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The most important thing is to keep sick goats in a sheltered place with shade, clean water and some green feed. Under these circumstances, if also treated with the correct medication, they are more likely to recover.

Method of giving medication

Medication, dewormers or dips can be given via a number of different routes and it is important that you follow the instructions on the pamphlet or the advice given by the vet.

Methods of administration include:

Application directly to a wound or onto the skin (external use)


Dosing or drenching (it is given via the mouth or orally).

Weighing your goat

The weight of a goat can either be accurately determined using a scale, or it can be estimated using a weight belt. The weight belt is placed around the girth of the goat and the weight is then read off the belt. This is possible because there is a known relationship between the weight of the goat and the circumference of its girth. The belt will only be accurate for the type of goat for which it has been developed.

Figure 1  You can use a weight belt for weighing your goat

Giving the correct dosage

With most medication, whether it is given orally or injected, it needs to be given at the correct dosage rate, which is normally according to the weight of the animal. The heavier the animal, the greater dose it requires. It is important not to underdose because firstly it will not work and secondly when you try to use it again, even at the correct dose, it will not work because the organisms that you want to kill will have become resistant to it.

You need to be able to estimate the weight of your animal so that you know how much medication to give. If you are dosing a group of animals for worms then you calculate your dosage based on the heaviest goat in the group. It might be better to divide your flock into animals of similar size and then calculate the dosage rate for each group separately.

Taking your goat’s temperature

A thermometer is used to take an animal’s temperature to see whether it is sick.

  • If you are using a mercury thermometer, shake the thermometer back down to normal before starting
  • Insert the thermometer into the goat’s rectum and wait for 2 minutes
  • Normal temperature for a goat is 38.8-40.2 oC
  • If the goat has a temperature below or above this range it could be sick. (Note: Don’t give antibiotics if temperature is normal)
  • Wipe the thermometer with antiseptic before storing it again.

Giving injections

In general, use a fresh needle for each animal and boil syringes for at least 10 minutes before use in order to sterilise them.

Subcutaneous injection

This is an injection that is given under the skin.

  • Use a 20 gauge needle (22 gauge for kids) – 16mm or 1 inch length
  • Lift loose skin and insert at an angle between skin and flesh – make sure you do not go right through the skin with the needle
  • A subcutaneous injection often leaves a small lump under the skin immediately after injecting.

Intramuscular injection

This is an injection that is given into the muscle.

Use a 20 gauge needle (22 gauge for kids).

Inject into a heavy part of the neck or thigh

After inserting the needle, always draw back first and make sure no blood enters the syringe (this will happen if you have hit a vein) – if there is blood, try another site.

Note: The third type of injection is called an intravenous injection and the drug is injected straight into the vein, but this is a difficult injection to give so this should not be tried by people who do not have experience.

    Hi-tet 120 Hi-tet 200




Terramycin  soluble  powder
Type of animal Weights (kg) 1ml per  15kg 1ml per 10kg 14ml/10kg tsp per 7kg
New born goat kid 3 0.5 ml 0.5 ml ml 0.5 teaspoon
Half grown goat 20 1.5 ml 2.0 ml ml teaspoons
Full grown female goat 40 2.7 ml 4.0 ml ml  
Full grown male goat 60 4.0 ml 6.0 ml ml  
  1. Dosage rates for various drug
  2. Trimming hooves

In areas where there are not a lot of rocks, goats’ hooves often get overgrown and need to be trimmed. This ensures that they can walk properly when they go looking for feed.

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