Understand Mastitis and its preventive care

  • We can define mastitis as a biggest economical loss of Dairy Farmer.
  • Bovine Mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland, leading to the abnormal quality milk and decreased milk production, it is very common in dairy world.
  • According to studies 1 of every 5th animal is suffering from Mastitis.
  • Mastitis is most prevalent and costly diseases that effect dairy animal throughout the year.
  • To protect your animal completely from Mastitis is quite not possible but by applying pre-milking teat dipping and post-milking teat dipping procedure, 80% Animal can be saved from the risk of Mastitis.
  • Mastitis can have a significant impact of milk production loss and animal health, so it is extremely important to control it on sub-clinical stage before it become worst. It is recommended to carryout CMT (California Mastitis Test) on regular basis at your Dairy Farm.
  • Generally, Mastitis is divided into two groups.

Sub-Clinical Mastitis

  1. It does not cause any visible changes in milk or udder appearance.
  2. It is difficult to detect.
  3. There are possibility of teat fibrosis if not treated properly.
  4. Teat fibrosis is a major problem because a hard fibrosis cord like structure in teat is observed which ultimately causes a hindrance during milking.
  5. For timely diagnosis CMT (California Mastitis test) after every 15 Days must be performed on each milking Animal.
  6. Animal with high somatic cell count (SCC) in milk are also indicative of infection.
  7. Slight salty change in milk taste also indicate infection.

Clinical Mastitis

  1. The Udder will become swelled, heat, hard, red and painful.
  2. Animal can feel such pain and unpleasant while touching udder.
  3. Body temperature can also be rise.
  4. Milk appearance will be watery, flaky, clots and puss.
  5. Animal with high somatic cell count (SCC) in milk are also indicative of infection.
  6. Slight salty change in milk taste also indicate infection.

Preventive Care

Following preventive care measures can be helpful to protect animal from Mastitis attack.
  • In our country beyond all preventive measures CMT is on the top of list.
  • CMT kit is easily available at pharmacies.
  • Many of our farmers are used to perform SFMT (Surf Field Mastitis Test) but for the accurate results it is recommended to perform through CMT kit.
  • Provide clean, dry and adequate bedding for Animal for resting.
  • Teat should be completely dry and clean before milking.
  • Do not insert any pointed object in teat.
  • If there is no milking machine then Use proper full hand technique for milking, Don’t fold thumb while milking.
  • Make sure there is no milk left in teat after milking.
  • The milking person should be clean, healthy and free of infectious diseases, nails should be trimmed and do not wear any band or rings while milking.
  • Pre Milking teat dipping and Post milking teat dipping should be mandatory.
  • Feed the animal after milking So they don’t lie down immediately, this prevents the entry of microorganisms into the treat canals, that are still open because of milking and make sure that animal do not sit or lie down before 30 minutes.
  • Risk of Mastitis exceeds in foot and mount disease (FMD) so take preventive measures and proper treatment.
  • To reduce spread of infection, Diseased animal should be milked after completing milking process of healthy animal.
  • Add 5% of Phenol to infected milk and ensure the hygienic disposal.
  • Deficiency of minerals, vitamins and unbalanced feed can lead to low immunity and can cause infections. Never feed your animal with fungal, spoiled or moldy feed forage.
Cleaning is extremely important for mastitis prevention, not only the animal but whole environment should be clean otherwise many types of microorganisms are always ready to attack.

Environmental Germs

  • This can persist on surrounding objects, such as dung, mud and dirt. These germs enter through teat openings and cause infections.

Opportunistic Germs

  • Generally, these become risk of infection if the hands of milking person are contaminated

Contact Germs

  • If there is a cut or a wound on the udder for any reasons germs can enter inside the udder
  • As we discussed above in general udder or teat become red, hard and feel warm, while touching animal it causes pain and discomfort.
  • Body temperature also increases
  • Milk is usually tinted with blood clots, foul smelling, brown discharge and milk clots.
  • The milk yield totally stopped or severely low.
  • Infected cattle can be severely dehydrated and suffer from weight loss.
  • In case of severe infection there can be formation of puss in infected udder.
  • Mastitis can be degenerate to Toxaemia or Bacteraemia and even cause death as a result of acute infection.
  • Apply ICE cube on udder surface to reduce inflammation.
  • Drain out infected teat thrice a day and dispose of infected milk by adding 5% phenol.
  • Consult Veterinary doctor and commence the course of antibiotic treatment as prescribed.
Bacteria and Fungus Causes Mastitis
There is a large group of microorganism that can cause mastitis. These can be from mycoplasma, fungus and bacteria.
Bacterial organisms known to cause mastitis are Pasteurella multocida, Staphylococcus aureus, Str. Zooepidemicus, Str. Agalactiae, Str. Pyogenes, Str. Faecalis, Mycobacterium bovis, Klebsiella spp, Brucella abortus, Pseudomonas pyocyaneus, E.coli, Leptospira Pomona.
Fungal responsible for mastitis are Aspergillus fumigatus, A.midulus, Candida spp, Trichosporon spp.
Key Notes
According to MSD Veterinary Manual
  • somatic cell counts will be above 150,000 then Animal would have counted as infected.
According to AHDB UK
  • An individual cow SCC of 100,000 or less indicates an ‘uninfected’ cow, where there are no significant production losses due to subclinical mastitis.
  • A threshold SCC of 200,000 would determine whether a cow is infected with mastitis. Cows with a result of greater than 200,000 are highly likely to be infected on at least one quarter.
  • Cows infected with significant pathogens have an SCC of 300,000 or greater.
How to prepare SFMT
Use following instruction to Prepare solution of Surf Field Mastitis Test (SFMT) and use it.
  • 30 grams’ detergent
  • 1 Litter Water
  • Properly Mix Detergent and Water
  • Collect milk from each teat in separate container, add surf solution in equal proportion
  • Agitate container for about 15 to 20 seconds and examine the mixture for thickening or any other changes.

If you are facing any issue regarding Mastitis, you can contact your nearest DairyLac representative you may contact DairyLac customer services at 0336 7725000.
DairyLac is an animal nutrition company that offers best quality nutrition for livestock farming. Animal feed is one of the biggest challenges that livestock sector is facing, to cope with this challenge DairyLac is striving hard to deliver its best to dairy and livestock sector with best quality feed/ best quality Wanda across Pakistan.