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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm struggling with giving my doe oral meds (11 m.o. nigerian). I have practically sat on top of her to try to keep her still enough for my husband to put the syringe in the corner of her mouth - but she thrashes her head around so hard that it's impossible to give her a slow steady dose (I don't want to drown her by shoving the plunger in). Of course, this wasn't a big deal 6 months ago when we could pick them up, but she's now close to 100lbs and very sassy about everything these days. I need to get a handle on this as a new goat mom.

So - what tricks do you use for the obstinate goats in your herd? Any advice is appreciated - searched the forum but haven't been able to find anything yet.

Thank you!
 

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Some sure can be ornery alright!
Being right handed I stand at her right shoulder kind of facing left, pry open mouth/ lip with left hand & down it goes in left corner. Head is pretty much level.
Unless it suppose to be given slow the plunger is done in one fell swoop. Least that's how I do it.
 

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The real thrashers, I put on the milk stand, and pull the head to one side, until it's braced against the stanchion. There's no more room for them to trash this way. Open mouth, insert meds, shoot. I do it by reaching around behind their neck, grip the lower jaw and pull it away from me.

Minor thrashers, I brace their neck between my knees and use a firm (but gentle) grip on the jaw to open mouth. Do this near a wall; if they get thrashy, you can back them into the wall.

But one trick my goat taught me - some goats take medicine easily if it tastes good. If it's possible the medicine tastes good, I push a tiny bit out the tip and offer the goat a chance to take it the easy way. If it's a small dose, dipping the tip in molasses may get them to open their mouth (but when they taste yuck, they'll clamp down). Half my goats take half the meds voluntarily.

And with some paste-type stuff, I squirt onto my fingers, open mouth, smear onto palate. Not for stuff where dosage is critical - if they hate the taste, they'll shake their head and knock it loose (that stuff needs to go further back so they can't shake it out).
 

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I straddle them with my legs at about their withers, the goat facing away from me, with a solid wall behind both of us. My left hand is under their chin, my left thumb to pry open their mouth, my right hand has the dose syringe. I point their chin up with my left hand, squirt the liquid into the right side/corner of their mouth with my right hand. They can't back up. The more they struggle, the more I raise their chin. I don't squirt the whole dose at once, just a little at a time. The little ones will try to duck away from your grasp, to which I sometimes will lift their front end with my right hand under their sternum while I'm waiting for them to swallow, keeping their chin up. Even the worst of them will get better at accepting the dosing with practice.
 

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I straddle them, either at the heartgirth or with the neck between my thighs. I left the head with my left hand and insert the syringe with my right at the side of their mouth, pretty much at the corner of their mouth, and then depress the plunger. I keep their noses facing up until I know they have swallowed the medication.

For the more horrible tasting meds, I add koolaid or some other drink flavoring to the medication to make it taste better.
 

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Well , one tip i can give you …..dont let them see you hide anything in food cause i swear they know what your doing !
It happened to me , i was making them some peanut butter sandwiches with left over hamburger buns and they were inhaling them !
Two days later , i wanted to copper bolus the "difficult ones" that won't take it with a handful of grain. I make the same peanut butter sandwiches and offer it to them. Wouldn't ya know they sniffed it , looked at me with shock on their faces , and walked away !
And i did make them in front of their pen on the picnic table. I swear they knew what i was doing ! :ROFL:
 

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Does she let you pet her? I hug my goats a lot and pet them a lot so they're used to being handled and feel happy and safe about being it. The ones that don't love hugs get petted, a quick hug and then back to petting. A hug is halfway to a grab and I want them to feel okay with me holding them. If they don't like petting, I put them on the milk stand and pet while they eat. Longer-term, working on making her feel safe and happy when you touch her might help.
 

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I straddle them with my legs at about their withers, the goat facing away from me, with a solid wall behind both of us. My left hand is under their chin, my left thumb to pry open their mouth, my right hand has the dose syringe. I point their chin up with my left hand, squirt the liquid into the right side/corner of their mouth with my right hand. They can't back up. The more they struggle, the more I raise their chin. I don't squirt the whole dose at once, just a little at a time. The little ones will try to duck away from your grasp, to which I sometimes will lift their front end with my right hand under their sternum while I'm waiting for them to swallow, keeping their chin up. Even the worst of them will get better at accepting the dosing with practice.
This is what I do. Using a syringe(no needle) and very slowly a little bit at a time, at the back corner of the mouth. Head kinda level but upward a little.
 

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I put mine up on the milk stand and gently pull her head close to my chest, then I administer the drench and then I hold her mouth closed and stroke her throat until she swallows. My girls respond a lot better to the gentle approach than to the wrestle 'em down approach.

Well, that is if I can catch them. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yay everyone is so helpful here, thank you!!!! Ksalvagno, yes, this time it's a dosing syringe filled by the vet, but I'm thinking now about getting a drencher sooner than later - will that make it easier?

Harleybarley - yes, I actually "scootch" her (only way to describe it) up on my lap for hoof trimming (which oddly she seems to like, crazy thing!). Right after the horrible goat thrashing/me giving up incident, she ran right back over to me to nibble on my pants. She is VERY ornery - always trying to escape, standing between me and the door when she wants something, etc. I'm starting to get a little concerned about breeding her, LOL!
 

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My girls respond a lot better to the gentle approach than to the wrestle 'em down approach.)
I agree that being as easy going as you can get away with is the best. I can often get away with just straddling them, very lightly putting my left hand under their chin and nonchalantly squirting in the medicine on the right side of their face with their chin pointed up. Watching for the swallow. Every goat is different though. The babies sometimes think you are trying to kill them. You have to win, so I ramp up the force as needed. I've found that most of the hissy fits goats throw are a bluff. But I try to tell myself that "less is more". Move slowly but determined.
 

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I put them in a headlock lol I'm facing the same way they are but off to the side and wrap my left arm around them and hold their head up and also put my fingers between their front and back teeth to make them open up. If they are smaller, which will probably work for your girl since I deal with boers I straddle them and squeeze their neck with my legs then do the same with my hand holding their head up and open the mouth. Warning you right now if she has horns this way sucks lol


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...I actually "scootch" her (only way to describe it) up on my lap for hoof trimming (which oddly she seems to like, crazy thing!). Right after the horrible goat thrashing/me giving up incident, she ran right back over to me to nibble on my pants. ...
Does she fit in your lap? She might take meds easier that way? And, dip the tip of the syringe in molasses before giving it to her.

Um.. She sounds like maybe she's in a testing-the-limits stage? A little training/discipline may be in order. She loves you but wants to be the boss of you! Never let her win. If she trumps you, at least spurn her affection afterwards. But you'll get out of this stage faster if you approach it strategically and engineer every "fight" to be winnable by you. (Which you're already doing by starting this thread!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Unfortunately she doesn't really fit on my lap; I pull her up sideways onto a big captain's camping chair I use for hanging out with the goats or when I need some barn time. I will definitely try the molasses trick - she's very food motivated for sure. Actually, lots of great ideas from everyone - and I'm not going to be too afraid of pushing the plunger a little faster next time.

So yeah, she is absolutely testing the limits! A few weeks ago I pointed at her and said "no" (she was ramming her little sister a bit too hard) and she reared up. I jumped up (I was sitting) and chased her out of the barn into the goat pasture. She hasn't really raised her horns at me since, but she finds new ways to test me otherwise, like the standing between me and the door (squeezing between if she has to) thing.

Interestingly, I think this all has to do with her sister, who happens to 'faint', be much smaller and... "demure", shy and very cute. Everyone loves her and tries to talk to her. Sissy (the big sassy one) seems really, really jealous. If that's even possible?!

Anyway, sorry for the ramble! I appreciate the advice - I certainly haven't spurned any of her affection (usually her antics make me laugh, which I know is baad) but I'll start doing so and see if it helps!
 

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>>>>Well , one tip i can give you …..dont let them see you hide anything in food cause i swear they know what your doing !<<<<
Oh yeah! I give mine selenium and vit E capsules wrapped up in bread. Some of them just wolf it on down but two of them will act like they are going to eat it. Then they shake it until the pills fall out and then eat the bread. I have to be careful to force it in and hold them until they have to swallow.:hair:

A drenching syringe is a MUST!!!!! I remember the days of trying to force an injection syringe into their mouths. The drenching syringe with the long metal end just slides right back and they cannot spit it out.
 
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