Bovine mastitis is the persistent, inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue due to physical trauma or microorganisms infections. Mastitis, a potentially fatal mammary gland infection, is the most common disease in dairy cattle in the United States and worldwide. It is also the most costly disease to the dairy industryMilk from cows suffering from mastitis has an increased somatic cell count. Prevention and Control of mastitis require consistency in sanitizing the cow barn facilities, proper milking procedure, and segregation of infected animals. Treatment of the disease is usually carried out by penicillin injection in combination with sulphur drug.

Dr. Sakshi Sharma, MVSc, J & K

What is mastitis?

Mastitis refers to the inflammation of milk-secreting tissues or simply the mammary gland. Mastitis occurs when white blood cells (leukocytes) are released into the mammary gland, usually in response to bacteria invading the teat canal or occasionally by chemical, mechanical, or thermal trauma on the udder. Milk-secreting tissue and various ducts throughout the mammary gland are damaged due to toxins released by the bacteria resulting in reduced milk yield and quality.

How to identify mastitis?

This disease can be identified by abnormalities in the udder such as swelling, heat, redness, hardness, or pain (if it is clinical). Other indications of mastitis may be abnormalities in milk such as a watery appearance, flakes, or clots. When infected with sub-clinical mastitis, a cow does not show any visible signs of infection or abnormalities in milk or on the udder.

Mastitis causing bacteria

Bacteria that are known to cause mastitis include:

These bacteria can be classified as environmental or contagious depending on mode and source of transmission.

Type of mastitis

Mastitis may be classified according to two different criteria: either according to the clinical symptoms or depending on the mode of transmission.

Clinical symptoms

  • Clinical mastitis
  • Sub-Clinical mastitis
  • per acute mastitis
  • acute mastitis
  • sub acute mastitis
  • chronic mastitis

Mode of transmission

  • Contagious mastitis
  • Environmental mastitis

Transmission

Mastitis is most often transmitted by repetitive contact with the milking machine and through contaminated hands or materials.

Another route is via the oral-to-udder transmission among calves. Feeding calves on milk may introduce some mastitis-causing bacteria strain in the oral cavity of the calf, where it will stay dormant until it is transmitted elsewhere. Since grouped calves like to stimulate suckling, they will transmit the bacteria to the udder tissue of their fellow calves. The bacteria will lay dormant in the udder tissue as the calf grows until it begins to lactate. That is when the bacteria activates and causes mastitis. This calls for strict calf management practices to curb this route of transmission.

Effects on milk composition

Mastitis can cause a decline in potassium and an increase in lactoferrin. It also results in decreased casein, the major protein in milk. As most calcium in milk is associated with casein, the disruption of casein synthesis contributes to lowered calcium in milk. The milk protein continues to undergo further deterioration during processing and storage. Milk from cows with mastitis also has a higher somatic cell count. Generally speaking, the higher the somatic cell count, the lower the milk quality.

Serrous exudates from udder in E.coli mastitis (left) and normal milk from a healthy cow (right).

Detection

Cattle affected by mastitis can be detected by examining the udder for inflammation and swelling or by observing the consistency of the milk, which will often develop clots or change color when a cow is infected.

Another method of detection is the California mastitis test, which is designed to measure the milk’s somatic cell count as a means for detecting inflammation and infection of the udder.

Control

Practices such as good nutrition, proper milking hygiene, and the culling of chronically infected cows can help. Ensuring that cows have clean, dry bedding decreases the risk of infection and transmission. Dairy workers should wear rubber gloves while milking, and machines should be cleaned regularly to decrease the incidence of transmission.

Prevention

A good milking routine is vital. This usually consists of applying a pre-milking teat dip or spray, such as an iodine spray, and wiping teats dry prior to milking. The milking machine is then applied. After milking, the teats can be cleaned again to remove any growth medium for bacteria. A post milking product such as iodine-propylene glycol dip is used as a disinfectant and a barrier between the open teat and the bacteria in the air. Mastitis can occur after milking because the teat holes close after 15 minutes if the animal sits in a dirty place with faeces and urine.

Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine for Bovine Mastitis

Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine for Mastitis in cow

TEATASULE MASTITIS KIT for Cattle

TEATASULE No. 1 + TEATASULE No. 2

TEATASULE MASTITIS KIT is the best Homeopathic Veterinary Medicine for female animals showing signs of acute, sub-acute, and clinical mastitis. TEATASULE MASTITIS KIT is very effective in case of pinkish discoloration of milk, blood clots in the milk, yellowish due to pus in milk, curdling of fresh milk, watery milk, udder hard as stone, funnel-shaped teats in cow and buffalo.

TEATASULE is the pack contains TEATASULE No. 1 bolus and TEATASULE No. 2 bolus, a pack of 4 boluses each that are to be given in the morning and in the evening as mentioned. TEATASULE course is to be given for 4 to 16 days as per the severity of the case or as directed by the veterinarian.

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