Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
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There are less than two million goats in the USA, down from 12 million in 1990,  and the number is decreasing despite increased  demand for goat meat.  They are the hardest livestock to raise for many reasons, and  the turnover of people raising goats occurs  about every two to five years when they discover how difficult goats are to raise properly and profitably.    Consequently, few  products are made for goats because the market is so small that  making the investment back is unlikely, much less earning a profit.

Therefore,  most medications used to treat goats, whether prescription or over-the-counter, are  "off label" or "extra label" usage.    Lack of government approval does not mean that such products are dangerous or ineffective.  It   means that the product manufacturers have chosen not to spend  the large sums of money needed to do the testing and paperwork required to obtain approval because they aren't likely to make money  in such a small market.

Just as there are few products approved for goats, so are there few vets who know much about them.   In most veterinarian schools,  students get  very little  training on small ruminant health.   Since I started raising goats in January 1990,   I've found only  two vets who have serious knowledge of goats,  many who know virtually nothing about goats, and quite a  few who want nothing to do with what they consider a junk species.   I  learned the importance of  cultivating a relationship with a vet who either knows something about goats or is willing to learn.  Sometimes the goat raiser knows more about goats than the vet, having had more experience with them, and they can work together  for their mutual benefit.

Many people   who raise goats do not use vet services.   If they do, they are likely to be  high-quality breeding stock producters or show-goat folks with expensive animals.    Others think they can do without vet services.   If they are raising commercial goats, it is vital to learn to do everything possible themselves to maximize profits.

If you can't find a vet knowledgeable about goats, you still need  veterinary relationship to be able to buy the medications that you need to keep your goats healthy.   The most effective medications for serious illnesses are available only by prescription,   and the Government is putting more drugs under prescription-only requirements.

For prescription medications and veterinary care, you need to establish a vet relationship before  you need help.   You likely won't be able to access a vet when you need emergency veterinary care.   Your   goat health emergency is going to happen on a holiday weekend in the middle of the night in horrible weather and your goat may  die because you weren't prepared.  Get the veterinary part of your goat-raising operation resolved and in place now.

An excellent source of non-prescription   medications and supplies is  Jeffers.   1-800-533-3377.   www.jefferslivestock.com.      I   recommend purchasing from  this fine family-owned company.    I've been a Jeffers customer since the early 1990's.    There are lots of supplies you need to have on hand that are not prescription items that Jeffers carries.   A good vet, Jeffers, and you   can be a  powerful team.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion  Creek Ranch, Texas    5/1/21

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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.

The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)

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