Listener Q&A: Your Goat Medicine Cabinet

Episode 31
For the Love of Goats

 


 Today we have questions from three listeners, so we are talking about 

  1. urine scald, 
  2. does in heat, and 
  3. what you may want to have in your goat medicine cabinet. Remember that I am not a vet, and that this information is provided for educational purposes only. I’m talking about why people may have specific items in their medicine cabinet and what they may be used for. 

If you would like to ask a question that may be used in a future Q&A episode, click here to record your question.

Copper Oxide as a Dewormer — podcast

Using Dewormers Correctly — podcast

Roundworms in Goats — podcast

Dewormer Resistance in Goats — article

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TRANSCRIPT

Deborah Niemann 0:18
Hello, everyone, and welcome to today’s episode. This is something a little different that I’m doing today. Usually I am either just talking to you directly, or I’m interviewing an expert on goats. But today I am going to be answering questions that came from you, my listeners, and I’m really excited about that. If you personally would like to ask me a question for a future episode, you can do so by leaving a voice message at SpeakPipe.com/ThriftyHomesteader. And that link will also be in the show notes.

Deborah Niemann 0:52
And now, it’s time to get to today’s first question.

Urine scald in male goats

Chelsea 0:56
Hi, Deborah, this is Chelsea from Minnesota—Cambridge, Minnesota, at Old Oak Acres. I raise mini Nubians here. And my question for you is about urine scald. I have a purebred mini Nubian buck here. And within the last month, because of breeding season, and he’s in rut, I’ve noticed his nose is starting to get a little irritated because of his spraying urine on it. I’ve read a lot of things, and I was just wondering what you have done in the past, if you’ve experienced this? I’ve read about Vaseline, and I’ve actually found a Vaseline-type thing that the Amish make with essential oils in it. I’ve read about urine scald on legs and stomachs and all that. My buck looks okay on those areas, but his nose is looking a little cracked on one side of the nostril, and then almost peeling on the main part. So, any information you have would be super helpful. Thank you.

Deborah Niemann 1:58
Hi, Chelsea, thanks so much for this question. I know this is a problem that a lot of people deal with this time of year, although we have been very lucky that we have not actually had any bucks who did this so much that they wound up causing skin damage. But it is definitely not an uncommon problem. So, just to be sure that I had all my bases covered, I decided to check the various textbooks that are sitting on my shelf. And Mary Smith and David Sherman do talk about this in the second edition of Goat Medicine. And, the first thing they mention is something that I actually have never heard of anybody say, and that is that if you shave the area, that will help it to dry faster, and you’re actually less likely to have problems with the skin breaking down. Totally makes sense, because the skin will be able to dry faster. I don’t know if I would do that on his face. But this could be something that you might want to do if he does start to have problems on his legs, which I know is another place that buck’s frequently pee on.

Deborah Niemann 3:06
As far as how to treat it, she mentions the ever-so-popular Vaseline. And she also mentions zinc oxide ointments, or really just any kind of an ointment that is waterproof, so that as the goat is peeing on it, he’s not going to just wash it off. And, of course, you want to do this after you have washed the urine off. So, step number one is to wash the area. If it is an area that you can shave, then you might want to do that. And then the third thing is to put some kind of an ointment on there that is waterproof. I am not a fan of using petroleum jelly on any living creature because it is a petroleum product. Like, that’s not just a coincidence in the name. Like, that’s really where it comes from. And, in the U.S., we have really low standards for the way that petroleum jelly is made. For people who are in Europe, they have much more strict standards than we do. And I would feel better about using petroleum jelly if I were over there. Since it’s a buck, and he’s not gonna be producing babies, you’re not gonna be eating him, it’s probably—it’s not as big of a deal in terms of, like, how it could eventually reach you. You know, if it was a doe, I definitely wouldn’t do it because I just worry about any little thing that could potentially make my milk less pure.

Deborah Niemann 4:34
And as far as what else you could use, my personal favorite is lanolin. Just 100% pure lanolin, which means it’s going to be yellow, and really, really thick, and kind of sticky. But that stuff works really, really well. Back in the 1990s, I was a certified lactation consultant, and it would drive me crazy when people would say to put Vaseline on nipples, because I’m like, “Oh my gosh, your baby’s gonna be consuming that stuff.” Lanolin comes from sheep. So it is natural. I’m not sure if you can get organic lanolin. But I know there are some that are advertised as being pesticide-free if that is a concern for you, because if sheep are dipped for external parasites, then there could be some remnants of that in the lanolin. But otherwise, the lanolin is a really great option. I got introduced to lanolin when I was a lactation consultant; it worked extremely well for nursing moms who had cracked nipples. And then, when my oldest child was about six years old, my husband got out of the Navy. We had been stationed in Hawaii, which is a nice humid place, and, in the middle of February, we moved to Chicago, which was freezing and extremely dry. And my daughter immediately got the worst chapped lips I have ever seen. And I was trying everything that I could find at the store that was supposed to be for chapped lips. And then one of my lactation consultant friends said, “Why haven’t you put lanolin on her lips?” And so I did. And it was like a miracle. Like, they just… Her lips cleared up so fast. And, so all three of my children grew up putting lanolin on their lips all winter long. So that, it really does work extremely well, if you’re concerned about that.

Deborah Niemann 6:35
And then, as far as where to get it, I buy it from the supply houses where I get all my soapmaking ingredients; they will have lanolin available that you can buy. So, I hope you have found this helpful. And thanks again for the question!

Does in heat

Debbie 6:51
Hi, Deborah, this is Debbie, and I have a question about goats being in heat. We have no buck on our farm right now. We have 30 either does or wethers. And we have a little… Well, we have one goat who is just crying and crying to get to be with another goat. They were in separate pastures, but they had a common fence line. And it’s like they just cannot stand being away from each other. And, if I open the gate, the one goat will go instantly to this little goat, Sally, trying to help Sally get pregnant is what it looks like. You know, they’re just humping on each other, and I don’t quite understand what in the world they do that for, and what do we do to help them? I mean, I know that Sally is in heat. And we do not want to breed right now; we just need to go a season without breeding. So, I would just love it if you can do something when talking about goats being in heat, and we don’t have a buck, and why they act the way they do between the two females.

Deborah Niemann 7:57
Thanks so much for this question, Debbie. This is another really common issue that people have. And it’s not really a problem. It’s just totally normal goat behavior that when does are in heat, they will mount each other. In fact, it can be really confusing if you want to breed your does, because you look out there sometimes and it is just complete pandemonium. You know, if you have five does, they’re all mounting each other, and you’re wondering, “Who’s in heat?” And usually it’s the one who is standing. And then the other goats are just getting excited about the fact that she’s in heat, that she’s hormonal, and then they get hormonal, and they’re trying to mount her. And there’s not really anything you can do about it.

Deborah Niemann 8:44
Now, one thing that I did think about as I was listening to your question is, how long is this going on? If this is something that just happens for a day or two, every three weeks, that’s completely normal, I wouldn’t think twice about it. But if it’s happening, like, every four or five days, that could mean you’ve got some hormonal issues—some abnormal hormonal issues—or even every day, that could be another problem. But, if you don’t want to get the goats pregnant this year, then at least you don’t have to worry about her fertility. If she is coming into heat, or acting like she’s in heat every few days, then that could definitely mean that she would not be able to get pregnant if you wanted her to get pregnant this year.

Deborah Niemann 9:42
If this is happening repeatedly, day after day, or every few days, then one of the first things that I would look at is the possibility of some type of a nutritional deficiency. So I would just look at the feed you’re using, the minerals you’re using, if you have any type of mineral antagonists on your farm, like in the well water, things like that. Because if there is a nutritional deficiency, then you can get that corrected before next year when you actually do want to breed them again. And I have a lot of information about minerals on my website. Thanks so much for asking, this is a really great question.

Deborah Niemann 10:23
Before we continue to our next question, I want to take a moment to thank today’s sponsor, Standlee Premium Western Forage. We have been using their alfalfa pellets for our milking does and pregnant does, and their Timothy Hay pellets for our bucks for as long as they have been available at our local tractor supply store, which has been well over 10 years. So, a couple years ago, when Standlee asked if I would be a brand ambassador, I was thrilled to say “Yes,” because I had already been recommending their products for years. To learn more about their products, simply visit their website at StandleeForage.com.

Goat medical kit

Brandon 11:02
I wonder if you could talk about an essential medical kit, or tool chest, that we should all have when it comes to our goats. I know there are certain things that would be better to let a vet do, obviously, and I don’t want to talk about procuring things that could allow me to do some really serious stuff that I shouldn’t be doing. But it’s the dewormers, the syringes, a bolus gun, what things should definitely be done by a vet… And I’m really thinking specifically about a microscope and fecal testing with those slides. I wonder if that’s worth it; it seems like it’s very economically worth it. And it’s super expensive to go to a vet to have your entire herd checked once a month, for instance. So if you could talk about that, I’d greatly appreciate it. What I should have as far as copper—I don’t know, everything. If you could do that in a little, I’m just thinking, like, a little kid’s lunchbox type thing. By the way, I love everything that you have put out there. You have been the single most important thing to benefit my herd. It’s an insane leap of progress for them. I love it. Thank you so much for everything you do.

Deborah Niemann 12:06
Thank you so much for your message, Brandon. And I’m so glad to hear that your goats are doing better as a result of the things that you’ve learned from my website and books and other material. That makes me so happy, because I know we learned everything the hard way, and the reason I do this is so that other people don’t have to go through all that. And this is a great question. I really love it. Because one of my huge pet peeves are some of those blogs where people have this list of dozens of medications and supplements. And it would cost you hundreds of dollars to buy all this stuff, and they insist that you have to have this. And I know where they’re coming from, because that’s where I was, like, 15 years ago. You know, I had goats dying, I had goats getting sick all the time,and I was literally throwing the medicine cabinet at them. And so, I’ve pretty much bought just about everything that those goat catalogs have for sale that is supposed to be helpful, and tried it; it did not help. And the bottom line is, the answer to this, really, like so many other things is, “It depends.” You know, like, if somebody has used a certain supplement and found that it helped their herd, that’s great. Maybe their goats need it. But that doesn’t mean that everybody’s goats need that supplement. Because every farm is different, the genetics in every herd is different, the management is different, all of those things are going to make a difference in what you need. And, I really feel like the bottom line is that your goal is healthy, productive goats. If they are healthy and productive, then you don’t need to get $1,000 worth of supplements and drugs and all that kind of stuff to keep them alive. Hopefully, you know, nobody has to do that. The goal is to have a herd that is naturally healthy. And so that’s really my big goal.

Deborah Niemann 14:08
So, that said, my medicine cabinet now is very sparse compared to what a lot of people tell you that you need. The number one thing that you should have is a thermometer. And, I think maybe we should put an “s” at the end of that and say you should have some thermometers, because when you need it, you want to make sure you can find it. So, in our bathroom I have… You can buy those little plastic organizers, those little plastic drawers where there’s like two or three drawers—that’s where we keep all of our goat stuff, under the sink, in the main bathroom, on the first floor. So, you want to have at least one thermometer, probably two or three, that you can keep in different places so you can always find them, and that they are labeled for goats, especially if your family uses a thermometer that you put in your mouth. When you have a goat that is down, you want to know if it has a temperature. You know, I get emails and messages from people all the time that say, “My goat is laying in the corner of the barn and won’t get up. What’s wrong?” Well, I have no idea. But one of the very first questions that you need to answer to even begin to figure out what it is, is you need to know if that goat has a temperature. If they have a temperature, then you’re probably looking at some kind of infection. If they don’t have a temperature, then you’re looking at a non-infectious cause, you know, like maybe worms, maybe bloat, you know, maybe it has a broken leg. You know, it could be, still, a lot of things. But that at least helps you to narrow that down. Now, if they do have some kind of an infection or something, if it’s a bacterial infection, then an antibiotic can help with that. If it’s a viral infection, no, but you don’t know. And so, typically, if a goat has a fever, and they’re not eating or whatever, a lot of people will do an antibiotic to see if that helps. And you may call the vet at the same time and say, “What do you think?” And, especially like, sometimes you can’t always get in to see the vet right away. So sometimes that’s even something your vet may say, “Try this until I can see you later this afternoon or tomorrow morning.”

Deborah Niemann 16:18
There are two antibiotics that are pretty common with goats. One is oxytetracycline, which is available in a number of different brand names. Please do not buy LA-200. I don’t even know why that drug exists. It stings when it is injected, and I didn’t know that way back, you know, 15, 16, 17 years ago, and I got it. It’s very common. It’s very cheap. It’s probably the cheapest oxytetracycline out there. I had picked it up at the local farm store. And, when I injected that into the goat, I thought I had killed her. She screamed bloody murder, and threw herself on the ground; she was trying to rub against that injection location. So that’s not something I really want to experience again. Not every goat is going to respond that negatively. But it’s really horrifying when you are a new goat owner. I think we’d only had goats about three years at that point, and I had never seen a goat act like that. So I was really, really scared. Biomycin 200 is the same drug, But the carrier is not going to sting. And that’s the one that I prefer. The one thing I want to say—this is kind of funny—just to show you this is what I’m talking about. To answer your question, I actually went and sat down on the floor in my bathroom and went through the cabinet to see what’s in there. And the Biomycin 200 that I have in there expires next month. And, it has never even been opened; the seal has not even been cracked on the top. So, you know, it’s been in there for about three years, and I have not even used it. And that’s really the goal. Like, it’s just in there in case, you know, at the end of chore time, you know, like at eight o’clock at night or something, if somebody says, “Hey, this goat is down,” to have it on hand, just in case you need it in the middle of the night.

Deborah Niemann 18:11
The other one that’s really popular is penicillin, and they can be used for slightly different things. Some people just prefer one over the other. The traveling vet that I use, usually—if I ever call her with something—she usually suggests penicillin. And that’s very inexpensive, because it’s very common. It’s been around, you know, basically since the beginning of antibiotics. Now, if you’re gonna use antibiotics, they’re injected. And so, you asked about syringes. And so I also looked in there. I have a ton of 3-mil syringes, which, if you’ve got small goats, that’s gonna be plenty. If your goats are bigger, you might need a bigger syringe. So I would suggest looking when you buy the medication, see what the dosage is on that specific medication, see what your goats weigh. You might need a syringe that holds 6 CC, 9 CC—CC and mil are the same, so don’t worry about that. And so, basically, just make sure that you get the right one, so that you don’t have to give the goat two injections.

Deborah Niemann 19:17
The next thing that you had asked about was dewormers. One thing that’s really super important with goats is to know that goats should only be given dewormers orally. We go into all of this in Episode 24, where I interviewed Susan Schoenian at the University of Maryland Research Center. And she talks about how to use dewormers correctly, because, unfortunately, there is a ton of old information out there. And that’s one reason I loved talking to Susan, is because she’s actually been into sheep and goats since the 1980s. So she has seen this whole evolution of basically how everything that was done with dewormers and stuff back in the 80s and 90s, now it has been proven with current research to just be completely wrong. So, for goats, dewormers should only be given orally based upon the latest research. There’s a couple problems with injecting it. If you’ve got dairy goats, and you inject a dewormer, the milk withdrawal on those is insanely long; it’s like two or three months. So it’s completely impractical. When you give the drugs orally, the withdrawal period for milk is two or three weeks depending upon the drug. I always suggest that people go to FARAD.org to see what the drug withdrawal is for their particular… whatever they’re using. And that’s F-A-R-A-D.org. And you’ll go for the drug lookup on there, and there’s just a drop down menu, you just click right through. The other reason you should not inject it is because it also has a very long tail, meaning that it stays in a system for many weeks. And it stays in there at a really low dosage, which means that you’re basically vaccinating your worms against that dewormer. And so they found, in the more recent research, that if you inject goats with dewormers that you will hit dewormer resistance faster than if you give it to them orally, because orally it’s going to clear their system a lot faster.

Deborah Niemann 21:24
As for which dewormer to buy, that is another one of those where I answer, “It depends.” I really encourage people to use the least strong dewormers initially, and just keep using them until they no longer work, and then move on to the next one. People ask me, like, “Well, why shouldn’t I just use the best one right away?” Well, if you use the strongest dewormer right away, and the worms in your goats become resistant to that, then you are in trouble, you know. So it’s better to start with stuff that’s not quite as strong. So, like, Safe-Guard, morantel tartrate. And in some places, those don’t work anymore. But it’s really all about what works on your farm. And, you know, we went through complete dewormer resistance; nothing worked on our farm over 10 years ago. I just sat here and watched goats die from worms, like, I knew they had worms, but the dewormers didn’t work. And so, those that had poor resistance simply died. And, again, that’s one of the things I hate to see happen to other people. So if Safe-Guard and morantel tartrate do not work on your farm—and I really mean do not work on your farm. I don’t mean it like, oh, you read on Facebook that it didn’t work for somebody else. After suffering through total dewormer resistance, we went several years where nothing worked. And then, so I didn’t… I just quit using them. It’s like, okay, well, this isn’t gonna work, so I might as well not use it. And, after doing that for several years, I had a goat that had a heavy load of parasites. And so I used a dewormer and it worked. And now, this year, for example, I gave a dewormer to one goat after kidding; it was a first freshener. That is it. And that’s really the goal. So, once you see that Safe-Guard and morantel tartrate are not working, pretty much the next two in line that is going to be like Valbazen, and ivermectin is the first one in the… in another class of dewormers. And, once those no longer work, then cydectin is the next strongest. And, when cydectin no longer works, then you’ve got levamisole. And that’s it. That’s all we got. There is nothing else in the United States. And I also want to say, the answer is not more dewormers. They approved a new dewormer in Australia and New Zealand back in 2012, or 2013, when I was working on the first edition of Raising Goats Naturally, and I very naively wrote in there that, “This new drug has been submitted to the FDA for approval, and maybe by the time you’re reading this, it’ll be available in the United States.” Well, it’s seven years later now, and it’s still not available in the United States. And the people I’ve talked to said they probably won’t ever be available. But, that is not the answer. Because what they found in New Zealand and Australia is that after introducing this, some people were not following the current research, they were using that dewormer incorrectly, and within two years, they had resistance to it. So, the answer really is management, and especially pasture rotation, that’s a big one.

Deborah Niemann 24:46
So, the other drug that you may or may not want to keep on hand would be a drug for coccidiosis. And really, you should only ever see coccidiosis in kids that have recently gone through a stressful period, such as weaning or moving to a new home. And typically what I do, is when somebody buys kids from me, if they’re new to goats, I tell them that you can buy a medicated feed to feed the kids when you take them home. And that should keep them from getting coccidiosis. Or, you can just watch them. If they get diarrhea in about three weeks, it’s probably coccidiosis. And then at that time, you can just treat them. And here’s the reason you don’t necessarily need to have this: If a kid is healthy, and not underweight—and not underweight is really a big thing. I need to do a whole episode on proper weight gain of kids, because we’ve been tracking this now for over six years. So, if you have a kid that is totally healthy and well-nourished, and everything, and it moves to a new home, and it gets diarrhea after about three weeks, you know that’s most likely going to be coccidiosis. You’ve got time to go to the farm store and buy a bottle of this medication; you don’t have to have it on hand. Now, if a kid is underweight, and not super healthy, and it suddenly gets diarrhea, well, in that case, then all bets are off. I mean, you could wind up with a really serious problem very quickly. Because the kid’s immune system is not able to do much to help the kid overcome that, or just deal with it until you can, you know, get to the store to buy it. But ideally, everyone is going to, you know, buy healthy kids. And that’s not going to be a problem.

Deborah Niemann 26:45
You also asked about getting a microscope and slides and fecal solution and everything so that you could start doing your own fecals. And that is definitely a possibility, and that is something that you can use to help you get a herd that is more resistant to parasites. The old information was that you should be doing fecals to see if a goat has worms, and then giving them a dewormer. There was a lot of confusion, because people think, “Oh, you have to know what kind of worms they have before you can give them a medication.” That’s not correct, the way I just said it. What is correct is the word… You should replace the word “worm” with “parasite” in that sentence. But most people don’t realize that “worm” is just worms, and “parasite” could be worms or coccidiosis or some other kind of parasites that goats can get. So that’s really where the differential is in terms of a fecal. All of the dewormers kill all the worms that goats can get, except for tapeworms, and tapeworms are visible to the naked eye, so you don’t even need a microscope. If it looks like your goat is pooping out rice or noodles, those are tapeworms. And the only thing that kills tapeworms are the white dewormers, Safe-Guard and Valbazen. But all of the worms that you would find in a fecal can all be killed by all of the dewormers on the market. Typically, if an adult is showing signs of being parasitized, it means that they have a worm overload. Coccidia does not normally bother a healthy adult goat. Because all goats have some coccidia in their system, and if they’re healthy, they’re fine. In, like, the 18 years, we’ve had goats, I think I’ve had one adult that had to be treated for coccidiosis. And it was because she nearly bled to death after giving birth, and she spent almost a week at the university vet hospital. And so, her immune system was so severely compromised that they needed to treat her for coccidiosis, because coccidiosis is very—coccidia, the little parasite is called “coccidia;” the disease is “coccidiosis”—coccidia is very opportunistic. So whenever the immune system is compromised, the coccidia can really start to multiply fast and cause problems for goats. So, most of the time with adults, it’s worms if you’re seeing symptoms of parasites. With kids, it can be a little bit more tricky. You know, if they’ve got diarrhea, it could be coccidia and worms sometimes. So sometimes with kids it can be helpful to get a fecal to figure out whether they need a coccidiocide or a dewormer. So, I learned to do fecals 15 years ago or so back when we had a problem with dewormer resistance, because, you know, we had goats dying and stuff, and like you said, it’s really expensive if you’re constantly taking fecals to the vet. And one of the things that I use them for is to see if the dewormers were not working. And that’s how I also learned that all of the other things that people told me to use, like all the different herbal dewormers and apple cider vinegar and Shaklee stuff in the water and like… None of that stuff works. Like, I was doing fecals before and after, and there would be no difference in them. So that’s how I knew that using those things was not helpful. Because… If you give something to a goat and the goat dies anyway, you could just say, “Oh, well, it was too far gone.” But without doing the before and after fecals, you don’t know that. And so that is definitely good to be able to do those at home.

Deborah Niemann 30:25
Another thing, too, that I think is cool about doing them at home is that you can make sure that, like, you do it right away. Because whenever somebody tells me, “My goat has these problems that sure sound like parasites, but the vet said they don’t have parasites,” I always wonder, like, “Okay, is the vet just not giving you like the actual numbers?” Because if they are truly finding no parasites at all in the fecal, the first thing I always think of is something went wrong. You know, like, the poop got left out on the counter for a few hours and all the eggs hatched, and that’s why they didn’t see anything in the fecal. Because you should see some eggs in the fecal, but you don’t want to see, you know, gajillions of them. Although, if you listen to Episode 24, with Susan Schoenian, they did a study with bucks for 11 years, and she said they found that some of their best bucks in that study had fecal egg counts of 2,000. So, the number that a goat walks around with isn’t the most important number always. You know, like, they had a fecal egg count of 2,000 and they looked fine. I’ve got some goats that have really excellent resistance and excellent resilience. And that’s one of the reasons why we don’t have a problem with parasites anymore. Mother Nature culled our herd for us a long time ago. But, after doing lots of fecals way back then, I actually could not even tell you the last time I did a fecal now; it’s been years. Because now what I do is I just check their eyelids, check their FAMACHA scores, check their body condition; I’m always looking at their back ends, you know, I don’t want to see diarrhea or clumpy poop or anything like that. And I want to make sure their hair looks good; nobody’s got bottle jaw. And if they have no symptoms of parasites, then they don’t need to be treated. But one of the things you can do with fecals, and Susan talks about that in Episode 24, is that you can select, like, for your bucks, you can select bucks that have really good resistance, the ones that just naturally have low fecal egg counts. Like, those are the genetics that you want in your herd.

Deborah Niemann 32:40
And then, the last thing that I have in the medicine cabinet is something that you will only need if you’ve got goats giving birth, and that is a calcium drench. And that is used if you have a doe that is in labor, or after she kidded, and she is exhibiting signs of hypercalcemia, which is basically low calcium. And so that is what the calcium drench is used for. It can also be used for goats in labor that seem to be having an especially long first stage; they’re not pushing, they just… It just seems like their first stage of labor is going on for a really long time. And calcium is very important for muscle functioning, and the uterus is a huge muscle, probably the biggest muscle in the goat’s whole body at the end of pregnancy. So, if they are low on calcium, that can very well be the first symptom that you see.

Deborah Niemann 33:39
And that’s it. So that’s really all that I have in my medicine cabinet: a thermometer, an antibiotic, a dewormer, maybe a coccidia drug, and then a calcium drench. Do remember that I’m not a vet, and I’m not suggesting that you use any of these things at any particular time. In fact, my answer for just about everything is, “It depends.” And so that is definitely the case here. But these are nice things to have on hand, just in case, like, you do have to call the vet at two o’clock in the morning, and the vet may ask you, “Do you have an antibiotic on hand that you could give this goat, and then come into the office tomorrow morning?” So a lot of times, that’s when you’re going to use these things. I decided to answer this question last in this Q&A, because I knew my answer was going to be long, but wow, I didn’t realize it was gonna be this long. And I am seriously editing myself so that it’s not even longer.

Deborah Niemann 34:37
So thanks so much for listening today! And thank you again to Standlee Premium Western Forage for sponsoring today’s episode. If you have a question that you would like me to answer in a future episode, you can leave me a voice message at SpeakPipe.com/ThriftyHomesteader.

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7 thoughts on “Listener Q&A: Your Goat Medicine Cabinet”

  1. Another trove of vital information!
    Thank you so much for all the elaboration. This was and will continue to be an incredible help to my herd and I.

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    • I failed to mention that it was an incredible delight to have my question answered on your podcast. Your accessibility sets you apart from all the rest. I truly admire what you are doing and am excited to see you continue to succeed!

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  2. Thanks again for the great podcast!
    I wish to echo Brandon’s comment as to how beneficial your sharing of information has been to my knowing how to care for my goats!
    Re. medicine cabinet: what would you recommend as a cleaning agent on open wounds (such as a ripped out scur) and an ointment or the like for such open wounds? Thank you!

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    • I’ve just used hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds and that’s it. I know there are some people who think that hydrogen peroxide is not good, but when I searched the scientific literature for studies done with it, they were not conclusive, so I continue to use it and have had good luck with it.

      You should not bandage livestock wounds because it is impossible to keep them clean. In fact, if they can get away without stitching up most wounds, they will.

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      • Thanks Deborah for info re. hydrogen peroxide. I thought the same but was worried to use it. Is there any particular ointment or salve one should use on open wounds after cleaning with hydrogen peroxide? Should that be followed by a spray such as AlShield Aluminum Bandage Spray? Thanks again.

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        • I have never used anything other than hydrogen peroxide on goats, chickens, and even humans. On second thought, I do use antibiotic ointment on humans — but not livestock. I don’t like the idea of putting ointment on a livestock wound because it would attract and hold dirt, so I feel like it could wind up doing more harm than good. Vets have always impressed upon me the importance of a wound being allowed to drain so that it doesn’t get infected. It’s weird that we do things differently with livestock than humans because they actually work differently.

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