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Hi there, thank you all for your great info. This is my first time posting a message. I met some of you at the rendy this year, and am so impressed with y'all. I am planning a trip next week into the Trinity Alps, where I have been told there are lots of snakes. I am bringing my two goats Ouija and Gyro with, of course. I remember from llama packing days that we would bring a rubber hose along in snake country because if a llama gets bit on the nose, which they tend to do because of their curiosity, you have to stick the hose up their nose before the swelling cuts off their breathing. Luckily I never had to do that. So my question is, if a goat gets bit on the nose, can he still breathe through his mouth, unlike a llama? Or should I pack the hose?

Thanks,
Ali
 

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Hi Ali, welcome to the forum.

Llamas are Semi-obligate nasal breathers. For the sake of those who may read this post later, that simply means that they "prefer" to breath through their noses. I know there has been a persistent rumor that Llamas and Alpacas can only breath through their noses but its simply not true. They can and do breath through their mouth if needed, though admittedly not very often. I personally think the rumors persist because the cartilage on a Llamas nose runs half way up the bridge of its nasal cavity and a tight halter can easily pinch it shut. If the halter is that tight, it also limits how far the Llama can open its mouth and may cause it to suffocate.

Goats on the other hand, have no problem sucking air any way they can get it and often pant like a dog on a hot day.
 

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Thanks. The question hadn't crossed my mind (yet). Iowa is a land of few rattlers, mostly around the rivers. I carry the ubiquitous snake kit for camping, although mine has epi-pens in it for snake and other venomous bites and stings. I've been bitten when I was a kid in NM.

I do use llama halters on llamas, though mostly because they fit the shape of the head. Right now the small alpaca size fits the shape of Cabra's head as well. I mostly use them because the underline of a llama's head is so much shorter than the topline.

So many of the smaller halters I've found so far in the farm store look like "premie foal" rather than really make for goats or sheep.

So is there anything special you carry first-aid wise for the goats? Thinking especially of venomous things now. I had a dog and one horse that are very allergic to some ant bites.

Anything extra for "normal" injuries, other than a comprehensive first aid kit. Like if I have a dog along, I make sure I have rapid cool-down supplies.
 

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We don't have too many poisonous snakes in our area because of the altitude, so as a result we don't have much for that problem in our first aid kit. We mainly added a thermometer and large syringe for getting charcoal mix, oil or other remedies in the goat for poisonous plants and bloat. Benedryl or Epi pens would be good to add as well.

For bee stings we crush an aspirin with a dab of water to make a paste and put it on the sting. It quickly takes away the pain. I know doctors poo poo this, saying it doesn't do anything but I have tried not using it and the pain and swelling continued well past the time the aspirin treated sting no longer hurt. If you are at home, ice works great for treating stings as well.
 

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In addition to the hose I'd take benedryl, and if you can get it, a shot of dexamethasone, steroid for swelling relief. DMSO can be used around, not over and on, the bite also to reduce swelling. Wait awhile before applying, though, so that you don't drive the venom in while it's spreading. About a hour or so, and it will have travelled as far is it's going to, then you can DMSO it. THis is really great for extremities.
 

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Carolyn, do you know if DMSO is easy to keep (how long it lasts, do you have to keep it cool, etc). I'll bet I could get if from my vet if I asked, but if it's too hard to keep then it wouldn't be worth it.

Rattlesnakes are probably my #1 worry. My goats just blunder around in the brush and among the rocks, and nothing on the ground worries them. A deer or a javelina, or my dog suddenly appearing, will alarm them, but they will walk right over snakes, maybe even step on them.
 

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DMSO is available at horse feed and tack stores. You don't have to buy it from a vet. It keeps forever and doesn't need refrigeration. In fact, it freezes at a higher temp than 32 degrees. If you get it, get a roll on applicator, it's a lot easier to deal with.
 
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