Mastitis is a serious health problem. If not diagnosed early and treated aggressively it can result in costly medical bills, permanent damage to the udder, decreased milk production and, in severe cases, even death. Inflammation occurs when bacteria, viruses and the like invade the udder and/or mammary glands.
The best prevention is cleanliness. Keep the barn and barnyard clean at all times. Practice CLEAN milking habits. Keep the udder well trimmed, wash teats and udder thoroughly with Udder Wash and always milk with clean, dry hands. Use a strip cup for the first few steams of milk and examine closely for flakes or strings. Always milk gently and do not over milk. Wipe the teats clean after milking and apply Fight Bac to teats. It’s inexpensive, highly effective and easy to use. Test the milk once a week with mastitis test cards . Early diagnosis is your best chance for successful treatment.
Symptoms of mastitis include a decrease in milk production, flakes or strings on the strip cup screen and a hot, swollen, red udder. Blood in the milk may also be a symptom. The CMT kit can also be used if a problem shows up on the strip cup screen.
Mastitis treatment may include antibiotic injections as well as antibiotic teat infusions. Apply hot packs twice a day for 10 minutes and gentle massaging with peppermint oil to increase circulation. More frequent milking may also be helpful.
Several conditions warrant the use of medications infused directly into the teat. This procedure, called intra-mammary infusion involves implanting a antibiotic medication such as ‘Tomorrow’ when drying off a lactating doe and ‘Today’ for treating mastitis. Goat Serum or Bovi Sera can also be infused for treating mastitis as an alternative to antibiotics. We emphasize the importance of cleanliness in this procedure to avoid the introduction of dirt and bacteria into the teat. Neosporin antibacterial ointment is excellent for lubricating the cannula for easy insertion. Please note the illustrations below showing the proper positioning of the cannula inside the teat. Partial insertion, just beyond the sphincter muscle is correct. Full insertion can disrupt the keratin plug encouraging further bacterial infection.
More information on mastitis:
- The Merck Veterinary Manual: Mastitis in Goats
- Alabama A&M and Auburn University Extension: Mastitis in Goats
- Georgia Goat: University of Florida: Mastitis in Dairy Goats
Supplies for Prevention and Treatment:
- Udder Wash
- Wipe Out Dairy Wipes
- Fight Bac
- Mastitis Test Cards
- CMT Kit
- Strip Cup
- Injectable Antibiotic
- Teat Infusions
- Bovi Sera
- Peppermint oil
- Porta SCC Goat Milk Test