BASIC GOAT FIRST AID KIT
Cindy Fagg from Petit Paradis
Goats can get into all sorts of scrapes and situations, from minor cuts to upset tummies and everything in between so it’s a good idea to have a basic first aid kit on hand for those times when things aren’t right.
The most important things to have on hand are the phone numbers of your vet and goat mentor/s, these people are your best form of support and advice. Once you have goats on your property, it's a great idea to identify a local vet practice that works with livestock.
Know your goats
The best way to recognise if your goat is unwell is to know what their usual behaviour and demeanour is like. Often your first sign that something is wrong is that your animal looks “off”, or is off his or her food.
Print yourself a chart which shows the normal vital signs of a healthy goat and stick it on the lid of your first aid tub. Checking the vitals is a great way to help decide if you need to call the vet - for example if the animals temperature was outside the normal range. The Cornell University has produced this awesome explanation of how to check the vitals link below.
Set up a 'vet' pen
Have a warm, sheltered spot to put your goat when it’s off colour and waiting for treatment - ideally set up a permanent 'vet pen' where animals can be contained or quarantined when unwell.
Think about transport options too in case you need to take your animal to the vet. Make sure you have a torch, pen, and paper on hand to check and record the vitals/other symptoms.
Putting together your first aid kit
Its super easy to put together a basic first aid kit from items readily available at your local farm shop or pharmacy. Grab a tub and add the following:
Digital thermometer, towels, disposable gloves, scissors, lubricant, paper towel, cotton wool, vet wrap, Betadine/iodine/antiseptic, saline, Vytrate (electrolytes), Probiotics (eg Protexin, Inner Health Plus), Anitone (vitamins and minerals), Berocca tablets (Vitamin B), Vitamin B1 (injectible) Cetrigen spray (for cuts and wounds, Terramycin Pinkeye spray or powder, cornflour (to slow bleeding on hooves), Pestene Powder (lice treatment), 3, 5ml and 10ml syringes, needles (18, 20, 22 gauge), activated charcoal (toxin binder), Molasses, Antacid (eg Mylanta - can assist with bloat), hoof trimmers, drench gun, puppy pads.
Don’t forget to keep it stocked and replenish items as you use them.
These items are by no means everything you could have on hand but should cover most first aid situations. If in doubt always shout out ….
Cindy and Stephen Fagg have been breeding miniature goats for 10 years at their stud Petit Paradis bsaed in Broadmarsh, Tasmania. Specialising in Australian Miniature and Nigerian Dwarf Goats.