The treatment of mastitis in dairy cattle can take different dimensions. Treatment varies from the use of antibiotics to the treatment without antibiotics. The former is the commonly practiced curative method but a good number of farmers also use the latter.
The Use Of Antibiotics
To date, antibiotics remain to be the basis of numerous treatment regimes. They can be used in different ways to ensure that the farmer doesn’t incur losses. The applications include;
This is the first line treatment for cows with in-complicated mastitis in a single quarter. Intramammary delivery of an antibiotic into the mammary gland, by way of an intramammary infusion is the most effective method to use to treat; it is given the type of bacteria that is causing the infection.
This should be used when more than a quarter is affected especially when the udder changes are marked or when the core is obviously ill. It is allowed under veterinary supervision. Their use is not recommended for mild or moderate clinical causes.
Clinical Mastitis Therapy
This treatment is required by ethical and animal welfare reasons. This treatment is well being of the diseased cow. It acts as a supporting system for the body’s defenses, it kills the pathogens and in so doing reducing the elimination of bacteria. It is mainly determined by the status of all immunological body defenses.
Reduced Antibiotic Use In Cattle
Economical resource saving milk production provides the basic for sustained consumer acceptance. A combined intervention scheme may be adopted to reduce the need for antibiotic treatments in dairy cattle farms. This should be based on timely and thorough clinical inspections as well as assessment of animal-based welfare. Its important to note that environmental adaptation of dairy cows defines the risk of animals contracting diseases.
Treating Mastitis Without Antibiotics
1. Treatment Of Mastitis Through Location Therapy
Treatment of mastitis should be based on bacteriological diagnosis and take national and international guidelines, treatment should also be initiated based on herd data and personal experience through using aloe Vera.
Culture And Sample
It is necessary that a culture should be taken and either processed in the on-farm lab or sent to an off-farm facility. Sampling should be done regularly with a keen interest of establishing the risk and extent of mastitis infection.
Take a Sample Before Any Cow Is Treated
Use an on-farm culture system or send it to your veterinarian. If you don’t have access to timely culture to treat all animals affected by mastitis, at least now you can have a sample to culture to find the culprit before you try to treat her again.
2. Massaging the teats
Massaging of the teats should commence immediately some hard spots start to form in cow teats. This is best practiced by farmers who milk their animals by hand. When using milking machines, you will need more advanced technology to determine when massaging needs to kick off.
Massaging the teats clears the clogs which are caused by milk curds in the teats. The massaging can be a little painful and the cow needs to be secured in place. Some will kick while others will try to free and run away.
3. Warm compress
The secret behind fighting mastitis in cattle is ensuring that you eradicate the hardness in teats. Warm compress which involves placing heat on the affected teats encourages milk to flow.
The compress is a little friendly to the cow. They enjoy the soothing massage thus forgetting the pain for a moment.
4. Expressing or nursing
Treatment of mastitis demands getting out as much milk from the teats as possible. This means that you need to increase the milking sessions. Here, you won’t be actually milking but expressing.
If you have nursing calves, you can let them suckle even more. The milk at this stage cannot be sold thus no loss in letting the calves suckle. The milk is safe for the calves unless it has a foul smell or a green coloring.
It’s important to note that there is some discharge that will be noted at the beginning of the expressing process. This is normal and shouldn’t raise any alarm.
5. Immune boosting
Boosting the cow’s immune system may not necessarily cure mastitis. However, it is essential in helping the animal fight the pathogen and prevent other attacks. An animal whose body has sufficient vitamin C and probiotics has a higher chance of fighting mastitis in a short time.
6. Using essential oils
Essential oils such as oregano, tea tree and peppermint are very effective in the treatment of mastitis. The essential oils have been used successfully in treatment of mastitis in human beings and can also be used in cattle. You may also use creams that contain these essential oils in treatment for mastitis in dairy cattle.
The cream or essential oil may be rubbed on the udder after every milking. The oil soothes the teats and udder and takes away the heat that is associated with mastitis. The cow can then feel relieved for a moment and experience less stress.
Prevention is better than cure. However, you can never be too sure that you have sealed all the loopholes especially when it comes to diseases. When infections such as mastitis strike, you have no alternative but to seek ways to eradicate them.
Mastitis in dairy cattle results in huge losses and affects a cow’s productivity. It therefore needs to be tackled head-on. There are tried and tested antibiotics that can be used to treat mastitis. With time, the mastitis bacteria animals’ bodies develop resistance towards these antibiotics. This makes it difficult to treat the animals using antibiotics.
Consequently, the farmer is force to either cull the animals or seek alternative mastitis treatment methods. This includes treatment of mastitis without antibiotics. Pointers above are some of the effective ways of treating mastitis without antibiotics.
We hope that the pointers will serve as an eye opener and help you control and eventually eradicate mastitis in your dairy farm. Just ensure that you engage your veterinary before embarking on any of the treatment methods. Their advice and guidance are invaluable and cannot be overlooked.