INJURIES AND WOUNDS
Injuries and wounds to goats occur in many different ways. The producer must learn what he can handle himself and what situations require veterinary intervention. Below are two actual examples involving goats at Onion Creek Ranch near Lohn, Texas.
Broken Leg. A 48-pound Tennessee Meat Goat (tm) doeling caught her right front leg in the fork of a mesquite tree. When found, she was hanging by the trapped leg, her back to the tree's trunk, with her rear legs barely touching the ground.
She was removed from the tree and her leg was examined. The lower halfof the right front leg was dangling and turned backwards, indicating a bad break below the right front knee. A temporary splint of cotton-padded PVC pipe that had been cut in half lengthwise was placed around the leg and then wrapped with VetWrap to keep the leg immobile while she was taken to my goat vet's office for immediate attention.
The vet examined the break and then weighed her for correct medication dosage. The hair surrounding the break was clippered off and the leg was x-rayed. While not a "clean" break, it was determined to be treatable without surgery. Had the break occurred above the knee, surgery would have been necessary.
The doeling was lightly sedated with Xylazine administered intra-venously at a dosage of one-tenth of a mg per pound of bodyweight because the leg had to be put under traction for the bones to heal properly. She was also given a combination of Banamine and Dexamethazone intra-venously for pain and swelling. (Note: Had she been pregnant, Dexamethazone would not have been used because it induces labor.) Since goats tolerate neither sedation nor pain well, these medications had to be carefully dosed and the treatment had to be done quickly; caprine heart rate slows down dramatically when a goat is sedated.
Wrapping sterile cotton padding around the leg from shoulder to fetlock, the vet then cut a pre-formed orthopedic stocking to fit and slipped it over the leg. Using a looped length of dog leash wrapped around the hoof, he firmly pulled the leg to bring the bones into alignment. Fiberglass vet wrap was soaked in cool water and wrapped around the entire stocking-covered leg. A reaction within the chemically-treated water-soaked fiberglass generated heat, causing the cast to harden within minutes.
The vet then cut the top half off a light-weight plastic pill bottle big enough to fit over the doeling's hoof. Placing the hoof inside the plastic bottle and using elasticized fabric adhesive wrap, he securely attached it to her cast. Exposed hooves on immobilized legs are an avenue for bacteria to enter, so they must be kept clean.
Tolazoline was administered intra-venously at a dosage of nine-tenths of a mg per pound of bodyweight to bring her out of the sedative. She recovered consciousness within three to five minutes and was soon walking around his clinic, checking out every nook and cranny as any normal ("nosey") goat would do.
The big concern is blood supply to the lower half of the leg below the break. In a very young goat, regeneration of blood supply and healing of bones is likely. Older goats may not be so resilient. So long as she is paddling around on the hardcast leg, healing will progress. If she begins to drag the leg, or if the leg begins to swell above the cast, then it must be removed by the vet to determine appropriate treatment. The doeling may also out-grow the cast, requiring it to be removed and re-applied sooner than the six to eight weeks that it should remain on the leg. If the blood supply does not re-establish itself, the lower half of the leg may die and fall off.
At this point, the prognosis appears good that her leg will heal, but only time will tell.
Broken Horn. A five-month old Tennessee Meat Goat™ buckling broke his left horn at its base and into the skull. Blood had already coagulated, but the horn had to be removed. Since the goat was current on his CD/T vaccinations, a booster CD/T injection was given to protect him from tetanus. Had the vaccination not been given within the last six months, a tetanus anti-toxin injection would have been necessary. Procaine penicillin was given sub-cutaneously (SQ. . . under the skin) over the ribs for five consecutive days at a rate of five cc's per 100 pounds bodyweight.
The hole in the buckling's head was flushed out with a mixture of Betadine Solution and water ( mixed to the color of strong tea) to remove necrotic tissue, hay, hair, and other debris. The vet filled a 60 cc syringe with the Betadine and water solution. He then put an 18 gauge needle on the syringe and cut off the needle close to the hub with a pair of pliers to create a spray effect that would cover the interior of the horn base inside the skull. Flushing, removing the shortened needle, refilling the syringe, re-attaching the shortened needle . . . he flushed out the debris from where the horn had been about six times.
Soaking two pieces of cotton gauze with undiluted Betadine Solution, he gently packed it inside the horn base. This flushing and packing procedure, along with the procaine penicillin injections, was done for a minimum of five consecutive days. The horn base inside the skull is beginning to grow healthy new tissue, and the prognosis for recovery is good.
Important! Please Read This Notice!
All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. Suzanne Gasparotto is not a veterinarian.Neither tennesseemeatgoats.com nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
The author, Suzanne Gasparotto, hereby grants to local goat publications and club newsletters, permission to reprint articles published on the Onion Creek Ranch website under these conditions: THE ARTICLE MUST BE REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY AND THE AUTHOR'S NAME, ADDRESS, AND CONTACT INFORMATION MUST BE INCLUDED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REPRINT. We would appreciate notification from any clubs or publications when the articles are used. (A copy of the newsletter or publication would also be a welcome addition to our growing library of goat related information!)
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