KVK Rangareddy

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KVK Animal Science

Mastitis in dairy animals

Q.1 : What is mastitis?

A : Mastitis is inflammation of udder/ mammary gland characterized by change in milk.

Q.2 : What should I do after onset of Mastitis?

A : If it is possible, milk sample for culture sensitivity test (CST) (to know the sensitive antibiotics) should be submitted before starting treatment. Broad spectrum antibiotic and supportive treatment with consultation of veterinarian should be given to the animal. If antibiotics are already being given to the animal, the milk sample should be submitted 4 days after end of therapy.

Q.3 : How should I take the milk sample for testing to the laboratory?

A : You should collect the milk sample in sterilized test tubes or in sterilized vials. The test tube should be labeled appropriately. At least 5 ml of milk sample should be submitted to the laboratory as early as possible. If delay is expected, samples should be kept in ice-container. Udder should be cleaned and soaked with neat piece of cloth. Teat orifice should aseptically be cleaned. Before taking sample in test tube, first few strippings (1-2 strippings) should be discarded.


Q.4 : What should I do to avoid infection during dry period?

A : As there is no specific dry cow therapy available in India, one should take care of the managemental aspects. If prevalence of infection in the herd is high, all the animals at drying- off should be injected with Intra-mammary infusions.


Q.5 : What should I do to avoid recurrence of mastitis?

A : Individual animal should be treated and her udder immunity enhanced by using mineral mixture of standard quality, cleaning of udder before milking, milking of infected teat at the end and teat dipping after milking.. Milk samples should be tested regularly after 15 days using SLS paddle test. The positive animal’s milk samples should be tested for CST in the laboratory. Treatment of sub-clinical case is more desirable.


Q.6 : Why does the swelling of udder occur just after calving while there was no sign during late pregnancy?

A : There are chances of subclinical mastitis at drying-off and during dry period. This infection gets flared-up after parturition due to certain stress factors.


Q.7 : What is the treatment of udder/teat fibrosis?

A : Udder/ teat fibrosis occurs as a result of chronic infection. Treatment of udder and teat fibrosis in that particular lactation can result into resolution to some extent, but chances of recovery may be expected in the next lactation when new lacteal tissue formation will ensue.


Q.8 : There is problem of warts over the teat of animals. How to treat it?

A : Please, Consult nearest available qualified veterinarian for treatment.


Q.9 : I have a buffalo which has developed sores at the base of teat since one month. Milk yield is normal. Advise me appropriate treatment.

A : This problem is usually chronic running for many months. The best treatment for this is to apply antiseptic solutions like Betadine/Povidine regularly. If no recovery occurs apply a powder mixed in equal parts containing boric acid, kaolin and zinc oxide once daily. The healing in such cases is slow and takes 3-4 weeks. Do not use antibiotics, which will increases the cost of treatment only.


Q.10 : What are the mastitis control measures?

A : The important features of a successful mastitis control programme are:

  • Regular testing of animals for subclinical mastitis
  • Adopt hygiene measures
  • Post-milking teat dipping be adopted
  • Follow Dry cow therapy
  • Increase udder resistance to mastitis


Q.11 : What is Post-milking teat dipping?

A : The teats of all the lactating cows and dry cows (during first 10-14 days of dry period) are dipped regularly after every milking in a germicidal solution. The recommended teat dips are 1. Iodine (0.5%) solution 6 parts + Glycerine 1 part 2. Chlorhexidine (0.5%) solution 1 Litre + Glycerine 60 ml The iodine teat dip is the best as it treats various types of teat lesions and injuries also.


Mineral deficiency


Q.1 : What is Hematuria?.

A : It is the presence of blood in urine and can be due to many reasons like phosphorus deficiency, Babesia infection, etc.


Q.2 : My cow calved last night and is now unable to get up.

A : Many times high yielder cows suffer from milk fever after parturition which is due to calcium deficiency. Following calcium treatment, there is quick recovery.


Q.3 : What is the management of hyperthermia?

A : • Give bath to the animals (4-5 times/day) during summer. • Feed during early hours of the day • Contact a qualified veterinarian for the treatment, if infections are suspected




Q.1 : There is serious problem of ticks in our animals. How to control it.

A : Apply Butox/Taktic/Cypermethrin @ 3ml/liter of water over the body of affected animals. The same solution should be sprayed in the animal premises. Avoid spraying the medicine in mangers. Animal should not lick the medicine during application.


Q.2 : There is problem of diarrhea in calves at our farm. What should be done to control/minimize it ?

A : New born calf should be fed first milk “colostrum” within 6-12 hour after birth @ 10% of the body weight of the calf. Calves should be kept in comfortable environment. Clean the calf shed daily with Chlorasol disinfectant or any other suitable disinfectant. Diarrheic calves should be kept separate from healthy calves. Diarrheic calves should be treated with parenteral/oral fluids, antibiotics, herbal antidiarrheals under the supervision of a veterinarian.


Q.3 : Milk yield of the cow has been reduced for the past few days. How to increase it?

A : First of all send the milk sample to Vety Hospital for diagnosis of infection in the udder. After that deworm the animal with broad spectrum dewormers like albendazole, fenbendazole, ivermectin to make the animal free from endoparasites in consultation with the Veterinarian. Provide good quality feed including green fodder, concentrate and mineral mixture as per the milk yield of the animal.


Q.4 : What are general measures to control parasitic diseases?

A : 1. Provide clean water and good quality fodder to animals 2. Maintain good hygienic conditions in the shed as regular and proper cleaning of the shed 3. Isolation of the diseased animal from the healthy ones and their proper treatment. 4. Giving periodic preventive medication to all apparently healthy animals 5. Vaccination may be done. 6. Control the intermediate hosts/vectors in the life cycle of parasites using suitable drugs.




Q.1 : What is the importance of Artificial Insemination (AI)?

A : AI is the technique in which semen is collected from the superior bulls and introduced into female reproductive tract at proper time with the help of instruments. The major advantage of AI over natural mating is that it permits the dairy farmer to use top proven sires for genetic improvement of his herd and control of venereal diseases. AI is also of tremendous value in making optimal use of different sires and enables dairy farmer to breed individual cows to selected sires according to their breeding goal.


Q.2 : What should be the weight and age of cows and buffalo heifers at the time of AI?

A : The weight and age of cow heifer should be 15-18 months and 275-300 Kg and that of buffalo heifers should be 26-30 months, 300-325 Kg at the time of first AI.


Q.3 : How the animals can be detected in heat?

A : The animals should be watched carefully for heat symptoms for half an hour atleast in the morning (5-7 AM) and evening (between 8-10 PM). The common heat symptoms in dairy animals are mounting behavior, mucus discharge from genitalia, restlessness, swelling of vulva, loss of appetite, bellowing, frequent urination and fall in milk yield.


Q.4 : What is the ideal time of AI?

A : As a thumb rule, animals coming in heat in the morning should be inseminated in the same evening and those coming in heat in the evening should be inseminated in the next morning. The animals remaining in heat for 24-36 hour should be inseminated 12-18 hrs after the onset of heat symptoms at least two times at an interval of 12 hrs apart.


Q.5 : What is the ideal time for animal to get pregnant after calving?

A : Following parturition the cow or buffalo should conceive between 80-100 days to maintain the calving interval of nearly one year.


Q.6 : What is the ideal time for pregnancy diagnosis after insemination?

A : The inseminated cow or buffalo not showing heat symptoms should be examined for pregnancy diagnosis two months after the AI.


Q.7 : Why a cow/buffalo fails to get pregnant after repeated services/inseminations?

A : This could be due to:

  • Uterine infections
  • Hormonal aberrations
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Wrong time of AI and use of poor quality semen


Q.8 : What is anestrus?

A : It is the inability of the animal to show signs of heat due to inactive ovaries. It can be of different types like true anestrus, summer anestrus, postpartum anestrus and silent heat


Q.9 : What are the main causes of anestrus?

A : The different causes of anestrus are poor nutrition, hormonal imbalance, infectious diseases, anatomical defects, lactation, suckling and poor management.