The first year we had goats, we had them home for about two weeks and our baby wether started having scours (diahrrea)....on the weekend of course! He was such a tiny baby, we knew he would need help fast, but we didnt know what to do -- it was our FIRST sick goat. And we didn't have ANY goat medical supplies on hand.
We called our vet (who thankfully called us right back). She gave us things we could do to help him right away, but we didn't have ANY of the items on hand.
You do everything in your power to keep your goats healthy and happy. You stocked up on their basic goat supplies when you got them. They have high quality feed, give them lots of room to graze and browse.
However, despite the best efforts, at some point your goats will get sick. It is inevitable. A sick goat can be very manageable as long as you have the right goat medical supplies on hand.
Having the correct goat medical supplies on hand is essential so that you can treat them quickly.
Needless to say, after that day with our new baby being sick, we ALWAYS have certain goat medical supplies on hand. And now, we don't have to panic when a goat inevitably gets sick at night or on the weekend - because you know that is when they will get into trouble!
You won't ever be able to predict every medical supply you will need. Particularly if you have a smaller herd, it won't be practical to stock up on bottles of antibiotics and other expensive medicines.
However, there are some goat medical supplies that are so common and cost effective that you should always have them on hand. Best part: this list applies to any goat breed.
Here they are - 5 Goat Medical Supplies to always have on hand:
1. A thermometer
You will want a simple digital thermometer like this. Whenever your goat starts acting "off", the first thing you will want to do is take their temperature to see if they have a fever or if they are normal.
This will help you immediately rule in or out possible causes. Also, if you can't triage on your own, this will be important information for your vet to know.
One of the main issues that goats will face are worms. They can get a variety of different worms all of which affect different internal organs. Probably the most dangerous (and most common) is Barberpole worm.
When choosing the best dewormer for your goats, you will want to consult your vet and possibly run fecals. However, in the end, you should always have at least one dewormer on hand. This may be THE most important goat medical supply to have.
By making sure that your goats have the proper dewormer ready, you can keep them treated as they start to show signs. We REALLY like running our own fecals so that we know for sure if they need treatment. However, using the Famancha scoring also works well.
Now, probiotics alone won't "cure" any illness your goats may have. However, many of the issues that your goats can face will affect their stomach. And therefore, this is a good goat medical supply to have on hand.
Worms, Coccidia, other parasites, poisoning (from plants or otherwise) all will cause them to have upset tummies and usually diarrhea. This will cause their tummy to get out of whack and can make it difficult for them to get better in a timely manner.
If you start them right away on Probiotics (we use this kind) you can help them keep their gut bacterial balance right which will lead to keeping them healthier and healing faster.
4. Red Cell
As we mentioned above, worms are one of the main issues that your goat will face. One of the dangers of worm or parasite overload is that your goat can become anemic (iron deficient).
Anemia can happen quickly without much warning and can really take a toll on your goat if you don't get it fixed. Red cell is an iron supplement that can help them replace their iron supplies faster. Please note: you can overdose iron, so make sure to get the proper doseage.
5. CDT vaccine.
Most people choose to give their goats a CDT vaccine annually. For pregnant goats, it is recommended to give them a booster 4 - 8 weeks before kidding so that the kids will have antibodies when born.
It can be expensive and time consuming to take your goats to the vet for a simple shot. Although giving a shot for the first time can seem a little overwhelming, it is really very simple.
Need more goat information? Check out this Goat Raising Basics.
One additional goat medical supply that you might want to keep on hand (especially if you will have babies often) is a coccidia medication. Coccidia in goats can be treated easily, but if not dealt with can be deadly. We like to use Baycox as a preventative for kids.
These are our 5 must have goat medical supplies. What do you always have on hand to keep your goats healthy?
Love Goats, You May Also Love These