Choose a drench approved for goats.,
Drench throughout summer and autumn.,
Calibrate the drench gun.,
Weigh the goat.,
Calculate the dosage.,
Load the drench gun.,
Restrain the goat.,
Insert the drench gun.,
Deliver the drench.,
Release the goat.,
Avoid consuming any milk from the goat.,
Keep the goat away from possible contaminants.,
Put away your supplies.,
Test the goat for parasites.,
Record all relevant information.
There are three main drench types: white, clear, and third generation ivermectin. Many ivermectin drenches are safe to use, and a handful of white drenches are also approved for goats.Most clear drenches use levamisole as an active ingredient and are not licensed for use with goats since this ingredient is generally ineffective.
Always check the label to verify whether or not a specific drench is approved for use with goats, regardless of the type.
Additionally, drenches can be “broad spectrum” or “narrow spectrum.” Broad spectrum drenches are typically best for goats since they treat a wider range of internal parasites, and goats are highly prone to infestation. Narrow spectrum drenches are best used when you only need to treat one specific type of parasite.
If you are uncertain about which drench the choose, talk to your livestock veterinarian for a recommendation.;
, Goats are susceptible to internal parasites throughout their entire lives, so you will need to drench them at regular intervals every summer and autumn.
White drenches that are approved for goats should be administered every four to five weeks.
Ivermectin drenches should be administered every eight weeks.
Also note that newborn goats should typically be drenched one to two weeks after being weaned from their mothers.
, Check the drench gun to make sure that it is capable of delivering accurate doses.Adjust the gun to deliver 10 ml doses, then squirt ten of these 10 ml doses into a graduated cylinder or other calibrated container. Check the receiving container after you finish to verify that it now contains 100 ml of drench.
It is best to calibrate the drench gun with the actual drench instead of substituting water.
You should also test the gun for leaks. Place your finger over the nozzle of the drench gun and try squeezing the trigger. If you’re able to depress the plunger, there is probably a leak. If you are unable to do so, the drench gun should be safe to use.
, Drench dosage is always based on weight. If possible, weigh the goat by leading it to a commercial livestock scale and taking an exact measurement.
If you do not have a commercial livestock scale, you can use a bathroom scale. Weigh yourself on the scale first, then pick up the goat and step on the scale again. The difference between your weight and this second weight is the weight of the goat.
When drenching a large herd of goats, separate the goats into smaller sections based on size and weigh four to six goats in each group. Determine the dosage based on the average weight per section.
, The proper dosage will vary depending on the specific drench you use. Read the label instructions that come with the drench to determine how much to give the goat based on that goat’s weight.
You’ll need to calculate the dose carefully. Giving too little can make the drench ineffective and may cause internal parasites to grow resistant to it. Giving too much can poison the goat, however.
You must also make sure that you follow the dosage rate for goats and not for sheep since the two rates can differ from one another.
, Draw the correct dosage of drench into the gun. Double-check the dosage before grabbing the goat.
You may need to shake the container of drench before loading it into the drench gun. Check the label to determine if this is the case. If so, shake the bottle as thoroughly as possible to mix its contents.
The drench gun should have a dial on the side that allows you to set the dosage. If administering medication to more than one goat, you should check the dial in between drenches to verify that it remains set to the correct dosage.
, Approach the goat from behind and, if possible, use your legs to straddle the neck and prevent the animal from turning its head. Direct the head of the goat so that you have a clear, unobstructed view of the animal’s mouth.Goats can be very temperamental and difficult to restrain, so if you can get someone else to help you, doing so is advisable. One person should restrain the goat while the other delivers the drench.
Ideally, the goat’s head should be slightly lifted as you restrain it. Do not lift the head by more than 1 or 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm), though, since doing so can make it difficult for the goat to swallow.
Make sure that you do not hold the goat’s mouth closed as you retrain it, either. You must also keep your fingers out of and away from the mouth to minimize the risk of getting bitten.
, Insert the nozzle of the drench gun into the left corner of the goat’s mouth. Try to position the nozzle so that it rests over the base of the tongue and points toward the back of the throat.Do not insert the nozzle into the mouth through the front teeth. Since drench guns are not designed to fit in that position, you will have difficulty properly delivering the drench if you hold the device there.
Avoid positioning the nozzle directly into the throat. If it extends into the back of the throat, it may prevent the goat from swallowing.
, Slowly squeeze the trigger of the drench gun to deliver the measured dose directly over the goat’s tongue. Continue holding the goat until you feel the animal swallow the dose.
You need to be firm but gentle. Delivering the dose aggressively can cause the nozzle of the drench gun to cut into the back of the throat. It may also break teeth or redirect the drench into the goat’s lungs.
, Once the goat swallows the entire dose of drench, remove the drench gun and release the goat.
Watch the goat for several minutes after releasing it. If the animal spits, coughs, or vomits any of the drench, it will not have received the full dosage. Check the product label to determine if a second partial dose can be administered.
If you do not wait for the goat to swallow the drench, the animal will probably spit it out or allow the medication to spill out. You must wait until the goat swallows before letting it go.
When drenching more than one goat, make sure that the treated and untreated goats remain separated throughout the procedure to prevent accidental overdoses.
, Depending on the exact drench used, you may need to withhold or reduce food for 12 to 24 hours after administering the medication.
This is especially common with white drenches but may not be necessary for many ivermectin types. Regardless of the type, though, you should check the drench instructions for more specific information.
, If drenching a dairy goat, you should check the label of the drench to determine how long you must wait before milk from that goat is safe for human consumption.
Some white drenches have a fairly brief withholding time, but with many third generation ivermectin types, the wait time can be as long as 28 days.
, If possible, release drenched goats onto clean pastures to avoid the risk of re-contamination.
Consider using a pasture previously grazed by cattle and horses since these animals do not share many of the same parasites goats are prone to catch. Avoid pastures used by other goats or sheep, though.The best pastures will also have plenty of space and grass taller than 1.5 inches (4 cm) high.
, After you finish drenching your goats, you should clean the drench gun and store it in a safe, sanitary place. Store any unused drench, as well.
Clean the drench gun by rinsing the gun and pipe with warm water. Do not use any soap.
Unused drench should be stored in temperatures between 39 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (4 and 25 degrees Celsius). Keep it away from direct sunlight.
, Seven to ten days after drenching the goat, check for the presence of parasites by delivering a fecal sample to your livestock veterinarian.
Your veterinarian should be able to test the sample for parasite eggs. If the drench was effective, there should be no eggs present in the sample.
If there are eggs, then the drench was ineffective. Talk with your veterinarian to determine what may have gone wrong and how to remedy the problem.
, Each time you drench your goats, you should mark down the date and dosage amount in an official record book.
Also make a note of the specific drench used and any expected withdrawal period. The withdrawal period varies depending on the drench and dosage.