Mastitis management should be focussed on preventing disease, but if disease does mastitis in cows pdf then it needs to be promptly identified and treated. Foremilking Stripping milk from a cow and examining it, prior to milking, is still the best method for detecting most early cases of clinical mastitis.
This is because changes in the milk are often the first sign of mastitis. Examination of the foremilk is easy to do and requires no specialized equipment, so is available to every stockperson. Fig 1: Stripping milk onto a dark surface before milking the cow is a simple and effective method of early mastitis detection Examining the udder Visual examination and palpation of the udder prior to putting on the clusters should be part of all milking routines. Mastitis causes udder swelling, reddening, hardness, heat and pain which can often be detected even with a fairly cursory examination. The problem with relying on udder examination as the first line of mastitis detection is that udder changes are detectable fairly late in the process, so by the time disease is detected considerable losses have occurred.
Fig 2: Conductivity can be used to detect early mastitis but it is not a simple alternative to examining foremilk Picture from qmps. In-line filters Many plants have mastitis detectors fitted in the long milk tubes. These can be useful if checked after every cow is milked. Conductivity Mastitis changes the concentration of ions in the milk, which changes its electrical conductivity. Such changes can occur 24 to 36 hours before visible signs develop. This has lead to the development of cow-side and in-line conductivity meters. Unfortunately, detecting mastitis using conductivity is not as simple as measuring cell count.
Grading mastitis Once it is identified, it is important to identify the severity of mastitis as this is crucial in determining what treatment to give. Mild mastitis: Abnormality of the milk is the main sign with little evidence of change in the udder and no systemic signs such as dullness and loss of appetite. Moderate mastitis: Changes in the udder are detectable as well as changes in the milk. These changes can occur slowly or rapidly.