Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, Texas
Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Lohn, TX
Lohn, Texas
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Snakebite from any snake can be life threatening to a goat. Do not worry about the kind of snake that did the biting. Treat every snakebite as if it came from the most poisonous of snakes. Find the bite(s) and clean them thoroughly with a disinfecting solution such as Betadine Surgical Scrub. Do NOT apply a tourniquet. Medicate as follows, based up a 100 pound animal (adjust upwards or downwards based on goat's body weight):

1) Give 8 cc Dexamethazone IM on the first day. Follow with 5 cc Dexamethazone on days Two through Five. "Dex" is available through veterinarians and costs about $10.00 for a 100 ml bottle.

Do NOT use "Dex" indiscriminately. It can be a very dangerous drug. A goat must be "weaned" off it rather than taken off cold turkey.

2) Administer 40 cc of Benadryl (each 5 ml contains 12.5% Diphenhydramine HCl ) every twelve hours for four dosages. WalMart's Equate brand is called "Diphedryl Allergy."

3) Inject 8 cc of long-acting Benzathine pencillin IM daily for seven days. Do not discontinue these injections before th seven days has passed.

4) Give the goat lots of fluids, preferably ReSorb or other electrolytes to flush as much toxin from the body as quickly as possible and reduce fever. Don't be alarmed if soft feces occurs. See my article on Diarrhea which states that diarrhea is a symptom of other problems and a way for the body to rid itself of toxins.

5) Green leaves, fresh grass hay, and even some legume hays are desirable. The snake-bitten goat is not likely to eat grain.

6) Do NOT bandage the bite(s). Leave them open so drainage can occur. If the tissue begins to die, apply Trypzyme Spray (vet prescription) to help slough off necrotic (dead) tissue.

Head bites are much less severe, as there is less blood supply to carry the venom to the rest of the body. Leg and body bites result in lots of swelling. Swelling will spread over the body for several days as the bloodstream disburses the toxin. A snakebite above the hoof will cause swelling to occur up the leg and across the chest.

If a veterinarian is available, he/she might also give the goat an IV solution of 10 cc of DMSO diluted in 60 cc Sterile Saline Solution. However, this writer does NOT recommend that the typical goat producer do this. IV administration of medications is, in my opinion, best left to professionals.

If the goat survives the first few hours, he/she is likely to survive the snakebite.

Meat Goat Mania

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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