Animal Husbandry Department
mastitis, milk, dairy cattle
1. Mastitis is usually caused by a specific organism, Streptococus agalactiae.
2. Mastitis occurs in one or more of the milking cows in nearly all herds of any size. It is more prevalent in old than in young cows.
3. The most common symptoms of mastitis are: Swollen, in flamed quarters, flakes or lumps of curd in the milk and on the milk strainer pad.
4. Mastitis producing bacteria enter the udder through the streak canal.
5. There are several tests for detecting mastitis in milking cows. The microscopic inspection of milk in which the long chain streptococci organisms are found is the most dependable.
6. Mastitis can be controlled by testing, observing sanitary practices in the barn, use of medicaments, and slaughter of the chronic cases that will not yield to treatment.
The control and prevention of diseases and ailments in dairy herds mean more to the success of a well-bred dairy herd than any other single factor. As the herd increases in number and the individuals in the herd improve in production, diseases occur more frequently. This is only natural. With larger numbers more animals contact each other, increasing the possibilities of infection.
High-producing animals are highly developed and therefore hard working. They cannot withstand the hardships and contagion of disease as can the "boarder cow," which is largely on a maintenance basis.
South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
Olson, T. M. and Skelton, F. M., "Mastitis in Dairy Cattle" (1944). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 51.