Caprine & Ovine Care

Just like other pets, goats and sheep need regular veterinary examinations and vaccinations throughout their lifetimes, which can last around 15 to 18 years. They also should be de-wormed semi-annually and have their hooves trimmed approximately every 6 weeks.

Although they make wonderful companions, caprines do come with their own set of specific health needs. The veterinarians and staff at Northwest Florida Animal Clinic are here to guide you through these needs and to provide your animal with the high quality and compassionate care they deserve.

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Wellness Exams
& Herd Checks 

Annual wellness exams are fundamental in maintaining long-term health for your companions. Routine vaccinations, maintenance lab work, parasite prevention, nutrition plans are just some of the key topics discussed in yearly in clinic checkups. 

What to expect:

Whether they are a farm companion, a production animal, or a full herd, you can expect a well-rounded, thorough assessment of your animal's general health. Your vet will also provide insight and answers to any questions and/or concerns you may have. Our staff is trained to use techniques involving low stress and positive reward in order for you and your animals to have the most positive experience possible. 

General Condition

Your vet will begin by assessing your animals's general condition -- from body weight, to coat and skin health, to any obvious lumps or other abnormalities. They will then discuss these findings with you and go over any specific concerns you might have.

Nose-to-tail Exam

Your doctor will then go ahead with what we call, a "nose-to-tail" exam. This includes a thorough, hands-on exam of your animal. They will begin by looking at their eyes, ears, mouth, and nose for any discharge, growths, signs of disease, excessive plaque, and/or any other abnormalities.

Next, they will move on to internal health. Lymph nodes will be examined for any signs of swelling or pain. Their abdomen will be assessed as well to check for any abnormalities in the internal structures. The vet will also determine if there are any issues regarding their heart or lungs by listening to them in a resting position. 

Vaccinations and Testing

Once your vet has ensured your animal is healthy enough handle annual/semi-annual vaccinations, those will be administered gently and efficiently. We will also recommend testing their fecal for intestinal parasites and putting them on a regular deworming schedule based on their results. Regular blood testing is always recommended during annual visits, especially in our senior patients. This allows us to stay ahead of any possible diseases or abnormalities and possibly provide treatment before it becomes a problem.

 

Wellness Plans

Before your visit is over, your vet will go over any necessary wellness plans based on your animal's assessment. This may include dietary instructions, regular medications and/or therapies, any necessary recheck appointments or referrals for further treatment, and any other general advice they might have. 

Vaccinations & Deworming

Regular vaccinations, treatments, and deworming can help protect your goats and sheep from getting and spreading many harmful diseases. During their annual exam, these will always be recommended. Since every animal requires different treatment based on their lifestyle, we will discuss what vaccines and dewormers are best for them.

Vaccination & Treatment Schedule for Caprines
Regular vaccines and tests can protect your goat and herd from many harmful diseases. 

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  • Clostridium perfringens type C + D and tetanus (CD&T)

Annual

  • Clostridium perfringens type C + D and tetanus (CD&T)

1 month prior to giving birth  

  • Clostridium perfringens type C + D and tetanus (CD&T)

**Babies with properly vaccinated mothers 

8-12 weeks

  • Clostridium perfringens type C + D and tetanus (CD&T)

**Only if the immunization status of the mother is uncertain. Followed by two boosters, each given at 4 week intervals.

1-3 weeks

If you're unsure about deworming your animals properly, give us a call and make an appointment. We can help.

Intestinal parasites are often one of the greatest health threat to goats. They are very good at creating a resistance to different dewormers, so goat owners must be strategic about their products, frequency, and which goats to deworm at what time.

 

It is very important to regularly check your goat’s mucous membranes, by pulling down their lower eyelid. You should see a nice pink color. If their mucous membranes are pale pink or white (anemic), you need to consult with your vet. This indicates that they have a parasite infestation and need immediate veterinary care. It is good practice to inspect your goats every two weeks and to consult with your vet regularly about which products you should be using. 

Deworming Your Caprine

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**If you are a new client, please be sure to have your animal's medical records sent over at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. This allows us to provide you with a smooth and efficient first experience.

 

 
 
 

Surgical Procedures

The thought of your companion having surgery can be a source of anxiety and stress for many animal owners. Our compassionate veterinary team is trained to make sure that they are well cared for from the moment you drop them off, until you pick them back up. Whether your goat needs minor surgery or a complex procedure, our surgical services can benefit your pet and possibly even save their life. Before surgery day, we will do any necessary testing and treatments in order to ensure your goat has the best possible outcome. On surgery day, our goal is to provide you and your animal with a stress-free, safe, and successful experience. 

Common surgeries we offer to our caprine patients:

  • Reproductive issues

  • Standard castrations

  • Cryporchid castrations

  • Laceration repair

  • Mass removals

  • Cystotomy/Urethrostomy

  • Minor joint trauma repair

Bladder Stones

Bladder issues are very common in goats. Stones and crystals can be extremely painful and even life-threatening. Diet can be a large contributor.  If your goat has any problems urinating, it is considered emergent and you need to contact us immediately for the best odds of making a full recovery.

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Pregnancy Diagnosis and Monitoring

Throughout your animal’s pregnancy, we’ll schedule frequent checkups to monitor the animal’s health and gestation progress.

 

Emergent C-Sections

Between our dedicated staff, we are fully equipped to provide emergency births and c-sections.

*If your animal is in labor for more then 20 minutes with no progress, she may be having birthing complications and needs immediate help. Call us at 850-994-0900

Reproduction
 

To make the most of your livestock investment, breeding and reproduction are very important. However, breeding farm animals without a veterinarian’s expertise definitely comes with risks. At Northwest Florida Animal Clinic, our veterinarians are trained to help you keep your animals happy and healthy throughout their reproductive process.

Reproductive Examination 

Whether you are purchasing a goat to breed, have one that is already bred, or have one that is struggling to breed, our doctors can evaluate the soundness of your animal's reproductive system and help you understand all of your options. It is always important to understand whether your animal is healthy enough to conceive and to undergo a pregnancy before breeding. We can provide you with advice for achieving your desired results and making the most out of your animal’s reproductive cycle.

Our vets will assess your female animals to properly time their ovulation cycles and identify their windows of fertility for the most successful assisted insemination outcomes. 

 

Disbudding

Our veterinarians are pleased to provide disbudding services for goats, sheep, and calves, as a part of our comprehensive livestock care.

Unlike dehorning, which is a more complicated surgery to remove fully formed horns from a matured animal, disbudding simply removes the cells that would grow into horns on a young calf, kid, or lamb before they have the chance to fully develop.

The disbudding process varies slightly depending on the species of livestock and the method being used. Various methods exist including cauterization with an electric iron and chemical removal.

Benefits

Disbudding has become a common procedure for farm animals due to the various benefits that come with it. These include...

  • Safer handling for handlers and veterinarians

  • Reduced risk of injury to other stock, animals, and mates

  • Reduced risk of self-injury due to getting caught in feed barriers, fences, or other structures

  • Reduced risk of horn-related property damage

  • Eliminated risk of problems due to broken horns

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Pain Management & After Care

Depending on the species of livestock being treated and the recommended disbudding method, your animal may or may not require general anesthesia for the process. In all cases, local anesthesia will be used to mitigate pain during the procedure.

 

Depending on your animal and their specific procedure, the vet might recommend pre-operative anti-inflammatory medications, a postoperative anesthetic, and post-operative anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain.

 

Your veterinarian will provide you with further aftercare instructions tailored to your livestock’s environment and condition.

We offer many other services for our caprine patients. 

These include but are not limited to...

  • Blood transfusions

  • Nutrition and body condition plans

  • Microchipping

  • Pre-purchase exams

  • Dystocia Care

  • Pain management

  • Tagging/tattooing

  • Hoof trims

Call today if you have any questions or concerns regarding treatment for your goat

New Patients Welcome

Looking for a vet in Nothwest Florida? We're always happy to welcome new patients!