Mastitis

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georgiabob

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I’ve got a 2 year old that had her first calf yesterday evening. One of her front teats is engorged but not giving milk when i try to milk it. The calf has the other three drawn down good but isn’t bothering with this one. It’s not hot and doesn’t seem to be bothering her. How fast is mastitis likely to set in?
 

gcreekrch

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Just keep watch she doesn’t get sick from it. The infection can at times spread through the body.
 
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georgiabob

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gave it another go this evening when i was feeding and worming and got milk the second pull. milked it down a good bit. once it started coming she stopped fighting. it was getting warm but the milk looked fine. hopefully it's down enough that the calf can latch on it now. if not, tomorrow i'm penning her and milking it all the way down even if we fight about it.
 

Dsth

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if she is comfortable enough to let you milk her by hand, she is not in much pain. does she have larger size teats that the calf has trouble sucking? if you are worried about mastitis in that quarter, you can take a sample to your vet and have it tested. if you know a local dairy farmer, most have a test kit to check for mastitis also. the calf may have gotten filled up on the three teats that it sucked on and just not hungry for the fourth one. even if the calf does not suck that quarter, it will not necessarily cause a mastitis problem. it may just dry up and not have any problems.
 
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georgiabob

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if she is comfortable enough to let you milk her by hand, she is not in much pain. does she have larger size teats that the calf has trouble sucking? if you are worried about mastitis in that quarter, you can take a sample to your vet and have it tested. if you know a local dairy farmer, most have a test kit to check for mastitis also. the calf may have gotten filled up on the three teats that it sucked on and just not hungry for the fourth one. even if the calf does not suck that quarter, it will not necessarily cause a mastitis problem. it may just dry up and not have any problems.
she was kicking at me this morning and it’s not producing again. Teats were big before the calf was born all but this one are smaller now. Got a call into the vet. Hate to lose a quarter on such a young cow.
 

simme

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If one teat is too large for the calf to nurse, you can hand milk that quarter or drain it with a teat dilator or similar.

But be careful to properly clean the teat end with alcohol prior to insertion. Drain and remove. Then maybe the calf can take it from there. But, if a teat is too large for the newborn calf to nurse, it only gets worse the next year and next. If hand milking is required the next year or multiple draining required, time to think about culling the cow.
 
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georgiabob

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If one teat is too large for the calf to nurse, you can hand milk that quarter or drain it with a teat dilator or similar.

But be careful to properly clean the teat end with alcohol prior to insertion. Drain and remove. Then maybe the calf can take it from there. But, if a teat is too large for the newborn calf to nurse, it only gets worse the next year and next. If hand milking is required the next year or multiple draining required, time to think about culling the cow.
I’m already thinking about culling her after this calf is weaned. It’s a shame because she’s a nice young cow. Had this calf at just over 2 years old with no help and is taking good care of it. Angus x charolais and i can get my hands on her with no effort. I milked her standing in the pasture while she ate grain. Makes me sick because i bought her and a half sister from the same bull when they were 9 months old. I don’t think the angus got bred until january and not to the bull i wanted for her first calf. I’ve been running numbers and decided that paying more for 4-5 year old bred cows probably pays better than buying young heifers. You miss one or two calves but you start seeing returns sooner. The problem is finding cows like that that aren’t culls.
 

TexasBred

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I've got one cow just like this. The calf nurses the two back teats for a week or so then eventually gets to the front ones. She's never had mastitis.. just a large teat.
 

ccr

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We had a cow get mastitis last year. Vet gave a couple of shots and tested to confirm. We doctored her for a few days (putting med in teat opening). She seem to get over it alright and raised a nice calf.

Is a cow that got mastitis and appeared to get over it reason to cull, thinking she might get it again?
 

farmerjan

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@ccr the only reason to think she might get it again is if you keep her and she does get it again. One of the biggest problems in the past several years has been flies that seem to land on the udders of heifers and they carry germs that will seem to get into the teats when the flies are biting the cattle, and the udders are a favorite place for these flies; and cause mastitis or even dead quarters. Have had several dairyman talking about the 3 ":teat" heifers come in milking after a bad fly year.
I won't cull a cow for mastitis in one quarter if she gets over it. But, if she is one that likes to lay in a muddy spot or manure and gets it again, then it is a strike. A cow can raise a good calf on 3 quarters if she milks decent.... Often the mastitis will seem to make them "light " in that quarter subsequent years....
All according to what type of mastitis, will determine the best treatment. Excenel is good because it has next to no withdrawal...shots that get into the whole body...... using a tube treatment in the quarter will determine withdrawal for selling... and it is impossible for it to stay in there long if the calf is nursing so a shot of some sort is better.
If it is watery, then either coliform or klebsiella.... and they require some heavy duty treatment and fast... klebsiella can kill a cow in 24 hours.... if you save her then she usually dries up. Coliform is serious also, although won't kill them quite as quick.... IV treatment for both is usually indicated.
If it is just a staph or strep then using an oxytet sometimes will help but Excenel is my preference.... If they are running a fever it is more likely a coliform.... klebsiella will make them go sub temp.....

Neither klebsiella nor coliform are that common in beef, but coliform does show occasionally. Klebsiella is usually always from using sawdust that is not dried or "heated".... from soil organisms that get embedded in the bark of oak trees mostly....and then made into sawdust at a lumber mill.... coliform is environmental and can come from an extremely wet area....
 
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georgiabob

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We seem to get by with milking out what junk we can get once or twice a day and three rounds of LA.
nothing coming out anymore and that quarter is pretty hard now. vet never called back. we'll see how she does with this calf. it's tiny because i bred her to a pineywood for her first calf so i think it will do fine on three and she's letting it nurse them. my concern is that if she's down to three teats and loses another i'll be dealing with a bottle baby down the road.
 
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georgiabob

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well, after i left it a lone a few days that quarter and teat are down to the same size as the rest. when i did milk it all i got was milk. might have avoided mastitis and got the teat down to a size the calf could nurse i guess. the calf was tiny but the two front teats were really big when she calved. not thrilled with her udder but really like the cow. have the chance to buy her full sister but i'm not sure now. if i haven't mentioned it she's out of a charolais cow and an angus bull.
 

Buck Randall

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@ccr the only reason to think she might get it again is if you keep her and she does get it again. One of the biggest problems in the past several years has been flies that seem to land on the udders of heifers and they carry germs that will seem to get into the teats when the flies are biting the cattle, and the udders are a favorite place for these flies; and cause mastitis or even dead quarters. Have had several dairyman talking about the 3 ":teat" heifers come in milking after a bad fly year.
I won't cull a cow for mastitis in one quarter if she gets over it. But, if she is one that likes to lay in a muddy spot or manure and gets it again, then it is a strike. A cow can raise a good calf on 3 quarters if she milks decent.... Often the mastitis will seem to make them "light " in that quarter subsequent years....
All according to what type of mastitis, will determine the best treatment. Excenel is good because it has next to no withdrawal...shots that get into the whole body...... using a tube treatment in the quarter will determine withdrawal for selling... and it is impossible for it to stay in there long if the calf is nursing so a shot of some sort is better.
If it is watery, then either coliform or klebsiella.... and they require some heavy duty treatment and fast... klebsiella can kill a cow in 24 hours.... if you save her then she usually dries up. Coliform is serious also, although won't kill them quite as quick.... IV treatment for both is usually indicated.
If it is just a staph or strep then using an oxytet sometimes will help but Excenel is my preference.... If they are running a fever it is more likely a coliform.... klebsiella will make them go sub temp.....

Neither klebsiella nor coliform are that common in beef, but coliform does show occasionally. Klebsiella is usually always from using sawdust that is not dried or "heated".... from soil organisms that get embedded in the bark of oak trees mostly....and then made into sawdust at a lumber mill.... coliform is environmental and can come from an extremely wet area....
Keep in mind that the reason Excenel doesn't have a milk withhold is that it doesn't accumulate in mammary tissue. That means it's not doing anything to treat mastitis. By contrast, drugs like Nuflor and Draxxin are prohibited in dairy cows because they reach high concentrations in the udder and persist for a long time.

Most cases of mastitis clear up with no treatment. The visual symptoms of mastitis are the cow's inflammatory response to the infection. By the time we see them, the cow's immune system has already done its job. On dairy farms where we culture every single case of mastitis, approximately half have no bacteria present at all.
 

TTBHG

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I strip them clean by hand and then use tubes of Today in the bad quarter. Works great.
 

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