When I first began raising goats, I was not prepared for just how sensitive they can be health-wise. Goats can fall deathly ill very quickly and often require immediate treatment to save their lives. Often times, there’s not even time to consult a vet or get to the store. When keeping goats, it’s essential to keep what you need on hand to treat a wide variety of goat emergencies and illness.
On top of what you should keep in your basic livestock medicine cabinet, here is what I suggest you have on hand specifically for treating goats.
Goat First Aid Essentials
- Wormer – Goats carry a heavy parasite load and can easily become unbalanced, causing many of the most common goat ailments. While herbal wormers are great for regular maintenance, you will need to keep a good chemical wormer on hand to treat aggressively when needed. One of the most widely used wormers is Ivomec Plus, an injectable cattle wormer that can be found at Tractor Supply and most feed stores. Most people use this orally for goats, and it treats both external and internal parasites.
- Bloat Release – Bloat can bring a goat down fast and hard. It can be caused by eating bad grain or hay, something bad in their pasture, or any number of things. While mineral oil and other items can be used in a pinch, it’s good to have a real bloat release medication on hand
- C&D Antitoxin– Not to be confused with CD&T which is a vaccine, this is a big must-have. Because this is generally carried retail, you need to order it online and have it on hand for emergencies. Generally used to treat Enterotoxaemia, it can also be utilized in many emergency situations where there is bloody stool, suspected poison ingestion and more.
- Penicillin– This is another item that usually needs to be ordered and kept on hand in the refrigerator. Goats are prone to pneumonia and you will need this, or another antibiotic to be able to treat it quickly and effectively. This is good to have on hand for a number of other infections as well.
- Pepto Bismol – This is good for treating diarrhea, or scours, as quickly as possible.
- Probios – Whenever your goat has an issue that involves the rumen, it’s best to treat with probiotics to make sure to keep everything functioning normally.
- Vitamin B Complex – Good for boosting appetite and general support for sick goats
- Electrolytes – To treat dehydration
- Coccidiosis Medication – Coccidiosis is most common in younger goats, but it can occur at any time. Albon, Sulmet and Di-Methox are the best treatments to have on hand. Corrid can be used as well, but only if you don’t have another option.
- Various Sized Syringes and Needles – Goat medications can be both oral and injectable, and you want to be prepared for all dosages
- Biomycin – For treating pink eye (a few drops directly in infected eye) and other infections
- Epinephrine – For allergic reactions to injections
- Power Punch or Nutri Drench – These products help give a goat the energy and nutrients they need to help support them when they are sick or weak
- Activated Charcoal – To treat poisoning
These are the goat specific items to have on hand for treating goats in emergency situations. There are many other items you should have for maintaining the daily health and well-being of your herd. Being well prepared can mean the difference between life and death for your goats.