What is Mastitis in cattle?
Mastitis is an inflammation of the udder tissue. This can be caused by a physical trauma or an infection (microorganisms).
As mentioned in our previous article, mastitis directly affects the quality and quantity of milk production in dairy farms, and indirectly affects farm economy. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to reduce its incidence.
How to prevent Mastitis in cattle
There are several important steps which can be taken to help reduce the incidence of mastitis in dairy cows.
- Hygiene and cleanliness It is crucial to keep facilities clean. Cows should be milked in a clean, dry environment and milking equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Workers should wash their hands before milking. Hygiene is of paramount importance.
- Environment control Maintaining a dry, ventilated environment is important for preventing mastitis.
- Adequate nutrition A balanced and adequate diet will provide a better immune system.
- Early detection It is important to detect mastitis in its early stages. Signs of mastitis include swelling, redness, and warmth in the udder, as well as a decrease in milk production. Early detection of mastitis helps greatly to prevent cross-infection to other cows within the herd. This in turn helps to avoid the use of strong antibiotics and expensive treatments of potentially more serious illnesses.
- Proper cow handling Cows should be handled properly to prevent stress, injuries, and other diseases that can increase the risk of mastitis.
Read our article, 'Why it's important to treat mastitis in cattle'.
Image thanks to Wolfgang Ehrecke