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Goat Injections

Goat Injections & Recommended Needles

Commonly used needle sizes for administering vaccines:

Recommended Needles:
Goats 18 ga x 1"
Kids & Lambs 20 ga x 1"

The more you understand how to give injections the less you will worry when the time comes you have to give one!
I will try to cover anything you could ever need to know about giving injections so the task is not stressful for you or the goat.

Take a breath, Take you time and relax, it really is not as difficult as you think.

How to Give an Injection to Goats

There are 2 basic syringe types; One where the needle screws onto the syringe and the other the needle slips onto the syringe..
I prefer the screw on type called a "Luer Lock" syringe, less chance of the needle coming off while administering medication.


  • Luer-lock, which locks the needle onto the nozzle of the syringe.
  • Slip tip or Luer Slip, which secures the needle by compressing the hub onto the syringe nozzle.
syringe types

This shows the parts of a Luer Slip Syringe used for giving injections

Parts of a Syringe

Luer Lock Syringe Parts

Selection of needles to use for goat injections

Steps of Giving an Injection

  • Always use a clean needle and syringe
  • Wash your hands with antiseptic soap before handling the needle and syringe.
  • Check the label on the vaccination or medication bottle to verify it is in fact the one you want to give your goat. Double-check the expiration date, make sure there is nothing floating in the bottle and that the drug is not discolored.
  • Wipe top of medication bottle with alcohol prep
  • Use separate needle for drawing medication from bottle so as not to contaminate medication- to do this  if you are using a syringe and needle combo, unscrew the needle on the syringe, and screw the syringe into the needle that is already in the rubber stopper of the medication (One that you have already placed there for this purpose) - once the syringe has the proper dosage of medication in it, unscrew the needle that is In the medication bottle and re-screw the needle you removed before  filling the syringe back onto the syringe.
  • Make sure injection needle is properly attached to syringe (With a luer-lock syringe the needle will screw into  the hub of the syringe , then while holding syringe upside down needle pointing upwards.. loosely in one hand.. flick with your fingers the top of the syringe to get air bubbles up to top, then expel them by pushing plunger some until you are to pure medication.
  • Secure goat either in a stancheon or using a collar or second person and secure to a fence , tree or have the person hold the goat securely  if you  cannot hold the goat and give the injection.  It helps to have the butt end of the goat up against something solid so they cannot back away which is what they typically do.
  • Wipe injection site with alcohol prep, double check dose amount in syringe and double check the medicaiton to make sure you in fact have the correct med.
  • Remove the needle's plastic, protective cap. Be very careful not to touch the needle.
  • Insert injection needle into goat at what ever angle you intend on giving injection (Sub-Q or IM) - SQ goes in at an angle , IM goes straight in.
  • Draw back on plunger to make sure you are NOT in a blood vessel! (This is especially important for giving penicillin injections as Penicillin is deadly if injected into the bloodstream)If you are in the vessel ..withdraw needle and re stick the goat.
  • Slowly and firmly inject medication (if the goat moves and you think there is a possibility of breaking the needle- Let go of it and let it hang.. you do much less damage with the needle hanging there than trying to hold on and taking a chance of breaking it off in the goat!)
  • Withdraw needle and rub injection site briskly.
  • Let go of goat and apologize for giving it an owie. Give her a kiss and a cookie.
  • Watch her for at least 30 minutes.. this is why I bring mine inside if at all possible. Keep an eye on her the next few hours Just in case..
  • uer-lock, which locks the needle onto the nozzle of the syringe.
  • Slip tip, which secures the needle by compressing the hub onto the syringe nozzle.

*Make sure you always use a clean needle..

*If the syringe and needle drop onto the ground.. go get another needle.

*Only re-use a needle a couple times.. if you use them more than once.. they go dull VERY quickly.. and if you Do use them more than once.. make sure you sterilize them between uses.
Tip: A sterilized short jar with a tight fitting lid, filled with a sterile sponge and alcohol nearly to the top is a good place to store used needles for future use. Stick the needle into the sponge covered with alcohol and it will be sterile and ready for use later.
*Make sure you use the correct needle for the right job.. thick medications require a bigger gauge (diameter) needle.. a baby needs a smaller needle..
*Don't mix medications.
*Know which medications sting ahead of time so you don't get upset when one starts to jump and dance around thinking you are experiencing shock.. (Ivomec, Tylan200 and Nuflor among others are notorious for stinging..)
*Write down who you gave what shot to so you do not repeat it too soon, and make sure to give follow up medications when needed.. not giving enough is almost as bad as not giving any.. follow through.

This link will show you how to properly dispose of livestock sharps..(needles and scalpel blades)
Nebraska Cooperative Extension

**Giving CDT vaccine injections can leave you with an injection site abscess.. Best to give it SubQ to decrease the chances of abccess..
This is what an injection site abscess looks like..

If this occurs, and I have had it do so 1 time, you must treat with antibiotics such as Pen G and clean daily and apply antibiotic ointment to heal it.

NOTE: Credit for most of this information goes to

Important! Please Read The Following Notice!

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. Much of my page content is from Veterinary Colleges and Manuals.

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

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