It is very important for every goat owner to have a good "goat" veterinarian!
We cannot stress this enough. Building a relationship with your veterinarian is critical when caring for your goats. Although there is great information available through forums, websites, universities, and other goat keepers, and those resources may be very helpful, they cannot replace veterinarian care. Having a good caprine (goat) vet is invaluable.
Establishing a relationship is best achieved by having the veterinarian you have chosen come out for an overall herd assessment. "Farm Calls" can be expensive, however having your veterinarian out for him/her to see your environment, management, and examine your goats will allow both parties to build more of a partnership. Unfortunately many call on a veterinarian for the first time when there is a serious health crisis. Most veterinarians are not inclined to run out to your farm nor will they give medical advice for an animal they have never seen.
The different veterinarians that we work with are aware of our practices, our management philosophies, and our overall level of knowledge. We have three different veterinarians we consult with. Each has a different "style". All three are respectful of our management practices, are very good at communicating with us, and present options, education, and provide excellent support.
We see many goat owners that play a game of guessing and in ignorance often end up doing more harm than good. Unfortunately when a goat is not doing well the first response for many goat owners is to throw a dewormer, an anti-biotic, or some other product to their goat. These methods are often not effective. Often causing more harm in the long term. Owning goats, whether as a hobby or a as producer, is a serious responsibility. These methods often cause drug resistance, prolonged health issues, and sometimes death.
The internet, your friend with goats, your mentor, our website... etc is still not a replacement for a veterinarian. We strongly recommend you find a veterinarian that is very knowledgeable about caprines (goats). Not all large animal veterinarians work with goats. Ask others, get referrals, and talk with your prospective veterinarian before committing to a farm call. We also recommend asking about their travel fees, hourly rate, what is and is not covered in the visit . Conveying your overall goals and philosophies will allow the visiting veterinarian to have a better understanding of how to support you as the client. We also recommend consulting more than one veterinarian until you find one you are comfortable with.