Mastitis Management and Prevention
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Title: Mastitis Management.
Mastitis is a potentially fatal inflammation of the cow's mammary gland. It is caused by bacteria entering the teat canal and moving into the the udder tissue. Toxins released by mastitis bacteria damage milk secreting tissue and duct throughout the. Mammary gland.
Mastitis can be controlled through the following steps or measures:
- Keep the cattle shed clean by regular removal of any spilled food and dung since poor hygiene lead to build up of the mastitis bacteria.
- Always wash your hand with clean water and soap before and between milking as germs can be passed from infected animal to healthy one.
- Wash the udder with clean warm water and whip it to dry with clean cloth before and after milking.
- Drain all milk from the udder during milking since incomplete milking may lead to growth of bacteria in the left milk.
- Feed the cow immediately after milking as will help them from laying down before the udder muscles close the teat canal leading to entry of Streptococcus spp which causes mastitis.
- Regularly test the cow from mastitis using a strip cup or milking kit. It has four caps for each teat. If the cow is infected by mastitis the milk changes in consistency, watery and may contain blood stain or clots.
- Avoid injuries on the udder and teats as this may create any entry point for mastitis bacteria. Apply petroleum jelly which makes them smooth and minimizes cracks on the teats. The mastitis makes the dairy cattle udder swollen and the cow encounter pain during milking.
Mastitis is an infectious disease that can be passed form one affected teat to a healthy teat and from one dairy cattle to another due to poor hygiene so through improved hygiene like proper washing of hands, washing of udder before and after milking, complete milking techniques, avoiding injuries on teats, regular testing for mastitis may help to control mastitis. Mastitis have mild effect to both cow and farmer such as reduced milk yield and quality of milk to consumers.