Raising Goats For Dummies
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Before you call a vet to come to your farm or bring a goat in for a non-routine care visit — unless it is a serious emergency — take a few steps to make sure that your goat gets the most appropriate care.

Make notes of the goat’s symptoms, how long it has been sick, and the medications or other care you’ve given so far. Sometimes remembering everything is hard when you’re under stress, and having this kind of information to share helps the vet make a correct diagnosis.

If you have time, do the following before your vet visit:

  • Take the goat’s temperature.

  • Check its gums for color.

  • Listen for heart rate and ruminations.

  • Note whether the goat has

    • Injuries

    • Crusty eyes

    • Breathing problems or coughing

    • Diarrhea

  • Check for dehydration by pinching the skin on the neck in front of the shoulder, using your thumb and forefinger. Note whether the skin snaps back to its normal position quickly or stays in a tent before it slowly goes back to normal. A slow return to normal indicates that the goat is dehydrated.

Record all of your observations for the vet’s reference. Also be ready to share the goat’s history of prior illness, vaccinations, and other health care information.

If the vet will be making a farm call, ask whether you can do anything before he arrives. For example, he might want a urine or fecal sample. You also need to catch the goat and put him in a confined, lighted area while waiting for the vet to arrive.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Cheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberian dairy goats under the herd name Mystic Acres since 1998. She is the owner of karmadillo Press and is the author of Goat Health Care, Goat Midwifery, The Best of Ruminations Goat Milk and Cheese Recipes, and Raising Goats: Some Essentials.

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