Saturday, April 3, 2010

Vaccination Fridays

Friday is our 'shot' day. Unless we have to give shots at different intervals we decided that we would label Fridays as the day we would do vaccinations. Picking a specific day will make it easier to remember. Two Fridays ago we started the J-Vac vaccine for mastitis on all the does except for Ginger. She has been milking 3/4 gallon or more each morning all winter. She doesn't seem to have a problem with mastitis. If we ever decide to freshen her again, we will probably give her a course of vaccinations, too.

However, we had a bit of a mastitis scare with Clover and Janice when they kidded this year and immediately started them on PenG. I don't mess around with mastitis anymore after almost losing one doe two years ago. The day I saw a speck of blood in Clover's milk, she got two shots of 10cc PenG, followed by 4 days of two shots of 6cc PenG. When Janice showed the same signs after she kidded, she got the same treatment.

As soon as they were done with their antibiotics we decided to treat them with two different mastitis vaccinations that are used for heifers. We also decided to vaccinate both Kathy and Pearl, the two yearling does due to kid in April.

The first vaccination we used was J-Vac for mastitis caused by e. coli. It seems to cause quite a bit of discomfort for some of the does. When Clover received her second dose this Friday, she was very sore in the evening. Sore enough that Vet2Be gave her some ibuprofen stuffed inside a strawberry. We used this reference (Fiasco Farm) to decide what we could give her for pain since we don't have any Banamine on hand. However, this morning on Goat-Link I read that you should never give a goat anything other than aspirin. Both sites differ in the recommended dosage of aspirin. From now on, we will treat according to the Goat-Link site as that recommendation seems more reasonable. Clover is fine, by the way--she didn't seem to have a problem with the ibuprofen.

The other vaccination we are using is called Lysigin. It is to vaccinate against mastitis caused by staph. I am most worried about Kathy since her mother is the one that had trouble with mastitis. The 'old wives tale' is that if the mother has trouble with mastitis the daughter will, too.

We also gave Ginger a second shot of IvomecPlus to hopefully get rid of the mites that have been bothering her udder for months. We have not been successful with any other treatments we have used. We waited to use the IvomecPlus because the milk withdrawl seems to be so long. We wanted to make sure we had milk from the other two does before we had to throw away Ginger's milk. We found unofficial withdrawl information on Goat-Link.

We used Safeguard 10% Oral on all the other goats. We haven't seen any mites on them so we didn't feel the need to use anything stronger than Safeguard. However, we will worm twice more as per the Goat-Link site for a total of three times, each dose will be given about 10 days apart (throws off our Friday idea, but we will write on the barn calendar when the next doses are due so they are easy to remember.) The label directions say 'not for use in lactating animals'. Almost every reference on the internet tell me that using Safeguard is fine in lactating animals and that there is no milk withdrawl. We have not had any problems drinking the milk after we have used Safeguard, and there is not weird taste in the milk either.

It would be nice to have a veterinarian close by that knows about goats and sheep! At this point, we often research on the internet to learn what experienced goat owners have done in any situation.


Laurel said...

Can you still make soap with the milk after Ivomec?
Also, where did you get all the drugs for Mastitis and is there any evidence it would work on sheep. We had two ewes that got it bad this year, I mean, pussy pink milk. We only found it because one of their lambs were having problems so we checked. The antibiotics seem to have taken care of it, but I would love to know if there is something I can do to prevent it.

TJ said...

Yes, we can still make soap after ivomec, and we can feed it to the chickens or dogs or other animals. It really wouldn't hurt us to drink it, except we don't have worms :)

But I've read that this is one of the meds they give to children in poor countries because they do have worms.

We are trying the two mastitis vaccines that they use for heifers. Other goat people on the internet have had good success with it and there are a few who are saying that their vets are now recommending it. I don't know if it would work with sheep or not.

I ordered the J-Vac and the Lysigin from Jeffers. I've talked to IFA to see if they can get it in. We like to support local businesses if we can. IFA has always treated us well.

We start milking the day after kidding because I don't want the goat to get so full of milk that there is even a chance of them developing mastitis. I don't know if your ewes will let you milk them out or not. Debbie had good success milking one or two of her ewes a few years ago when she had to bring a lamb into the house.