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Author Topic: Mastitis, advice or experience  (Read 1583 times)


  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Pencaitland
Mastitis, advice or experience
« on: August 02, 2017, 07:20:33 am »
I think the vet has probably said and done all they can but I would really like to hear if anyone has ever had any experience with mastitis and what the outcome was.
My story is that when her calf was just over two weeks old I noticed the mum laying away from the other cows one evening and the following morning I noticed that one of her hind quarters was "looking different" The vet happened to be nearby and came out confirming mastitis. This was last Tuesday. He milked a small quantity of smelly lumpy clots but we couldn't get anything else out from that quarter which wasn't really swollen but was as hard as a drum. It looked like the calf was sucking from the other three.
She had a temperature over 40. She was given Oxytocin, metacam and combiclav, the combiclav we carried on
Injecting for another three days. We tried stripping out each day as well but only ever got small amounts of the smelly cheesy clots and I felt never released any pressure. So still really worried on the Thursday I called the vet and they gave me more metacam and tubes to inject up her teat for four days. So we carried on with injections and tubes and trying our best to strip out (but never getting any more that say a serving spoon of clots) calf still feeding ok from other quarters.
Now the poor girl sees us coming and she is off! Meant hours and man power have been spent trying to get her in unsuccessfully and although she is a small Shetland we haven't been able to get her into the area with the crush for the last two days. I don't blame her as for eight days (some days it was twice) she has been injected or tubed but the vet said I still have to strip out and now it's two days since I have done it.
I know now that we should have kept her confined in the area with the crush but at the time thought it would be too stressful for her not to be with the other cows. Too late now anyway.
I don't know what to do now re the amount of stress caused to her trying to get her in versus the small amount of clots we get out.  If I don't get it out will it end up poisoning her? I think I know the answer is that I have to somehow get her in but any advice or to hear anyone else's experience would be wonderful. It's very upsetting as it's like having a sick child who can't tell you how they feel and doesn't understand that you are trying to help them.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 07:25:08 am by Susannah »
Jacob sheep, Shetland cows, Pygmy goats, Chinese geese, Khaki Campbell ducks.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Mastitis, advice or experience
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 08:29:36 am »
She should have had udder tubes straight away, although sounds like it was to far gone by the time you caught it.
She will be absolutely fine, quarter will likely just dry up now and she'll milk on three instead x


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  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Mastitis, advice or experience
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 08:41:18 am »
I'm not sure why udder tubes weren't given straight away either ..... was first thing we did on dairy cows when I was milking.    Agree with Sbon she has had enough AB to kill infection ... and quarter will just dry up and stop functioning.

I would try to confine her and feed her she will soon forget the injections and just remember the feed!

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  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Mastitis, advice or experience
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 09:04:15 am »
If its any consolation we have just had a cow with mastitis - very similar to what you describe. I went for tubes as soon as I noticed a problem but after a few days it seemed they weren't effective. The vet then gave me 2 x 40mls of a single shot powerful antibiotic. This still didn't seem to work either so we asked the vet to come out. He injected her again with a basic la antibiotic and now seems to be a lot better. We were able to strip her out twice a day without a crush - the gunk and blood clots were horrendous and scary, her udder very hard. I massaged with peppermint udder balm (keep away from your eyes...) which helped with bringing the fluid down. I kept the calf with her at all times and it suckles from all 4 teats now. The vet says she will probably lose the function in that quarter.
More experienced cow keepers have advised that the calf would suck the infection away if left alone - I'm not so sure! But, it leads me to wonder how suckler herds manage mastitis in that the cows are not brought in for milking (I accept that a good stockman will be checking regularly).


  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Pencaitland
Re: Mastitis, advice or experience
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 09:20:23 am »
Thank you all so much for your replies.
Backinwellies and Sbon, will she just dry up without me doing ant more to her or do I still need to strip out the clots?
Scotsdumpy I only have very few cows and two calves and never seen mastitis before. I probably wouldn't have noticed if she hadn't been lying down away from the herd. Looking at the udder it doesn't appear very different from the other quarters it's just when you feel it. I appreciate that an experienced herdsman would have picked it up sooner.
Jacob sheep, Shetland cows, Pygmy goats, Chinese geese, Khaki Campbell ducks.


  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: Mastitis, advice or experience
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 09:39:14 am »
I'm much the same as you Susannah - I only have 3 cows and their calves! I have seen mastitis in goats and sheep but I'm not an expert and feel that I should have spotted my cow sooner. It made me think about maybe stop keeping cattle but the same cow has come bulling today and we are waiting for genus to call this morning!! We all must learn from our experiences.



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