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Goats/sick billy goat posted 1/21

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Hi again :)I have a few more thoughts on my goats condition now that I'm sure his injury and high fever are the result of a puncture wound in his foot. He's getting better progressively but is still limping and the wound is swollen. I asked my vet if I should clean the wound when he pulled off the scab and he said it would be fine since it was being exposed constantly to she snow. Wish I would have trusted my instincts then when the wound was open. So now that it's closed up how should I go about cleaning it. And should I wrap it up and tape it after I clean it? I'm also not sure why the vet wouldn't offer or suggest giving him more antibiotic to be sure the infection is treated long enough. Guess I'll just keep and eye out for a fever and continue the vitamin C. I'm having a hard time getting him to take all the supplements orally though. Maybe I'll try dissolving the vitamins in water and using a syringe to get it down him. I'm scared to give him penicillin by myself as I've never given an injection and fear I would hurt him. Thanks in advance for any advice you're able to offer on cleaning up or soaking his wound!

Answer
Hi there - glad he is getting better.  He will be limping until the abscess/wound is totally cleaned out and non inflamed anymore - the issue here is that the infection can spread up his leg and I am surprised that the vet did not want to lance it and irrigate and clean it out.  Keeping a would open and letting it heal from the inside out is very important for all livestock.  Getting the wound to open a bit by cleaning/scrubbing with hydrogen peroxide every day will help keep it clean and healing from the inside out - not much fun but is best thing to do.  After cleansing putting on either antibiotic ointment or some sort of antibiotic wound powder like NFZ puffer or a horse type powder would work well.  Doing this for about 3 days should clean it out and by then would leave alone to heal.  Re oral supplements - mixing them in water or other liquid is important so the goat swallows them easily.  If you use an oral drenching syringe this makes it even easier to get the tip of the syringe into the mouth/over the tongue and slowly push in the liquid.  If his leg above the wound begins to feel warm or look swollen then an injectable antibiotic is an absolute to save him.  You can use LA200 as an intramuscular injection that is only required once a day, but at 4.5 cc per 100 pounds body weight, for five days.  Is he eating a little now?  Drinking water on his own?  I know injections may be scary but once you start you will do fine - having the goat held by another person or in a milk stand so you can push your body into its so it cannot move as much, and then holding onto a leg, find the thigh muscle (good size on an adult goat) and using the 20 gauge 3/4 or 1 inch length needle you'll easily pop it into the muscle, draw back on the plunger just a little and then squeeze in the injection, pull the needle out and you're done.  Hope this helps - keep me posted.

PS Re the vet and antibiotics - if they are not a true goat knowledgeable vet they don't have the experience to know that antibiotics are needed to keep infections from getting worse.  Goats have a very fast metabolism so the antibiotics go through their system quickly and sometimes a short amount/time frame of antibiotics will just not kill all the bacteria causing the infection.  

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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