WHAT IS MASTITIS?
Clinical bovine mastitis is where by the cow displays definitive symptoms of the disease. It may be acute where the disease flares up relatively suddenly in a formerly healthy cow. It may be further defined as per-acute, where the rapid onset of severe inflammation, pain and systemic symptoms results in a severely ill cow within a short period of time, or sub-acute the most frequently seen instance of the disease, where the few symptoms tend to be mild inflammation in the udder and visible changes to the milk, such as small clots.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED
Losses due to Mastitis
Economic cost of mastitis is made of direct losses. The cost factors of mastitis include decreased milk production, veterinary services, diagnostics, drugs, discarded milk, and labour, decreased product quality, increased risk of new cases of the same disease or of other diseases and losses due to culling.
The Clinical Findings of Mastitis
The clinical findings vary with each bacteriological type of mastitis. This includes abnormalities of secretion, abnormalities of size, consistency and temperature of the mammary gland. The abnormalities in milk include discoloration, clots and flakes. Abnormalities of the udder include swelling, pain, redness, increased warmth, hard in Consistency. The teats may also be swollen and painful.
Treatment of Mastitis
Special bacterial types of mastitis require specific treatments. The main therapeutic agents for treating mastitis are antibiotics. Treatment tends to remove infection from the udder and return milk to normal composition but milk production and yield is reduced until at least the next lactation year.
NB: Always consult with your veterinarian or animal health provider in case you suspect the disease.
Measures to Control Mastitis at the Farm
- Strict hygiene measures during and after milking.
- Proper milking technique and practices in order to reduce the factors that contribute to the mastitis in the farm.
- Prompt treatment of the mastitis cases. This removes the reservoirs of infection and reduces period of milk loss and udder injury.
- Institution of a herd health program to follow up on mastitis control and prevention.
- Treating all cows with dry cow therapy at drying.