Detecting and Treating Clinical Mastitis
Management of mastitis must be focused on preventing disease, but if the disease occurs it needs to be immediately identified and treated.
Peeling milk from cows and checking it, before milking, is still the best method for detecting most cases of early clinical mastitis. This is because changes in milk are often a sign of the first mastitis.
Changes in milk (clots, spots, color changes or consistency) can be seen when milk is released onto a dark surface.
Changes in milk associated with causative organisms with clots and flakes tend to be more common in mastitis due to Staphs and Streps, whereas straw-colored milk is usually associated with E. coli.
Check the udder
Visual examination and udder palpation before placing the cluster should be part of all milking routines. Mastitis causes swelling of the udder, redness, hardness, heat, and pain that can often be detected even with a cursory examination. You can browse https://www.licautomation.com/products/saber-scc-somatic-cell-count/ to know more about mastitis in cows.
The problem with relying on udder examinations as the first line of detection of mastitis is that udder changes are detected quite late in the process so that when the disease is detected, a large loss has occurred.
Many plants have mastitis detectors installed in long milk tubes. This can be useful if checked after each cow is milked.
However, in the direct-to-line nursery milk is in the tank before the infection is identified, also in-line filters can limit milk and the flow of air through long milk tubes reduces the efficiency of the milking machine.
Mastitis changes the concentration of ions in milk, which changes its electrical conductivity. These changes can occur 24 to 36 hours before visible signs develop. This has led to the development of cow-side and in-line conductivity meters.
Unfortunately, detecting mastitis using conductivity is not as simple as measuring cell numbers. First, there is no single threshold; Different cows have different conductivity so that to detect mastitis you need to detect changes in conductivity that require several tests. Second, all cow conductivity is not sensitive enough – changes in the affected quarter can be easily flooded by a lack of changes in the other three quarters.