Friday, March 22, 2013

Ensuring clean, dry bedding decreases the risk of Mastitis infection among milking cattle.

Milkman periodically tests cows udder and teat canal.

“Ensuring clean, dry bedding decreases the risk of Mastitis infection among milking cattle” said by Vet. Surgeon S.Thirunavukarasu in a training program organized for cow farm workers in SEVAI Cow farm. A.Thirunavukarasu further enlightened,Mastitis in lactating cow is the persistent, inflammatory reaction of the udder tissue. Milk from cows suffering from mastitis has an increased somatic cell count. Mastitis occurs when white blood cells, are released into them mammary, usually in response to an invasion of bacteria of the teat canal. Milk-secreting tissue and various ducts throughout the mammary gland are damaged due to toxin by the bacteria. The mammary gland does not produce any milk. The udder sac is hard, tight, and firm. This disease can be identified by abnormalities in the udder such as swelling, heat, redness, hardness or pain if it is clinical. Other indications of mastitis may be abnormalities in milk such as a watery appearance, flakes, or clots. When infected with sub-clinical mastitis, a cow does not show any visible signs of infection. Mastitis is most often transmitted by contact with the milking machine, and through contaminated hands or materials. A good milking routine is vital. This usually consists of applying a pre-milking teat dip or spray, such as an iodine spray, and wiping teats dry prior to milking. The milking machine is then applied. After milking, the teats can be cleaned again to remove the growth medium for bacteria. A post milking product such as iodine-propylene glycol dip is used, to act as a disinfectant and a barrier between the open teat and the bacteria in the air. Treatment is possible with long-acting antibiotics, but milk from such cows is not marketable until drug residues have left the cow's system. Antibiotics may be systemically injected into the body, or they may be forced upwards into the teat through the teat canal. Cows being treated may be marked with tape to alert dairy workers, and their milk is siphoned off and discarded. Vaccinations for mastitis do exist, but as they only reduce the severity of the condition, and do not prevent new infection they should be used in conjunction with a mastitis prevention program. Typically when clinical mastitis is detected, the cow is milked out and then given an intramammary infusion of antibiotic, ie. infused directly into the infected gland, the cow's udder contains antibiotics which must be kept out of the food supply, that cow's milk must not be put into the milk tank for some specified number of milking after treatment. Typically this milk is either dumped down the drain. Clear identification of the treated cow is critical to be sure the cow's milk is not inadvertently put into the milk tank. It is quite common for a cow to be treated multiple milking with the antibiotics. Inspite of the natural resistance mechanisms of the cow, antibiotic treatment to help her fight bacterial infection, and other methods such as frequently stripping out the milk, some cows are unable to eliminate the infection. These are often considered to be chronically infected cows, and remain a constant source of infection for other cows. Culling of chronically infected cows sometimes is the only way to effectively control spread of mastitis in the herd. Practices such as good nutrition, proper milking hygiene, and the culling of chronically infected cows can help. Ensuring that cows have clean, dry bedding decreases the risk of infection and transmission. Dairy workers should wear gloves while milking, and machines should be cleaned regularly to decrease the incidence of transmission”.-Govin

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