Drugs Transitioning from Over the Counter to VFD
Small Ruminant Information–Information taken verbatim from http://www.sheepandgoat.com/vfd
The sheep and goat industries aren’t large users of antibiotics. In 2010, sixty-nine percent of sheep operations reported using oral, injectable, or topical antibiotics . Antibiotic treatments were given mostly to ewes and nursing lambs, and the primary reason for treatment was respiratory distress . Similar figures are not available for goats.
In 2010, 7.3 percent of sheep operations administered sulfa drugs in the feed or water to prevent coccidiosis . Non-VFD drugs were used by farm more operations . 12.5 percent of sheep operations used aureomycin premix or soluble powder in the feed as a growth promotant . A lesser percent (4.8) used tetracycline in the feed . No data is available on the use of aureomycin to prevent vibrionic abortion in sheep. In 2009, 43.4 percent of goat operations fed medicated feed to kids to prevent coccidia, but it is not know if any of the feed contained a VFD drug .
There are only a few antibiotics currently approved to feed to sheep. The most common is tetracyclines. No antibiotics are currently approved (by FDA) to feed to goats. Tetracyclines (Aureomycin®, CTC crumbles) have been fed to ewes to reduce the incidence of vibrionic abortions  and to lambs to increase rate-of-gain and improve feed efficacy . After January 1, 2016, producers will need to obtain a VFD in order to feed tetracyclines to pregnant ewes. The antibiotic will have to be fed to ewes at the labeled dose (80 g/head/day) , not the higher dosage often recommended by veterinarians. After January 1, 2017, it will no longer be legal to feed tetracyclines to promote growth. These claims are being removed from product labels. It is expected that some of these drugs may eventually have their labels changed (to health claims) to be in compliance with the new regulations, but until then and unless this happens, it will be illegal to feed antibiotics to lambs.
What to do
All sheep and goat producers need to be aware of the new regulations and take steps (if necessary) to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. The Veterinarian-Patient-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) is at the core of VFD.