The prime objective of farmers and ranchers is to raise a profitable, marketable, and safe product. There are various medications and vaccines available today that reduce lose from disease and illness, but these products must be used in a safe and responsible matter. When sending livestock to market it is the individuals responsibility to ensure that the product is wholesome - free of illegal drug residues, minimized risk of harmful organisms, and minimized carcass blemishes.
Drugs given to goats IM (intramuscularly - in the muscle) should never be given in the rear leg. This is the prime cut of meat on a goat carcass and the damage is considerable due to the smaller size of the carcass compared to cattle. Intramuscular injections should be given in the neck. Unless the animal is in poor condition there is a lot of muscle tissue in this area. Give the injection in the side of the neck, about half way down. When possible give injectable medications SQ (sub-cutaneous - under the skin), this is the preferred method of giving vaccines and most antibiotics to goats. Follow proper techniques when giving injections. Use one draw off needle in the medication bottle to avoid contaminating its contents. Also use a clean sterile needle on each animal whenever possible. This prevents transmission of disease from animal to animal and prevents secondary bacterial infections (and abscesses) at the injection site.
Avoid Carcass Blemishes
- Handle animals carefully - minimize bruising
- Restrain animal when giving medication
- Inject SQ (sub-cutaneous) instead of IM (intramuscular) when possible
- Use the smallest needle possible - 20 or 22g x 1/2" for SQ and 18 or 20g x 1" for IM
- Use one needle to draw medication from the bottle, use different needles to inject animals.
Minimize the need to use medications on slaughter animals by providing proper feeding, housing, and management. Proper vaccination for your area and conditions are also helpful. Use medications properly, follow label directions, and record withdrawal times. Drug residue is not only caused from injected drugs but drugs that are ingested and certain topical treatments. Work with your veterinarian when using off label products. Differentiate between breeding and market animals; make sure he is aware of what type of animal (breeding or market) is being treated. There are several effective drugs that are not approved for food animals. If you have a valuable breeding animal that is not going to enter the food chain (cure them or bury them) make sure your veterinarian is aware of this. There are only eight products approved by the FDA (US FARAD) for use in goats.
FDA Approved drugs for goats
- Morantel tartrate
All other medications are given extra label. Drugs used extra label are required by FDA to be labeled by the veterinarian with the following information. This applies for both prescription and over the counter drugs.
- Date dispensed
- Veterinarians name and address
- Clients name
- Drug name, active ingredient, and manufacturer
- Animal's ID
- Dosage and route of administration
- Withdrawal times for meat and milk
- Storage instructions
- Expiration date
Types of Drugs
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- steroids - Dexamethazone
- Sedative and pain reduction
- Anthelmintics & Anti-parasitic
- Drugs used for metabolic and nutrition problems; also used to provide support therapy
- Preventative management compounds
- Parturition and reproductive management drugs
- Agricultural chemicals and insect preventatives