Mastitis Disease Management in Cattle: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention  

Mastitis is an infection of the cow’s mammary glands (udder). It can be caused by injury or infection, usually from bacteria. Mastitis is a common disease in dairy cattle and can lead to decreased milk production, reduced calf growth, and decreased reproductive health.

Mastitis Disease Management in Cattle

There are five mastitis types: subclinical, clinical, acute, acute gangrenous, and chronic. Subclinical mastitis has no visible symptoms, while clinical mastitis causes redness and swelling. Acute gangrenous mastitis can cause permanent damage to the udder and can lead to death. Chronic mastitis is a recurring illness that is often caused by staph bacteria. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent negative impacts on the cow’s health.

Mastitis Disease Management in Cattle

Causes of Mastitis Disease in Cattle

Mastitis in cattle is caused mostly by Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and coliform bacteria, with viruses and fungi playing a minor role. These bacteria enter the teat canal and grow in the mammary gland, causing inflammation and the physical and pathological changes accompanying the condition.

Disease Cycle of Mastitis Disease in Cattle

Mastitis is a multifactorial disease caused by the interaction of host genetics, environmental factors, and infectious agents. The incidence of mastitis is influenced by herd-level factors such as farm management and hygiene practices, as well as cow-specific factors such as breed, stage of lactation, and previous mastitis history.

Improper mastitis prevention and control practices by farmers, as well as indiscriminate use of antibiotics, can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a public health hazard through milk consumption. Factors such as lack of proper identification of the causative agent of mastitis can also contribute to the prevalence of mastitis in cattle.

What Are the Symptoms of Mastitis Disease in Cattle?

  • Mastitis in cattle is characterized by inflammation of the udder, causing redness and swelling.
  • The udder is hot, painful, and tender to the touch. Milk production may stop or be severely reduced, and the milk may be discolored and contain clots or a foul-smelling discharge.
  • Body temperature, appetite, and mobility may also be affected. In severe cases, pus formation and dehydration can lead to weight loss and potentially death due to toxemia or bacteremia.
  • Clinical signs of mastitis can vary depending on the severity of the disease and may range from no visible changes to severe swelling, pain, and mammary gland damage.

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Healthcare Worker Filling in Syringe

Diagnosis of Mastitis in Cattle

Mastitis in dairy cows is a common bacterial infection of the udder that can be diagnosed by

  • One of the most common methods is the California Mastitis Test (CMT), which uses a chemical reagent that changes color in the presence of infection. To use the CMT, milk is collected from each of the cow’s four compartments and tested individually.
  • A color change or gelling of the milk indicates the presence of mastitis. The other method is somatic cell testing, Which counts the number of white blood cells in milk.
  • High white blood cell counts can indicate the presence of infection. Somatic cell counts are also used to detect subclinical cases of mastitis. It’s important to test all four compartments in a cow to diagnose and treat the infection effectively.

Treatment and Control of Mastitis Disease

Treatment and Control of Mastitis Disease cattle, the infected quarters sho