Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goat Shots

Nettie is due in four weeks so that means it was time for her annual CD&T shot.  It also means that we’re going to have MILK soon!!!!  I’m soooooooo anxious to get fresh milk again.  Chocloate milk, granola cereal with milk, cookies and milk, milk…….you get it
Anyways, back to the goat medicating.
Syringes, needles and medication.

We give the goats a yearly CD&T shot.  Giving the pregnant does a shot four weeks before they are due to kid will give their offspring immunity even before they are born.  The kids will get two more booster shots; one when they are six weeks old and one three weeks after the first booster.
What are you going to do with THAT???
This type of injection is given subcutaneously (i.e. under the skin as opposed to in the muscle or a vein) and is actually quite easy.  Just find a stretchy patch of skin on your goat so you can pull the skin up & make a little tent with it.  I find the chest area in front of the foreleg to be the best place.  Then press the needle through the skin (make sure you don’t go through one flap & out the other) and depress the plunger until all the medication is administered. 
Nettie, with her head in the feed bucket, doesn't even notice when she gets the shot.

Pull the needle out, cover the tip with the little plastic cover (or another material that will cover up the sharp end) and throw it away.  Please don't re-use needles.  They are cheap and easy enough to find that you shouldn't have to compromise the health of your animals to save a dollar.
You can use another syringe if you want to assemble all your shots at once, but I use the same syringe and different needles for each goat.
Also make sure to stick around for ten or fifteen minutes after administrating any type of shot just in case the animal goes into anaphylactic shock.  Although not common, some animals can go into shock and die.  If this happens you have to give that animal a dose of epinephrine like right now.  That’s another medication I suggest you keep in your animal medical kit.  Be nice to your vet and see if you can get some to keep on hand for emergencies.
We gave Nettie, Stormy & Chop Suey their shots today.  Stormy wasn’t bred this year and Chop Suey is a wether so I figured we’d get them done since we had the medication ready for Nettie.  Annette and Ishtar will get their shots when they are a month out from kidding.  I guess we could have given Pan his shot but I was too lazy to put on my stinky-buck-overalls.  We’ll get him next time.
If the previous years are any indication on how Nettie will react to the shot, she’ll be limping for a day and acting all “Oh, I’m sooooo hurt, please give me some animal crackers and I’ll feel better”.  Of course, she’ll run to you if there are prunes or crackers in your hand but when the snacks disappear she starts the sympathy-limping routine again.
Please do some research on your own or ask someone with experience if you are unsure how to assemble the syringe/needle, fill the syringe or how to administer the medication.   It’s a very important skill to learn if you’re going to raise livestock.  I’ve only given intramuscular and subcutaneous shots.  I’m hoping to have my vet teach me how to give intravenous shots and how to draw blood in the near future. 


  1. I love the goats face and the needle. They know! Thanks for the post as there is so much to learn about livestock. It's not as simple as one thinks it is!

  2. Tell me about it! I'm learning something new all the time. Good & bad, but you gott'a run with it and learn on the way.

  3. I'm just a few weeks from giving my goats and the sheep their shots, seems everyone has a slightly different shot schedule.

    Thanks for stopping by today, hope to see you again.