Giving a shot can be scary the first time. I hope this page helps you master a skill you WILL need one time or another. You should have on hand both 18 gauge and 20 gauge needles. Most antibiotics are thick and need 18G while vitamins are often thin enough for 20-22 G needles..3/4-1 inch long. You also need both 3 cc and 6 cc syringes for most meds. I like to have a few larger sizes just in case.
Always clean tops of the medication bottles before and after inserting needle.
Clean the area to be injected with alcohol
There are 3 types of shots..
Sub Q; ( subcutaneous) which mean Under the skin...lift a tall tent and push needle in the tent..always draw back the plunger to check for blood..
SUB Q HINT: When you lift a nice big tent, inject medication and HOLD THAT TENT!! Wiggle the skin a few minutes while lifted, helps distribute the medication so less sting
IM : (Intramuscular) meaning IN the Muscle..for hormones and steroids
IV : ( Intravenous ) meaning in the vein...rarely needed
Knowing how to do each of these methods can save time, money and your goats life..We will go over each of these methods...
Sub Q is the preferred method for all medications accept Hormones and Steroids. Goats have the fastest Metabolism of all ruminants there for sub Q works just fine for them and its less painful. NOTE: You can give injection Sub Q even if the bottle says IM. You can do a sub Q injection just about any where you can lift a tent of skin but a few popular spots are where the neck meets the body in that little dip and in the arm pit area.
Start by cleaning the area to be injected with alcohol swab. Insert the needle, but do not inject medication yet. Draw back the plunger to check for blood. If no blood enters the syringe you are good to inject. If you see Blood, re adjust the needle and try again. Keep in mind some medications in the vein can kill a goat, such as Penicillin..
DO not to inject more then 5-8Mcc in one location. Over filling can lead to leakage and waste of meds and your goat does not get a full dose.
IM injections are given directly into the muscle. I save these for hormone or steroid shots or a stubborn goat that I have to be quick with. IM is fast. This is more painful for the goat so only do this when I have no choice.
Start by cleaning the area with an alcohol swab. Insert the needle but do not inject medication. Draw back the plunger to check for blood. No blood is good to go, see blood re adjust and try again..
If you raise goats for meat..IM injection can destroy or mark valuable meat. Its recommended to give IM shots in areas of less desirable meat area such as the neck and avoid the hip and back legs..
RED ZONE....Save the meat!! DO NOT GIVE INJECTION IN THE RUMP!! There is also the sciatic nerve that if you hit it can cause your goat to be lame...the neck muscle or shoulder muscle are best locations..
IV. This Is rarely needed but a skill we all should be familiar with just in case. If at all possible, call a vet if IV is needed and you are unfamiliar with the process, this is NOT something you should do lightly!. IV is usually done in the neck vein called the jugular. This is the same vein we pull blood from. Know and understand the risk the medication you are giving can have, how slow it must be given. For ex: too much CMPK or given too fast can stop the goats heart. If you are giving IV fluids, know that an extremely dehydrated goat will be in a lot of pain as it absorbs the fluid. Knowing what to expect is crucial to how we handle each situation.
Again, this is better left for a train professional if at all possible..
To start, clean the area with a alcohol swab. While in front of the goat. Press your thumb on the jugular vein, wait for the vein to bulge out, keep your thumb in place while you insert the needle in an almost flat angle, upward direction into the vein. Draw back the plunger to be sure you are in the vein. Seeing blood in the syringe is what we want. Slowly inject the medication. Keep a stethoscope on the goats heart beat and listen for irregular beats or any changes.
Always be clean when giving shots. Always use a clean needle. Always clean bottle tops with alcohol swab. Throw needles away in a protected container.
My preferred injection sights