Mastitis in my cow....

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Hayhay
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm

Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:46 pm

Poor cow. Looks so sore. Not that we;ve had cows before but just about certain its mastitis. Her udder is HUGE and her teats are all very red. She is not letting her calf (2.5 months) feed. He has been sneaking feeds from the other cow till she notices and walks off or knocks him away poor thing.

Wednesday is when we noticed it, last time I checked her properly was saturday and whilst her udder looked fine, I did notice she was not letting the calf feed much.

The calf is still running about and playing so I figure he is getting enough not to get sick.

We did get on to a vet yesterday, who said we should wait till monday and if she is still bad then call them out for antibiotics.

Which means the next few days we are treating her naturally in the hope she will come good (and we don't need to pay big vet bill....). Twice a day feeding her some grain with the following mixed in: dolomite, garlic powder, seaweed meal, copper sulphate, sulphur and vitamin C. Also putting a nutrient solution in the drinking water.

Would like to know of homeopathic remedies and where to get them for future troubles.

Any other ideas of things we can do for her would be much appreciated.

Hayley

minnie
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby minnie » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:12 am

Hi Hayley,

Just me but I wouldn't be giving her grain at the moment, that's building the milk, I'd give some lucerne chaff with the mineral mix, and not over do it. Maybe she's just got a super amount of milk???

Do you have a farmer close by that you could get to look or take a photo and post it up for the people who are milking to see?

Were you milking her?

Is she really needing lots of handfeed?

Watch the calf and see how it's going with getting a drink and if she kicks it away?

Vicki

Hayhay
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:45 am

Thanks Vicki.

She's not a milking cow. She's a Highland. We have neighbour farmers with cows have been trying to get on to them see if they can check her out and give any more advice.

The reason we have been doing the grain is to get her to have the vit c etc. Only a few handfuls morning and night though this morn she didn't want much at all. Think we have a little lucerne chaff left thanks for that tip instead of the grain.

Her udder this morn is a little smaller but her teats are still very dark and must be sore. She's not letting the calf feed at all kicks and pushes him away. Least she's not looking any worse - hope that's a good sign.

Hayhay
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:55 am

Hmm have taken photos trying to work out how to get them on here....

Hayhay
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:00 am

Image

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dggoatlover
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Location: Central Queensland

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby dggoatlover » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:11 pm

Gee those teats look sore and very badly cracked! I would say that is one of the reasons she is not letting the calf feed. You may need to get some good udder cream and rub it in the soften them up. If she is not tame you may need to get her into a crush so you can treat it. Have you got a crush? She also needs to be milked out or contained so the calf can feed otherwise it will develop into bad mastitis and/or she will lose her milk.

Is this her first calf? How old is the calf?

Hayhay
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:39 pm

No we haven't got round to building a crush yet - I think this will be our trigger we are looking up plans now.

This is her second calf. Not sure how she went first time -perhaps that was why she was sold? Might give the last owner a call.

So you think its just cracked teats but not yet mastitis? Her udder doesn't look lumpy. Any cream you can suggest? Could I use something like calendula?

The calf is 2.5-3 months old.

Thanks for the info and advice Desley.

Heidi
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Heidi » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:59 pm

Hi Hayley,
I know you said you haven't got a crush yet, but you need to get her restrained and have a good feel of her udder. It could be that her teats are just sore and cracked and thus she's not letting the calf nurse, which means she's getting a full udder, but it may not be mastitis. Drying cows off, they get a very full udder, but it then triggers milk production to stop. So not all full udders mean mastitis.

However, the cracks can also let bacteria in, and coupled with the fact she's full of milk, she's definitely be prone to mastitis.

If it is mastitis, you need to act. I'm suprised your vet said wait and see, if you aren't doing any active management on milking her out or putting the calf forcible on to her. Mastitis can (and does to varying degrees) lead to fibrous scar tissue on the quarter affected, and can permanently destroy it, so it becomes non productive in future lactations. Is your vet a large animal vet and used to dealing with cattle? That makes a big difference.

So, you need to restrain her somehow, and feel her udder. Hot and lumpy means mastitis. Express some milk, salty means mastitis, as does stringy clumps in it, or slow draining (high somatic cell count (SCC)). You need to know what you are dealing with as soon as possible.

If it is mastitis, and you wish to manage it as naturally as possible, (and I've taken this road too, when I've caught it early), you either have to milk her out frequently throughout the day, about three times a day, with udder massage. In your blender mix some fresh aloe vera leaves, cayenne pepper (or curry powder), tumeric and a good slurp of some oil, such as vegetable, canola or olive oil. Whiz it until its a lovely gelatinous mess. THEN add a few good drops of tea tree oil (do not add this to your blender or you will never want to prepare food in it again as the flavour will stay on!). This mix massaged into her udder at every milking will help. The cracked teats are pretty bad, and the calf is tearing her up. Unfortunately, you are going to have to either hand milk her regularly, or restrain her and let the calf get onto her, you may need to put a rope to her back leg to stop her kicking (poor thing). After the calf has finished nursing put some nappy rash cream or other soothing balm on her, even straight, fresh aloe vera gel, mixed in with zinc cream or some other emolient to make it stick.

If you can foster a younger calf on to her (one that won't cut her up as bad) may go a bit easier on her teats.

Adding dietary supplements to her feed is definitely advantageous to her immune system, but it will not overcome mastitis on its own without the additional hands on management, it does help prevent mastitis certainly, by aiding her immune system. She looks like an expensive animal to me, so I would be managing this as proactively as I could, rather than waiting and seeing.

I don't know if you run the cattle as an organic operation, however, if you don't, then getting four syringes of "today" being an antibiotic intramammary infusion is the best course of action. Obviously you don't need to worry about the milk withholding period on this girl, which you would with a dairy cow.

Goodluck with it and I do hope she's just engorged from not letting the calf nurse, and there is no mastitis present.
Bye for now,
Heidi

Hayhay
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:20 am

Thanks Heidi for all the info. Its very helpful to read and focus on what steps we need to do. This is the disadvantage of not having experience with cows before this year - we are learning alot.

My husband is halfway through making a cattle crush. Unfortunately heavy rain is hindering its progress. But we should be able to get her in to treat her later in the day.

As the calf has caused the damage, and if she is ok with us milking her, could we milk her and give the calf the milk in a bucket rather than have him feed off her? Would that be better for her recovery?

I'm not surprised the vet was so useless......the 3 times we've contacted tham have all proved rather pathetic. Its the farm animal vet - all the other vets refer to this one clinic in the region for all the large animals. Unfortunately.....

We do farm organically but not certified or anything, and if we have an animal that needs antibiotics then we will give them to her. Should be able to check later today for mastitis. Where do I get the antibiotic - just from vets? They said as we aren't an existing customer we'd have to pay for them to come out.

My husband spoke to a dairy farmer yesterday who recommended milking her out and rubbing on pawpaw.

Will keep you updated.

Hayhay
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:24 pm

Well the crush is built with temporary cattle yard. And the cows, the dog, my husband, my father in law and I (with baby sleeping on my back) have all had a big run around the paddock in the wind and rain.

Casualties - a broken electric fence, a trampled potato field and freezing fingers.

Result - misbehaving cows are back where they began.

So we haven't been able to check her udder. 3 of the quarters have shrunk somewhat and looking perhaps slightly better in terms of the cracking. We are going to trust to her for the moment that she knows what she is doing and will keep an eye on her. Suspecting she is deliberately weaning her calf and drying herself off ? Reading info on the net about weaning age of calves. Do you think he'll be right at 2.5 months with grasses and he will eat a mouthful or two of grain?

Heidi
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Heidi » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:23 pm

Hi Hayley,
Oh.. the mayhem! We've been there too, when we first started out with Angus cattle many years ago. Trying to treat pinkeye with no crush, and the cows were WILD! Luckily back then we had no children, but it was still exhausting, so I really do empathise with you.

Okay, so, Plan A didn't work, we'll switch to Plan B!

This may not work, depending on how wild the cattle are..
Can you get you entice her (possibly need to get all of them just to get her :roll: ) into the cattle yards? Do they know the rattle of a bucket? Don't rush them, get someone (without a baby on their back!) to get the leader interested in what's in the bucket or a biscuit of lucerne hay, and then walk up to the yards, and just leave the bucket in plain sight. Call them up, but otherwise just leave them alone. IF they go into the yards, then close the gate. I find cattle can be intensely curious creatures, and sometimes its their curiousity, not necessarily their bellies that get them caught!

If you can get them in, then try and get all the others out, except for the cow and her calf. Then, remove the panels, one at a time, and enclose it in around her, and her calf, until she's in standing room only. Through the bars, have a good feel of her udder, and as said previously, try and express some, for taste etc. which will give an indication of what you're dealing with. Fingers crossed its just engorgement and cracked teats.

Regarding the "Today" antibiotic, have you ever taken a dog or any thing to a vet around you? If so, ring that vet. Say, with confidence in your voice... "I have a cow with mastitis, I need four tubes of Today to treat her, do you have them in stock?". There are "rules" and then there are "rules", often, if you are "on the books" for the vet, they are more comfortable applying the second set of rules, and give the antibiotic without a on farm visit. Alternatively, you can get back to the first vet, and say, exactly the same thing, and tell him/her, that an onfarm visit just won't happen, but you're certain its mastitis, and need it treated. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Otherwise go to the nearest dairy farm that you have around you, and ask to buy some of their's, they will undoubtedly have some on hand.

Otherwise, try emailing/pm'ing Tam Peirce (on this site) who is down in Victoria, and see if there's any extra floating around that can be posted to you!

Oh wait, I just rethought something... Today is for lactating cows, and will require you to treat more than once, because the active ingredient is less concentrated, due to milk withholding. "Tomorrow" is for dry cow teat infusions, and that's what you give when you're going to dry off the cow, or the cow has mastitis. Its only one dose that way, and stays in the udder for longer, so you don't have to do any follow ups. I'd be doing that one, even if she's still got the calf on her, you don't want to be dealing with her more than necessary.

Okay, this is getting a bit disjointed now, I'm sorry.

Yes, the calf is old enough to pull him/her off, and bucket feed, although, if you can't catch the cow, then you won't be able to milk her out to get the milk! You could always buy some raw milk from a local dairy, and bucket feed him or get some milk replacer, however, didn't you say that the calf is stealing milk from other cows, until his mum sees and gets him busted? If that's the case, you may just need to separate her, and leave him to his own good senses! To transition from milk to feed, buy some calf pellets and soak them in the milk in the bucket. The calf will start to drink/eat them. Cow teats heal up suprisingly quickly, so you may be able to give her some rest, put some salve on her teats to aide healing, and bucket or foster feed the calf for a few days, and then let him back on her and see what damage he does. If too much damage, pull him off permanently.

Beef cattle, are much hardier than dairy cattle and they naturally produce less milk anyway, because they put their energy into their body, rather than their milk (hence the "bony" jersey's you see in the lush paddocks!).

If her udder is already shrinking, yes that is a good sign that she's already making less milk. If you can keep an eye on her, and make sure she doesn't start acting "off", then if you can't yard her and have a feel, well, really, watching her is the best you can do! Ultimately, you can only do what you are capable of, its not always possible to do what is "best" for the animal, simply because they simply make it impossible! You can only do what you can do, and just hope that its good enough.

Let me know how you get on
H

Heidi
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Heidi » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:31 pm

Oh, another thing... we don't hand feed our small number of beef cattle, or our 30 odd sheep, but we give them some food a few times a week, so that they learn to come up when we call them. It makes it a lot easy to yard them when you need to do something. Its really worthwhile and I have them trained to come up at my whistle. Its quite funny to see a huge Charolais cow galloping full tilt for 500m, just to get a lick of molasses!
H

minnie
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby minnie » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:26 am

Hi Hayley,

Second everything that Heidi is saying, the thing to remember with cattle is if you have a great lot of people chasing them around it does end up in chaos... and you know how I know this. :lol:

You could try you and one other, no bubs on backs, and calmly do the bucket and be patient... you have to have patience they can be dogmatic! Hey I've been feeding Fairy Floss for months and out of my hand, this morning she's broken in with the herd and was sooo tempted but in the end she swooshed her head, jumped in the air and ran off with them.

Getting all the cattle into the confined yard and then slowly eliminating as Heidi said is best and easiest.

Calf pellets (18% protein at his age) mixed in a bit of lucerne and he should be okay.

Her poor teats do look awful, but the photo sorted out a bit... do you have a photo of how you've done the crush etc?
:D
Vicki
PS Put up a post about Vets, before I read this... start calling in to see the vet when you're in town.

dggoatlover
Posts: 274
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:24 pm
Location: Central Queensland

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby dggoatlover » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:16 am

Good luck with everything Hayley! And definitely agree with Heidi - start giving a treat a couple of times a week so they will come when you call them - it will make life a lot easier!

I'm not used to dealing with cows but speaking from a goat perspective - we hand milk our girls twice a day and they are all trained to walk on a lead. It makes them so easy to manage for any type of treatment, vaccinations, hoof trimming etc. My vet loves coming to our place as they are all lined up and waiting quietly to see him with no fuss or bother! :D

Heidi
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Heidi » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:51 am

Hi,
Could you please come and train my children for me? :lol:
H

Hayhay
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Hayhay » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:57 pm

Sounds so well organised Desley!

Heidi and Vicki I'm glad we 're not the only ones who have been running round a paddock with misbehaving runaway cows!

Yes we handfeed them occasionally (definitely not every day). Keeps them coming up to us - but 2 of the cows are a bit obstinate, the sheep on the other hand come a-runnin'!

The other day we did get them into the yard, but in trying to get the other 2 cows out Ella (the one with problems) thought we were trying to separate her from her calf so they all panicked and jumped the fence. Then there was NO chance of getting her to head up that way again!

OK so we've moved them up close to the house so we can keep a real close eye on her. 3 of the quarters have definiely improved - they look like the crakcs are scabbing over and they've reduced alot in size. The fourth quarter doesn't seem to have gotten any worse - and I suspect its because she let the calf have a feed off that teat - yesterday I couldn't see for certain but the calf was in the head down bum up tail wagging position.

So now they are closer to the house (and cattle crush yard) we might be able to set up a run to direct them into the yard. See how we go!

dggoatlover
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Location: Central Queensland

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby dggoatlover » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:12 am

Thats good news Hayley! :D

minnie
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby minnie » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:13 pm

Good news about the teats, Good Luck with getting them into the yards.

Honestly I have so many stories about trying to get cattle to do things... when they're really quiet animals that can be worse because they won't budge, and I had that this morning with Fatima. She didn't want to go out to the other cattle and I had to brush her and cajole, pushing is useless with her, she just turns around... but she loves Mr Murphy and he was with me and she can't resist following him. ;)

DH has given us a few laughs, as he 'had' to do it his way and having no previous experience... so I let him. When we tried to load a steer (weaner) to take out to my Mum's because of lack of feed he thought he'd just jump in the cage on the back of the trailer... well when I saw DH in the cage, the calf out watching him and the two cats watching (I'm sure they were rolling in fits) I said can we try something else... backed the trailer to the headbale and race put a sloped plank and ran him in... he thought he was clever. :lol: :lol:

Oh and my step-father the day we were oral drenching and he had a cigarette in his mouth and Mum said you'd better put it out they won't like it... 'oh don't be stupid says he' and then the cow threw her head knocked him on the nose and flat on his back. :lol: :lol:

Ah cow stories to drink wine by with friends. ;)

Vicki

Heidi
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby Heidi » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:09 am

Hi,
It sounds like its going to be okay! Chalk it down to experience, and hopefully, you won't need to draw on it.

I just had to move two of my "friendly" cows from directly across the road, to our paddock. Do you think they would cross the road? No, it took us half an hour and three people to move them 30 metres!

Funny, (well not), people wouldn't slow down in their cows with my DH waving his arms at them and with our 3yo in his arms, but, lay a thin, bright orange rope across the road, and boy do they reduce their speed! They wouldn't want to harm their cars now would they!

I think I'll use this more often as a traffic calming device when I need to!

H

minnie
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Alice, West of Casino, NSW
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Re: Mastitis in my cow....

Postby minnie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:44 am

Hi Heidi,

I know that moving across a road thing, we years back, lived on a property split by a road. And I remember one car coming down just as the cattle went to go through the gate and beeped the horn... well you can imagine cattle went everywhere with us running in all directions to get them back together... I called him a swear word! :twisted:

We separated out herd the other day, into two herds, and I had one with big horns with ones without and one dehorned with the one that is the lead cow with big horns. The two big horned girls are sisters and friends and Ajay was giving everyone grief (we're trying to supplement some of them, still not putting on enough weight) so we decided to take the dehorned one Cinnamon and put her with the others (her family, she's Fatima's mother) so swap them.

Well Ajay followed for a bucket of feed no problem in she went, now to cut Cinnamon out from them... we tried and she ran the wrong way and wouldn't come through the ones with horns. So I called her name, she looked up and and I said Cinnamon come on, and out she comes... goes through into the other paddock and followed me through bush away from the cattle (not a comfortable thing for cattle) to the gate that led out to the others.

I was really impressed, I always call all my animals by name, especially when I feed individually and I've found (not all the time) that I can cut them out in the paddock to their name. :D

I do it with the cats as well, I put down Ginger Meggs food in the same spot and say his name and then do it for Mr Murphy... when I call Ginger Meggs he comes running... Mr Murphy will if he feels like it. :lol: :lol: And the little female whenever you say her name Liat, she does an about turn and comes to you, it's like she's on a piece of elastic. :lol:

Vicki


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