How to Give IV Fluids to Goats

It is rare for a goat to be sick, but curiosity and age can be detrimental factors to their good health.
It is rare for a goat to be sick, but curiosity and age can be detrimental factors to their good health. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Goats are usually very hearty animals but sometimes they need special care. Goats may need IV — intraveineous fluids — if they become dehydrated. Diarrhea, fever and labor are all typical causes of dehydration. Giving IV fluids to a goat is normally not a difficult task. You will be able to tell when the fluids and any anitbiotics take effect, because your goat will become a lot more obstinate.

Things You'll Need

  • Assistant
  • New IV needles, 1- to 1 1/2-inch, 18 or 20 gauge
  • Fluids
  • Rope choker leash
  • Rubbling alcohol

Stand the goat up on all fours and position its head and shoulders between your assistant's legs so your assistant can tighten the grip if your goat tries to move.

Slip the rope leash over the goat's neck and arrange the choker part so it is not directly on the windpipe and will easily release when you give. Instruct the assistant to hold the leash in one hand while holding the goat's head straight up with the other hand.

Check your fluids. The fluid bag and needle are pre-attached to the IV tube. Hold the IV by the plastic base to ensure the needle remains sterile. Test the fluids by letting them run through the needle. Detach the needle by the base and prepare to insert it into the goat's jugular vein.

Douse the goat's neck over its jugular vein with alcohol. Use your thumb to hold off the vein at the base of its neck. This will make the vein enlarge, making it more visible. Lightly insert the needle downward into the jugular vein. If you are in the vein, blood will bubble out of the needle.

Attach the IV tube back to the base of the needle and turn on the fluids. When the fluids are done, remove the needle and douse the neck again with alcohol. Turn the goat loose into a confined area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your veterinarian. A vet can advise you with regard to proper dosage.
  • Never touch the metal needle as that could lead to contamination.

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