First Aid Kit
Osory Boer Goat Stud NSW Australia
the top of my list is a vial of Vitamin B1. The
effect of administering 5 ml intravenously to a goat
showing symptoms of "stargazing" (or blindness
or cobalt deficiency) is almost immediate. The goat is
up and away fully recovered, within half and hour.
Remember to regularly replenish your B1 stocks (every
six months or so) as it has a limited shelf life.
vitamins are equally as useful. Keep a multivitamin
such as Vitamin A-D-E or just B12 on hand as they seem
to be good for 'what-ever ails them'. If you take a goat
to your vet for just about anything, you will notice
that a multivitamin injection is part of his or her
much as anything, vitamins help with stress, which can be a
significant contributor to whether or not and animal makes a
speedy recovery. This is especially the case in a hard season,
when stock may already be in a lowered condition when an
vitamins, the next most important item that should be in every goat
farmer's first aid kit is a packet of Epsom Salts. Not only
are Epsom Salts indicated for cases of magnesium deficiency, but it
is also needed for retained afterbirths. In this case, administer
two tablespoons dissolved in water and the doe will pass the
afterbirth within two hours. It is invaluable as a blood purifier
and will prevent septicaemia (without the use of antibiotics).
for antibiotics, I keep two types on hand: 1 penicillin
based, for general infections, and another tetracycline based if the
animal has pneumonia, and for some obstetric cases. Take care
administering the latter, it is a very thick fluid so you need a
thicker-than-normal gauge needle on hand to draw it out, but then
change to a finer gauge to administer it as it can be quite painful
for the goat otherwise. If in doubt contact your vet, but just
remember, that in all cases where you have introduced a possible
source of infection-for example if you have assisted a birth-you
should administer a course of antibiotics.
treat scours you should keep scourban or neo-sulcin tablets
on hand, but do not forget to treat the cause of the scours as well.
For cases of bloat, some producers use vegetable oil but I prefer to
use bicarbonate of soda as I have found that in inexperienced hands
the oil can easily find its way into the animal's lungs.
essentials in this category include electrolytes (such as
vytrate or lectade) which should be administered to any goat that
has been down for any time, and especially to animals suffering from
dehydration due to scouring or other causes: and glucose.
There are several proprietary brands available from chemists or
supermarkets: glucodin is the most readily available in Australia.
For very weakened animals, administer electrolytes and glucose every
few hours as a drench (according to the directions on the pack).
breeders should keep at least one pack of propylene glycol on
hand just in case pregnancy toxaemia should strike. In most
instances, if you should have to make a trip to town at the time the
emergency presents itself, it is too late to save the doe.
also keep stitching material on hand. Some people use dental floss
and an ordinary needle but I prefer the type with the needle already
attached to the thread. Last week I did a very neat job on a Boer
doe's ear after the doe had managed to catch her ear tag and rip the
length of her ear into two flaps.
have treated simple bone fractures myself successfully for some time
and in fact over the years I have shown many goats, which had a
broken leg at one time. The key here is to start a collection of cardboard
cylinders of different sizes from the inner tube of your toilet
rolls to the larger and sturdier tube on the inside of a roll of
fabric. These are my casts. For new kids the toilet roll size is
perfect. Slip it over their legs (right down to the base of the hoof
so they have something to walk on), pack it well with cotton wool,
then wrap firmly, but not too tightly, with a clean bandage. I use
the same system with older goats, just varying the size and length
of the cylinder to suit. If the cylinder is too narrow to fit over
the hoof, cut it lengthwise into two halves, again pack with cotton
wool or gauze, and wrap. For severe breaks, you might use pre-plastered
bandages that you dip in water as you wrap. The beauty of the
cardboard cylinders is that they are light enough so not to cause
any muscular or hip damage as the animal moves around, yet strong
enough to last until the leg is mended. They also allow air
circulation, thereby saving infection later.
finish your first aid kit, remember the usual hardware:
A scalpel blade,
Good sharp scissors, clean
soft gauze and/or cotton wool, and antiseptic solution (e.g. dettol),
A variety of disposable
single-use syringes including 1 ml, 5ml, 10 ml and 20 ml;
A variety of different
gauge needles from 18 gauge to 22 gauge;
(for your safety as well as your animals,) a pack of disposable