Sheep and Goat Vaccine and Health Management Schedule

Guide B-127

Marcy Ward, Shad Cox, and John Wenzel

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University

Respectively, Extension Livestock Specialist, Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources; Superintendent, Corona Range and Livestock Research Center; and Extension Veterinarian, Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources, New Mexico State University. (Print Friendly PDF)

Most livestock vaccine and health management protocols revolve around the animal’s stage of production. For sheep and goats, it is recommended to vaccinate prior to lambing, weaning, and breeding. The purpose of this publication is to offer a guide in establishing a health management schedule. Every operation is unique, and it is therefore imperative that producers consult with their veterinarian before establishing a specific vaccination and health protocol.

Table 1 provides information on vaccine timing, recommended and optional vaccines, and covered diseases.

Table 1. Recommended Vaccine and Health Management Schedule for Sheep and Goats

Stage of production


Recommended vaccines/health management

Diseases covered

Optional vaccines*

Pregnant sheep and goats


2–4 weeks prior to lambing or kidding

  • Clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus. Will need to use cattle vaccines labeled safe for sheep and goats.
  • Topical external parasite control (permethrin)

Clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus

Keds and lice in sheep

Kid goats


© hotservis |

At lambing or kidding

  • Topical and drench wormers to dams

Prevents internal parasite

SE/vitamin E can help prevent white muscle disease

New lambs


Lambs 2 weeks of age

  • Dock tails and castrate

300 I.U. tetanus antitoxin, if dam was not vaccinated during gestation

30 days after lambing or kidding. Booster at 45 days (2 weeks later).

  • Clostridium perfringens types C and D antitoxin


Ovine ecthyma for soremouth

Ewes and does


60–30 days

  • Campylobacter fetus-jejuni bacterin
  • Chlamydia psittaci ewe vaccine
  • Clostridial 8-way (once)
  • Caseous lymphadenitis (CL)

Vibriosis (late-term abortions)

Chlamydia (late-term abortions; vaccine can be used in both sheep and goats)

Eight clostridial strain
bacterial diseases

CL, a contagious bacterial disease that causes skin lesions and abscesses

Bucks and rams


30–60 days

  • Clostridial 8-way
  • Anthelmintic (de-wormer)

Eight clostridial strain bacterial diseases

Prevents parasite infestation

Things to Consider

  • Read all labels carefully before administering vaccines or other treatments.
  • For optimal parasite control, a fecal egg count should be done to assess level of infestation, and may determine potential anthelmintic resistance. Your veterinarian can assist you with this process.
  • When treating for parasites, it is now recommended that you remain consistent with your de-worming protocol. The key is to get the appropriate dose per animal. Animals that are under-dosed have an increased risk of becoming anthelmintic-resistant.
  • In arid regions, worming may only be required once a year.
  • For external parasites like keds and ticks, topical permethrin-based products work well.
  • Caution: Avoid applying to dairy goats. Zeta-cypermethrin products can be used as an alternative.
  • Depending on weather and level of infestation, a second dose may be needed two weeks later to sufficiently treat the animals.
  • Ewe lambs and doelings will require an additional dose (total of three) of both Campylobacter and Chlamydia vaccines to ensure full protection prior to their first breeding season.
  • Older sheep and goats who have been properly vaccinated as young animals should only require annual vaccines covering the clostridial (i.e., 8-way) and anti-abortive vaccines (i.e., Vibrio).
  • Clostridial vaccines can be highly reactive at the vaccination site. To reduce blemishes, use clean, high-gauge needles (18 g) and subcutaneous administration techniques.

To learn more about parasite management, refer to NMSU Extension Guide B-112, Guide for Control of External Parasites of Sheep and Goats (


Figure 1. An example animal health protocol with corresponding schedule in a farm flock situation.


Figure 2. An example animal health protocol with corresponding schedule for sheep and goats on range.

List of Table Photo Credits

Photo of pregnant doe: © Alex Dawson | Flickr
Photo of kid goats: © hotservis |
Photo of new lambs: © Paul Chamberlain | Flickr
Photo of ewes: © Arbutus | Flickr


Hines, M.E. 2013. Enterotoxemia in sheep and goats. University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved June 4, 2018, from

Odendaal, M.W., and N.P.J. Kriek. 2004. Tetanus. In J.A.W. Coetzer and R.C. Tustin (Eds.), Infectious Diseases of Livestock, vol. 3 (pp. 1878–1884). Oxford University Press.

Scott, P.R. 2018. Pasteurella and Mannheimia pneumonias in sheep and goats. Merck Veterinary Manual. Retrieved May 1, 2018, from

For Further Reading

B-112: Guide for Control of External Parasites of Sheep and Goats

CR-604: Sheep Production and Management

CR-685: Sheep Nutrition

Photo of Marcy Ward.

Marcy Ward
Marcy Ward is the Extension Livestock Specialist at NMSU. She received her B.S. and M.S. in animal science from Colorado State University and NMSU, respectively, and her Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition from North Dakota State University. She was most recently the Beef Program Director at Colby Community College in Colby, KS.

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