So you’ve read the guide to buying your first goat and now you’re in preparation mode for your first herd members! Before you even bring your new goats home, you should have a first aid kit stocked with the most important items on hand. In this post, I'll provide the 11 most essential items for your goat first aid kit.
Of course you should also establish service with your local large animal vet that has experience with treating goats. However, in the case of emergencies, there is not always time to bring your goats to the vet or to wait for the vet to come out to you. Having a fully stocked kit can literally be a life saver. You’ll probably also have less urgent situations that you can handle on your own with the proper resources and education. Knowing how to deal with these circumstances and having the tools to do so will save you a ton of money…home vet visits can be very costly.
So what should you keep in your kit? I recommend getting these 11 essential items for your goat first aid kit. Keep in mind that you may need a vet prescription for some of these items. A few may not be available in retail stores near you, so ordering online is required. It’s best to work on getting these before you bring your goats home. There is no time to wait for shipping in the midst of an emergency.
The following list is by no means all inclusive, but it will get you off to a good start and cover some of the most basic supplies. Keep in mind, a first aid kit for kidding will look a little different…more on that to come in the future we hope. This kit is intended for kids and non-pregnant goats. When in doubt ask your vet, goat breeder or livestock mentor what they keep on hand and add it to your kit! I’ve done my best to include links to the specific items we have purchased and used. Some of these are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission from sales, but this comes at no additional cost to you.
It’s a good idea to have 2 of these in your kit. They don’t have to be anything fancy. Any digital thermometer you would get at a drugstore will do. We like this one because it’s quick! In many instances when you suspect something might be off with a goat, the first thing you should do is take their temperature.
These are an obvious necessity for protecting yourself and your herd from cross-contamination.
Proper hoof care is essential for a healthy goat. Goat hooves require regular trimming to prevent hoof rot and scald. You’ll want a good pair of sharp trimmers on hand at all times.
Blood Stop Powder (you can also use cornstarch)
This comes in handy because goat hooves and horns are very vascular. If you accidentally trim too deep or if a goat knocks off a horn cap, you’ll need a way to stop the bleeding fast.
This flexible and elastic wrap is useful for providing support and applying pressure to in injuries and wounds.
Gauze (or Maxi Pads)
Either one is highly absorbent and useful for dressing wounds.
We keep 3mL syringes and 18-22 gauge, 1/2”-1” needles on hand. The size that we select will depend on the medication/vaccine to be delivered as well as the type of injection. Make sure that you know the correct dosage and type of injection and keep this information in your kit for quick and easy reference.
Goats are not great at distinguishing and avoiding plants that are toxic to them. Activated charcoal can be given to counteract the effects of many poisonous plants if your goat does ingest them.
This is an antiseptic spray used for keeping wounds clean by protecting against bacteria and infections.
This tool is helpful in administering fluids and medications.
Injectable Vitamin-B Complex encourages appetite and improves digestion and energy levels in goats.
Other items that might be useful: iodine, molasses, probiotics, Nutri-drench, C&D antitoxin, baking soda, Pepto, Penicillin, Redcell, goat electrolytes, scissors, notebook and pen, head lamp. Medication and vaccine dosage chart.
Lastly, I’ve created this printable Goat First Aid Kit checklist just for you as a free download to make keeping track of goat supplies easier. I keep mine right inside my kit so I always know where it is, what’s in my kit and what I’m running low on.