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Important! Please Read This Notice!
All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. We are not veterinarians. Neither nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
PLEASE keep in mind, just because there is a DVM after the name does not mean they have the proper answers for goat owners 'Caveat emptor'- You need to find a responsible GOAT Vet

Injections-Goat Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Sunday, 27 May 2007
Article Index
Page 2


Poke Poke..


The more you understand how to give injections the less you will worry when the time comes you have to give one!
I will try to cover anything you could ever need to know about giving injections so the task is not stressful for you or the goat.

Take a breath, Take you time and relax, it really is not as difficult as you think.

How to Give an Injection to Goats

syringe types

There are 2 basic syringe types; One where the needle screws onto the syringe and the other the needle slips onto the syringe..
I prefer the screw on type called a "Luer Lock" syringe, less chance of the needle coming off while administering medication.


  • Luer-lock, which locks the needle onto the nozzle of the syringe.
  • Slip tip or Luer Slip, which secures the needle by compressing the hub onto the syringe nozzle.

This shows the parts of a Luer Slip Syringe used for giving injections

Parts of a Syringe


This shows the parts of a Luer Lock Syringe used for giving injections

(My Personal Preference) 

Luer Lock Syringe Parts

 Luer Lock Syringe

Luer Lock Syringe Shows Hub Where Needle Screws in

close up of Luer Lock Syringe and needle

Click for detailed view

Luer Slip Syringe

 Luer Slip Syringe Shows Hub where Needle Slips on the Syringe

injection sites
Click on Image to Enlarge

Selection of needles to use for goat injections

Needles for Goat Use shown in Actual Size


Use a larger Gauge needle for thicker medications such as Tylan200, Ivomec and Ivomec Plus, Penicillin, and Nuflor such as a 20gauge needle in a shorter length such as 3/4 or 1/2 inch for easy administration- longer needles can be used but pay attention to the Gauge (thickness)- A smaller Gauge needle can be used for Vitamin B complex, Bo-Se and vaccines such as a 22 Gauge needle also in a 1/2 inch length if possible- No need to use longer than a one inch needle.

I try to use a 3/4 inch or 1/2 inch all the time just changing the gauge of the needle to accomodate the medication viscosity.


Box of Disposable Teat Cannulas

A box of Disposable Teat Cannulas for treating Mastitis in Goats

Teat Cannula and insertion into teat demonstration for mastitis medication application

Teat Cannula and placement diagram

There are different ways to administer injectable medications:

IM - Giving the injection into the large muscle, which allows the medication to absorb into the system reasonably quick.
Sub-Q - Giving the injection into the subcutaneous layer, which allows for slower absorption and tends to have less of a chance for site infection found with some drugs.
IV - Directly into the vein, which as far as I'm concerned is better left up to your veterinarian to perform.
M - Into the mammary ..using a round tipped teat cannula instead of a needle. To administer antibiotics directly into the teat-Never place further than 1/4 inch into the teat!

tissue sample
Click on Image to Enlarge

 When giving an SQ injection, Pinch up some skin in a tent where you will be giving the injection and  place the needle into that skin tent, - making sure the needle does not go out the opposite side

Steps of Giving an Injection

  1. Always use a clean needle and syringe
  2. Wash your hands with antiseptic soap before handling the needle and syringe.
  3. Check the label on the vaccination or medication bottle to verify it is in fact the one you want to give your goat. Double-check the expiration date, make sure there is nothing floating in the bottle and that the drug is not discolored.
  4. Wipe top of medication bottle with alcohol prep
  5. Use separate needle for drawing medication from bottle so as not to contaminate medication- to do this  if you are using a syringe and needle combo, unscrew the needle on the syringe, and screw the syringe into the needle that is already in the rubber stopper of the medication (One that you have already placed there for this purpose) - once the syringe has the proper dosage of medication in it, unscrew the needle that is In the medication bottle and re-screw the needle you removed before  filling the syringe back onto the syringe.
  6. Make sure injection needle is properly attached to syringe (With a luer-lock syringe the needle will screw into  the hub of the syringe , then while holding syringe upside down needle pointing upwards.. loosely in one hand.. flick with your fingers the top of the syringe to get air bubbles up to top, then expel them by pushing plunger some until you are to pure medication.
  7. Secure goat either in a stancheon or using a collar or second person and secure to a fence , tree or have the person hold the goat securely  if you  cannot hold the goat and give the injection.  It helps to have the butt end of the goat up against something solid so they cannot back away which is what they typically do.
  8. Wipe injection site with alcohol prep, double check dose amount in syringe and double check the medicaiton to make sure you in fact have the correct med.
  9. Remove the needle's plastic, protective cap. Be very careful not to touch the needle.
  10. Insert injection needle into goat at what ever angle you intend on giving injection (Sub-Q or IM) - SQ goes in at an angle , IM goes straight in.
  11. Draw back on plunger to make sure you are NOT in a blood vessel! (This is especially important for giving penicillin injections as Penicillin is deadly if injected into the bloodstream)If you are in the vessel ..withdraw needle and re stick the goat.
  12. Slowly and firmly inject medication (if the goat moves and you think there is a possibility of breaking the needle- Let go of it and let it hang.. you do much less damage with the needle hanging there than trying to hold on and taking a chance of breaking it off in the goat!)
  13. Withdraw needle and rub injection site briskly.
  14. Let go of goat and apologize for giving it an owie. Give her a kiss and a cookie.
  15. Watch her for at least 30 minutes.. this is why I bring mine inside if at all possible. Keep an eye on her the next few hours Just in case..

  • Luer-lock, which locks the needle onto the nozzle of the syringe.
  • Slip tip, which secures the needle by compressing the hub onto the syringe nozzle.




*Make sure you always use a clean needle..

*If the syringe and needle drop onto the ground.. go get another needle.

*Only re-use a needle a couple times.. if you use them more than once.. they go dull VERY quickly.. and if you Do use them more than once.. make sure you sterilize them between uses.
Tip: A sterilized short jar with a tight fitting lid, filled with a sterile sponge and alcohol nearly to the top is a good place to store used needles for future use. Stick the needle into the sponge covered with alcohol and it will be sterile and ready for use later.
*Make sure you use the correct needle for the right job.. thick medications require a bigger gauge (diameter) needle.. a baby needs a smaller needle..
*Don't mix medications.
*Know which medications sting ahead of time so you don't get upset when one starts to jump and dance around thinking you are experiencing shock.. (Ivomec, Tylan200 and Nuflor among others are notorious for stinging..)
*Write down who you gave what shot to so you do not repeat it too soon, and make sure to give follow up medications when needed.. not giving enough is almost as bad as not giving any.. follow through.

This link will show you how to properly dispose of livestock sharps..(needles and scalpel blades)
Nebraska Cooperative Extension

**Giving CDT vaccine injections can leave you with an injection site abscess.. Best to give it SubQ to decrease the chances of abccess..
This is what an injection site abscess looks like..

Injection Site and how to hold the goat for back leg injection
This is a picture of how I stand a goat to give a shot.. so you can see one person can do it.. but with the bigger goats it helps to have help.. one to keep the goat busy on one end while you work on the other..

numly 45395-060919-371086-16

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 January 2010 )
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