Goat Temperature

Any time you have a goat that is “off” – not behaving normally – the first thing you need to do is take its temperature because that is the first thing your vet is going to ask when you call. Even if your goat is not running a high or low fever, this provides a clue to you and/or your vet as to what the problem could be.

The “normal” temperature for a Boer goat is 101°F to 103°F in the winter, spring, and fall. It is not unusual in the summertime, when the goats have been basking in the hot sun all day, to see a temperature as high as 104°F, but this should drop fairly rapidly once the goat gets out of the sunlight.

We use a digital rectal thermometer when taking our goats’ temperatures. We use a thermometer probe cover every time a temperature is taken, it makes taking temperature more sanitary. Place the probe cover on the digital thermometer, then lubricate the tip of probe cover with a water soluble jelly such as K-Y® Jelly. Do not use petroleum jelly.

With one hand, gently slide the tip of the thermometer no more than 1/2 inch into the rectum. If you detect resistance of any kind, STOP. Hold thermometer in place during temperature measurement. When finished, dispose of the probe cover. Once used rectally, a thermometer should not be used orally, for sanitary reasons.

Whenever a goat has a temperature above 103°F, there is a good likelihood it is caused by infection. The antibiotic our vet recommends is Fluxixin Meglumine (reduces temperature and kills pain). We primarily use this in conjunction with respiratory infections at 1cc per 100 lbs.
Below normal temperature is an indication the animal is extremely ill – usually close to death. The first thing we think of with adult does with temperatures below 101°F is hypocalcaemia. On the rare occasions we have had very young kids getting chilled they are also extremely dehydrated. Our vet recommends 40cc of dextrose given subcutaneously (SQ) in various locations on the body. Note: this drug should be given slowly, and it is extremely painful; the kids scream in pain!

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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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