anti-Toxin is very safe to use and has a wide margin of error. It is one of the few medications which can be used without fear of hurting the animal. There is no such thing as a pneumonia "anti-toxin." When a goat develops pneumonia, antibiotics are required.

Tetanus Anti-Toxin is used after castrations are done (wethering a goat), for injuries (bites, cuts, puncture wounds), and when tetanus-like symptoms are present (jaw is locked and mouth won't open, goat's neck is dramatically bent to the side and unable to be straightened, eyes unfocused, difficulty standing). Tetanus is commonly called Lockjaw.

Temporary protection provided by anti-toxins lasts about 7 to 14 days. If the goat survives the illness, the producer must wait at least five days after this two-week time frame and begin the two-vaccination toxoid series again, because the anti-toxin has cancelled the benefits of the vaccine.

Vaccines (toxoids) will sometimes cause a knot or abscess known as an injection-site granuloma. This is evidence that the goat's immune system is having a good response to the vaccine. These are "killed" vaccines so the organisms being vaccinated against are not active in these granulomas. Injection-site granulomas usually don't go away on their own. I wait several weeks after vaccinating to be sure that a good reaction to the vaccine has occurred, then I lance, clean, and flush the granulomas with iodine.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 10/2/12



OCR Sheena, TexMaster™ dam nursing a three-week old buckling, suddenly displayed the following symptoms: seizuring, drooling, difficulty standing (unsteady on her feet), and a rectal temperature of 104.3*F (fever). She and her son were moved to a pen at the Vet Building for treatment. Later in the day she began losing sight in her right eye. The drooling in conjunction with her other symptoms said "Listeriosis" to me. The loss of eyesight pretty much confirmed it.

Knowing her weight to be about 150 pounds, I gave her 1-1/2 cc of Banamine IM (into the muscle). Fever is dehydrating. I dissolved Bounce Back electrolytes in her water and she drank without my having to stomach tube her. I did not have to repeat the Banamine injection every 12 hours since her body temperature quickly returned to normal.

I started Sheena on a regimen of procaine penicillin every six hours on a 24-hour cycle: 6 am, noon, 6 pm, and midnight, dosing at 10 cc SQ (under the skin) over the ribs with an 18 gauge needle. Procaine penicillin (300 international units) must be used to treat Listeriosis and must be dosed significantly higher than normal to cross the blood-brain barrier to kill the bacteria in the brain stem. I also gave her Vitamin B1 (thiamine) injections every 12 hours, dosing at six (6) cc IM. Since she was no longer pregnant, I gave her dexamethasone injections to reduce swelling in the brain stem. (Dex will induce labor in a pregnant doe.) Steroids must be given in declining dosages, so I gave Sheena 6 cc IM on Day One and Day Two, 5 cc on Day Three, 4 cc on Day four, 3 cc on Day Five, 2 cc on Day Six, and 1 cc on Day Seven.

Sheena never lost her appetite and her milk production remained constant, so it wasn't necessary to stomach tube her or supplement her kid. This is unusual; I attribute her quick response to early diagnosis and aggressive treatment. The longer you wait to treat Listeriosis, the harder it is to cure.

After 10 days of procaine penicillin treatments every 6 hours, I continued the treatments every 6 hours for another 24 hours after all symptoms had disappeared. Then I took her off all medications and moved her to a pen with other dams and their kids.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 10/2/12


Onion Creek Ranch Sheena

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CONTACT: Pat Cotten 501-581-5700
Bending Tree Ranch located near Greenbrier, Arkansas

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