Compliments of Medicine Chest
Note: We are not Vets, please first check with yours. This is FYI only and listed here to give you some ideas of both natural medicines and drug medicines available from your vet or farm supply
There is no feed available that truly has the nutrition the goats really need to thrive, and by that I mean grow well and mature well, not get fat. Many of the items listed on this page are to boost nutrition, or as a supportive therapy. We have been blessed thus far with very little need for medications, this list is what I have personally used and found to be effective against illness or conditions related to dairy goats. There are many medications available from your veterinarian to treat illnesses, as well as natural supplements to support quick recovery. amj at TheThreeRingRanch dot com
Fortified B-Complex Injection Sources: injectable - dosage - 3 - 5 ml per 100 pounds given sub Q by injection. (fastest) once per day ---For off tasteing milk you can also try -1 tea of baking yeast twice a day (only use this for a week, as there is a danger of phosporous poisoning) it can raise the levels of phosphorous over time ---A cobalt lick, or cobalt salt blend will often solve a recurring B vit deficiency. (slower but corrects cause of the deficiency) ---B vit Complex pills for humans, 1 tablet daily, or twice daily. (fairly fast, I have seen improvement in 24 - 36 hours) Vitamin B complex is several B vitamins blended together. It is a water soluble vitamin that is shed in the urine, therefore it has a fairly broad safety range. It is excellent to give to any goat who is off, sick, lacking good appetite, struggling or otherwise compromised as it is so supportive of recovery. You can tell if a goat has plenty of Bs by taking a urine sample in a white cup. If the goat has excess Bs in the system, they will have very bright yellow colored urine. This is the excess Bs being flushed out of the system. If you suspect B deficiency, this is a simple test to see if she has plenty, but you may have to examine the urine for several days. Vitamin B is flushed out quickly a dose lasts about 24 hours. Symptoms (I have seen) of Vitamin B deficiency are anemia, off tasting milk, poor appetite, poor production, high worm loads that do not respond to de-worming medications. I would also give B vit for any goat acting off, or not themselves. I always give a shot of B complex with any illness, along with antibiotics, de-worming medications, or anything that is compromising the goat. At the recommended dosages, it will not hurt, and may do a heck of a lot of good. The root of constant b vitamin deficiency is cobalt deficiency. The goat uses the cobalt to synthesize B vitamins naturally in their systems. Many times goats with low worm loads(checked with a fecal exam), who appear anemic but have no discernable health condition will come back up from anemia with b supplementation and a cobalt lick to boost the cobalt. B's are essential for the goat to make use of iron and copper in her system. (this information is just my own opionon) If you ever notice a metallic or chemical type taste to your milk, a shot of B Complex will clear it by next milking. My Toggenburg crosses seem to need more Bs and calcium/magnesium. Don't believe it for a second that Togg milk it just always yucky, mine is quite good unless they aren't getting what they need. You should also check for mastitis, but the shot of Fortified B complex will improve the taste quickly and can then be ruled out, so I always administer it immediately when milk tastes off. Vitamin B 1 or Thiamine Vitamin B 1 (Thiamine) is essential for treating Polioencephalomalacia or Goat polio. It is necessary to metabolize carbohydrates and certain amino acids. Use of and particularly overdose of Corid or amprolium can cause thiamine deficiency as this is how it kills the coccidia by reducing thiamine availability, but it can also cause the goat to go deficient. IF you use Corid, always supplement with Vit B complex and always use the dosage recommended by your veterinarian to prevent polio from it's use.
Symptoms of Goat Polio - Stiffness, blindness, loss of motor control, depression, diarrhea, rigidity, convulsions, erratic movement, lack of eye control, star gazing, aimlessness, muscle tremors, and circling. Any kind of odd neurological response. These can also be symptoms of listeriosis, tetanus, enterotoxemia and pregnancy toxemia. Please consult with a veterinarian if you see these symptoms, this is not a time to do it yourself with a hit and miss plan. All of these conditions are life and death, if you are unsure, get help immediately! B1 injections are by prescription only. In the event of an emergency at 2 am, Sunday afternoon or 15 minutes after the veterinarian office closes, (I never have an emergency except at these times) administer Fortified Vit B complex if you don't have Thiamine injections available.
If you suspect Goat polio...do your best to find some asap because b complex doesn't contain enough B1 to get the job done, but it can buy you some time to get the thiamine in the animal. DO NOT IGNORE THESE SYMPTOMS!!! Vitamin C with Rose-hips or Bioflavonoids Vitamin C is a very good supportive vitamin for immune system function. I like to give it regularly along with other medications to help prevent secondary illnesses from setting in while under treatment. I generally give Vit C after and during any trauma, such as birth, illness, feeling off or lack of appetite. I often give it in conjunction with other vitamins or medications because it speeds up the absorption of those and provides additional immune support. Vit C is also essential for vein health and strength, I always give it when a goat kids, to help them repair the tissues in the birth canal and rectum. This will often improve hemorrhoids in humans, and I feel it helps the goats to maintain good vein condition and circulation. The rose-hips and bioflavonoids highly increase the availability and absorption of Vitamin C, and this is the only kind that I bother using. I will give as much as 3000 mg a day, but I do break it up over the day, because Vit C is constantly flushed out of the system so smaller amounts, spread over the day is better than one huge dose. They will usually eat it readily. There are tons of "foods" that boast a full days supply of vit C, but the body can't make good use of it. Bioflavonoids is another antioxidant and it reduces the oxidation of the C while passing through the body. They are found in many fruits and vegetables particularly those with yellow and orange coloring. Rosehips contain bioflavonoids and are easier to find. Dosage is 1000 - 3000 mg spread out over a day. Can give a double dose the first time and can be continued for several days. Discontinue if you see loosening of the stool which can be a sign that the goat is flushing excess Vit C from the system. Dark Beer - Stouts or Ales YES Beer, but it must be a dark beer or ale, if you can't see through it, you got a good one! Not just to calm your nerves but, this is an excellent way to repopulate flora, and jump start a rumen that has shut down, and provide nutrition. Very dark beers are also contain vitamins and minerals, Becks or Guinness would be my choice to use. Warm the beer and tube the whole beer into an adult goat to treat rumen shut down, i do not know how much to use on younger goats who are ruminating (IE not on a milk diet). BO-SE This is a selenium supplement that requires a prescription. I go to my vet's office and ask him for it and he sells it to me.
It is used to treat white muscle disease or floppy kid syndrome. The dosage is 1 cc per 40 pounds, and you will need a 1 cc syringe for kids. I usually give 1/4 of a cc to kids who show a lack of sucking interest or what I call wonky legs. This can often straighten up hocky kids or kids with feet turning out. Also consider giving ADE gel to support the goat, and it also helps correct these problems if they are nutrition related. Many breeders administer the BOSE 4 weeks prior to kidding in the mothers if they have a selenium deficiency. I do not do this, prefering to give multimin instead.
I only give to kids who show signs of weakness or lack of desire to suck, it clears it right up. You can also administer Vit E caplets, break one open and give to the goat on feed, or a half or quarter sucked into a syringe can be drenched into a newborn kid. Wheat bran and beet pulp is a good natural source of Vit E for adult/ruminating goats. Garlic Preferably fresh RAW cloves of garlic - raw garlic is very helpful to boost immune systems, and support a goat when recovering from an infection, illness or disease. Mine will nom them right out of my hand. This is an excellent secondary support for traditional medications for mastitis, congested udder, injury, swelling or infections.
Garlic has natural antibiotic properties and also has natural anti inflammatory properties. Garlic oil - or Garlic-Mullein oil An excellent aid for achy or gloppy ears in LaMancha goats, because of their unique little ears sometimes they do not drain well and moisture collects. I do not know if this condition is fungal in nature or infection, but this oil has worked well for me in treating "LaMancha Ear" Flush the ear with body temp vinegar and water, then flush the ear with the oil hold the goats head so it sits in the ear for a moment. The goat will shake the excess out. Repeat once or twice a day for 3 - 5 days. Calcium and Magnesium pills for humans.(See also Dolomite) Try to get one with calcium citrate and not calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is less absorbable, and shows less availability. A kelated calcium is good, and one with D and potassium is good, but you must get one that also contains magnesium or the goat will not be able to make the best use of the calcium. Calcium pills can clear up small amounts blood in the milk when mastitis and injury have been ruled out.
I have a Toggenburg cross doe that will milk pink milk, or the milk will look normal, but have specks of blood that settle to the bottom as it cools. In my experience this is corrected with a few days calcium supplementation, and is the beginnings of hypo calciemia. Because I know that a bit of extra calcium is required here, I give a teaspoon of dolomite two or three times per week with their grain. I will up this dosage or decrease it, and monitor the milk.
Cayenne powder or tincture This is excellent for bleeding, and a ton of other things. Dissolved in warm water and put in a drench it can help stop bleeding internally or externally. It improves circulation, stops bleeding, warms cold animals, treats frostbite, hypothermia, heart conditions, ulcers, morning sickness, heartburn and much much more. It can be used in many ways, and I encourage you to research all the different uses of this amazing herb. Usually 1/4 to 1 teaspoon in some warm water will help. It is also very useful in making a fine pot of chili :)Be sure you get a very good quality cayenne. Whats at the grocery probably isn't as good as at a natural food store, or better yet ordered from www.firmeadow.com where you can get medicinal grade herbs and spices.
Dolomite Dolomite is calcium magnesium carbonate and it works very well to help maintain calcium levels in higher producing animals that may be putting too much into their milk. It can have toxic residues so be sure and get a food grade dolomite. I find that they can produce better milk, and eliminate the blood specks by regularly giving 1 teaspoon of dolomite daily. You can also get pills at health food stores. This is also good to give several times a week from spring to summer when the grass is growing really fast to prevent grass tetany - which is magnesium deficiency. Important note, with the introduction of the cobalt block, I have eliminated the need for extra calcium supplementation so far this year.
Organic iodine / Kelp Powder I have used organic iodine to help bring up iodine levels. I no longer use it, instead if I have a problem I give kelp powder. It is rather pricey, but the mineral content and availability is very high and they get lots of other good stuff too. To test a goat for iodine deficiency paint 7% iodine on the tail web enough to make a good dark stain. check in 6 hours, and again at 12 hours. If it is gone at 6 or 12 hours, I would give kelp powder free choice, and see if I see improvements. You can give organic iodine, follow the instructions on the package. Iodine deficiency can be a cause of weak heats that are difficult to detect in does and lack of interest in bucks. As with all minerals, it is important to consider herbage and soil testing to determine the situation on your farm. I like to give the kelp because it seems to work (I don't really know...but it seems to help) and it shouldn't hurt if they don't need it. I get cold water treated kelp from Firmeadow, see her other products below.
Ketone Strips These are dipped in does urine to check for ketosis which generally effects does in the last month of pregnancy, or shortly after kidding. Symptoms are lack of appetite, lethargy, walking oddly, staggering, laying down and not being able to get up. Note that some of these also match listeria, milk fever and goat polio. Get a vet out asap, will result in death! Use the test strips to test for this, to either confirm the problem or rule it out. Propylene Glycerol This is a substance that is very good for ketosis and providing instant energy for struggling animals. Ketosis is a condition that causes the doe in late pregnancy to start burning fat calories from her stores instead of energy from her food. Overweight does, large kid load and lack of excercise can increase the incidence of ketosis. Symptoms are lack of appetite, lethargy, walking oddly, staggering, laying down and not being able to get up. Note that some of these also match listeria, milk fever and goat polio. Get a vet out asap, will result in death!
Propylene Glycerol helps flush the liver of the ketones and helps get the goat back on track. 60 ml three Xs in 24 hours, or once every 6 hours. There are a number of gels designed for cattle that work well, and the gel is easy to administer. I also recommend Fresh Start on any ketonic doe in addition to the P/C - See Fresh Start Below. CMPK drench/gel This is to treat milk fever or Hypocalcemia which is an acute calcium deficiency. Symptoms are shivering, wobbly legs, a downed goat who will not get up, staggering, running into things or lethargy. It is generally seen in does about to kid or having just freshened. Note that some of these also match ketosis, listeriosis and goat polio. Get a vet out asap! Any of these left untreated will result in death! You will have to read the instructions on your drench or paste for dosage. I have not experienced this condition so I do not have any personal experience but I keep the CMPK drench on hand in case I need it.
Masto-blast I give this to each doe when she kids for the full amount of time suggested on the bottle as a prevention. I feel it helps prevent problems getting started. I have really liked it, and it is great to give to does with questionable lumps but not positive CMT test. I give this in addition to medications for suspected mastitis or an udder that just feels "different". Milk I also give a couple of ounces in those little paper cups of her own milk to any doe who's udder feels off, has lumps or isn't producing well. Irene Ramsay from New Zealand first suggested this, she feels that many cases of mastitis is metabolic in nature. I do not know, but they love their little milk treat, you want to give about 20 ml. I have seen improvement using this method for suspected sub clinical mastitis, but I do not know if this is what helped or the other methods used. Another no harm approach. Nutri drench I give this to anyone who is off and to support other treatments. It is high in Bs (you can tell this because of the nasty smell lol) as well as giving a small jump on energy from the propelene glycerol base. I give one pump to a doe after birthing and repeat three times in that day. I will also give some to kids who are doing ok, but seem to need a bit of a jump start. They will usually take about 1/2 of a pump easily. It can be used to treat ketosis in a pinch, but I am not sure of what the dosage should be.
Antibiotics Always administer at least 5 grams of probios or other flora containing product for ruminants with each dosage of antibiotics of any type to maintain healthy digestive flora in ruminants! Cultured Yogurt, dark beer or cultured buttermilk may be used in the event of an emergency and are readibly available 24/7. I would administer 4 oz of yogurt (make sure it contains active cultures), 4 oz of buttermilk, or at least 4 oz of dark beer or ale. I have very little use for penicillin or Bio-Mycin. I have both, but I rarely use them, they have expired and I am not certain I will replace them. I need to talk to my vet and see what he thinks about it, that is always the best approach. My problem with both of them, is that they are not always effective, penicillin needs to be given several times a day for up to 10 days. Its dangerous if you get it in a vein, and it has a withdraw of 14- 29 days! I generally tend to go straight to the big guns and use prescription antibiotics instead. Excenel - Excellent broad spectrum antibiotic actively inhibiting both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. I have used it effectively to control skin type staph infections and sub clinical mastitis from staph. Excenel is by prescription only, so you will have to work with your vet in how and when to use it. My vet, God bless him draws up enough for several days for me into small bottles and sells it by the cc at a very reasonable rate of a bit over $1 per cc. See label information about excenel and it's usagehere . Nuflor - Excellent broad spectrum antibiotic for respiratory infections, can also treat footrot.
I had a case of pneumonia that would not clear up...nuflor finally did the trick. Nuflor is effective against many gram positive and gram negative infections. It is also by prescription only/extra lablel, so you will need to contact your vet. With any antibiotic use....consult your veterinarian. I work very closely with mine and this is what we are working with here. This is what works for me, your vet can help you better prepare for an emergency when he or she is unavailable and you need to use an antibiotic.
It is always advisable to keep emergency dosages on hand, because vets are not always able to come/dispense drugs. Mineral oil I give mineral oil for constipation and also if a goat accidentally gets into the grain and I do not know how much they consumed. It will help clear the grain out of the gut quickly which will prevent enterotoxemia. It is also useful for treating constipation, although I have not used it for that. the dosage for over eating grain in one cup of mineral oil, tubed directly into the goat. I have drenched it, but you MUST go very very slow, making sure to not rush the goat or they can aspirate the oil which they can then not clear from their lungs - they will eventually die and I don't know of any help or treatment if that happens. Also syringes bind up from the oil and will not depress to release the liquid. Milk of Magnesia This stuff is really good for lot of ailments you can't put your finger on. If a goat seems to have a tummy ache...but no symptoms other than stretching repeatedly (a sign of tummy ache) I will give 20 ccs to an adult, and 10 to a kid.
It also helps to relieve constipation. It also helps jump the magnesium levels and if you have milk fever, blood clots in milk that otherwise seems normal, give this along with plain calcium to help the goat absorb the calcium. Probios One of my, give it whenever there is doubt of anything wrong at all. It is full of good flora to encourage and aid in digestion and proper rumen function. I give 5 grams with any medication, also during any time of stress. With probios, "When in doubt, give it out" has worked well for me. Multivitamin injection for cattle. I give this two - three times a year at the rate of 1 cc per 100 pounds. It is by prescription only so you'll need to talk to your vet. It will do a CAE positive animal a lot of good, or any animal with a compromised immune system. I also give this if enough time has passed to any animal not responding to deworming. If the worms aren't dying off, I will give a cc of this to help the goats natural ability cleanse the worms. It can also be benefical to older does who may just need a bit extra to help them maintain condition and vitality.
Copasure - Copper Wire Oxide Particles (COWP) These, given in gelatin boluses have been shown to effectively reduce Barberpole worms. The dosage varies, depending on copper needs of your herd and situation. We give about 3 grams of wire particles to adults, and 1.5 grams to kids 8 wks or older 3 - 4 times per year. COWP are made from copper oxide which does not absorb as quickly as copper sulfate. These tiny wires lodge in the rumen and stay in place for 6 - 8 wks. A small dose is often very effective, we are rethinking our regimen now, but we have seen increased growth and reduced worm loads with the current dosage. There is a lot of evidence that lower more frequent dosage is more helpful for reducing Haemoncus contortus (barberpole worm) in goats. Dosage varies from 1/2 gram to as much as 6 grams and as often as every 6 weeks. Be cautious and speak with your veterinarian as too much copper can lead to toxicity and once it's in the rumen you can't get it out. It is fairly well documented to be safe in goats in 1/2 - 4 gram dosage. In hard to bolus goats, you can take them a mini marshmallow and once they get a taste for this new weird food, you can hide the wires inside a full sized one quite effectively. It has also been shown to be fine to top dress feed with it instead of a bolus, but care must be taken that each doe gets their full dose and no more.
Cabbage Leaves Cold cabbage leaves, or pureed cabbage leaves are very beneficial in reducing swelling from edema of the udder, mastitis or bruising. Just apply chilled leaves directly to the udder (or other area of symptoms) for 3 - 10 minutes. Pureed cabbage leaves can be rubbed and massaged into a congested udder, or an udder suffering from mastitis. I can attest that it helps with congested sore breasts, engorged breasts and breasts sore from mastitis. It can also be applied to other sore, swelled areas. Mentholatum Salve After treating sore udders with cabbage, I will often gently massage with this. A congested udder will come right down using this, and you will hear the doe sigh in pleasure. It is excellent for cuts, scrapes and bug bites, bruises, sprains or any painful area that can have a salve applied. It helps with itches, soreness, bruises and chapped areas. Dabbing some around noses can help clear passages from colds and this is one of my big use products. I also find that applying this to cuts and scrapes repels flies.
Herbal Supplements From Fir Meadow I have used the following products from www.firmeadow.com. I have been very pleased with the results. I would encourage anyone interested to check that site and look at her products. She has so many awesome products available for dairy goats, as she is a dairy goat breeder herself. For many ailments and problems she has herbal blends that can be used in place of, or in support to traditional medications. These herb blends have no milk withdrawal and they are generally safe to use on pregnant animals. There is a big difference also in medicinal grade herbs that you get there, and junk in the local grocery. A- King Arther Dosage is 1/2 Tablespoon for goats 6 days per week This is an herbal blend that is good for CAE pos goats, foundered or foot sore animals - or for any condition with pain, inflammation and swelling. I used this very successfully in an old goat who was having a lot of pain in her legs and feet. This product allowed me to take her off of medications for pain, and kept her a lot more comfortable, particularly at the end of her pregnancy. It is much safer for ongoing, continued use for managing pain! Better Daze Dosage is 1/2 tablespoon for adult goats 1/4 teaspoon or a large pinch for kids 1 -- 3 times per day for 6 days per week. You can put this right in the lamb bar. This is a formulation to provide extra nutrition and support to an ailing, failing to thrive or undersized animal. I personally used it when I had a huge worm explosion and had loss of condition in my herd, as well as my kid crop. After speaking to other breeders and evaluating their condition (sometimes it happens so slow you just don't SEE it) I had given up being able to breed any of my doe kids. In less than three months, I put from 20 - 30 pounds on those doe kids and all but 2 of them were big enough to breed! For senior, young, does struggling to support a taxing pregnancy, bucks in breeding season and any animal that needs some extra support. It is also good to feed to ill animals to support quick recovery and healing. Gi Soother Dosage is 1/2 tablespoon for adults, large pinch for kids, can be given at 3 times that dose, as often as every hour if needed. Once condition improves two to three times per week suffices. This blend helps the body build and repair tissue in the stomach and gut from high worm loads. It is also very helpful in ridding the animals of Haemoncus contortus (barberpole worm), coccidia parasites, bacterium and other issues causing diarrhea and GI issues. We have seen reduction in numbers of barberpoles and coccidia eggs shed using this product. We are putting all the babies straight on this blend this year! Dworm BWW This is a formulation for worms other than Barberpole, coccidia, liver flukes, tape worms and lung worms. Used in conjunction with the other de worming products this has been shown to be very effective in keeping the worms cleaned out. See her Dworm DLL for meningeal worms, Dworm T for aid in removal of tapeworms, and Dworm W for horses and camilids. Fresh Start Fresh start is used to help cleanse the liver and blood systems in people or animals. This product is excellent to use after treating for liver flukes or in any sick or failing animal. It will help cleanse the system and help remove toxins. You may see some mild signs of feeling off using this product the first time, as the toxins are shed from the body. This is another great product to use after heavy worm loads or illness.
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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. 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 applejofarms.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.