Mastitis is a disease that causes severe inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue of the dairy cow.
Mastitis is a disease that causes severe inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue of the dairy cow. It occurs as a reaction to bacterial attack of the udder duct. It can also occur as a result of chemical, mechanical or heat damage to the udder. In this content, we will explain topics such as mastitis definition,mastitis treatment clinical and subclinical mastitis for dairy farmers.
What is Mastitis?
Mastitis is an infection of the udder caused by bacteria. The infected udder produces less and poor quality milk. The risk of disease increases if milking parlour hygiene standards are not maintained. The onset of mastitis can also be exacerbated by suppressed immunity. Acute mastitis can be fatal. However, in treatable cases, there is a possibility of permanent damage that will affect lactation.
Symptoms of Mastitis?
The most recognisable sign of clinical mastitis is a slightly swollen udder that is extremely hot and red to the touch. In severe cases, the cow's body temperature will rise and the milk produced will have a watery appearance and may contain flakes, clots, pus or blood. In the later stages there is a decrease in the daily milk quantity, lack of appetite, sunken eyes, immobility, diarrhoea and dehydration.
In contrast, subclinical mastitis is not immediately apparent and may result in few symptoms other than a higher than normal somatic cell count.
Economic Impect of Mastitis
Good quality milk with low somatic cells is something that many countries encourage the production of and even economically reward good operators. Diseases that increase somatic cell counts, such as mastitis, must therefore be brought under control quickly.
A typical case of mastitis costs the dairy producer approximately $200. Mastitis is one of the top three reasons why producers cull dairy cows. Besides the permanent milk yield reduction, mastitis negatively affects the reproductive performance of dairy cows. Cows with mastitis take on average 40 days longer to become pregnant than their herd mates without mastitis.
Treatment of clinical mastitis cases not only costs the producer increased labour and treatment costs and milk rejects, but also increases the risk of antibiotic residues in the milk tank.
So, What Can I Do to Control Mastitis?
As dangerous as mastitis may seem, it can be easily treated with early detection. If you want to detect mastitis early and take precautions, we will recommend you a wonderful device: MastiPro. This small device is attached to the milking system and automatically activates every milking. It also sends a notification to your cell phone when mastitis is detected or suspected. Click here for detailed information about MastiPro.