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The udder in cows is one of the most sensitive and important organs, the state of which may indicate the health or ill health of the animal. Swelling of the udder in a cow after calving or before it is called swelling of the mammary gland, which is dangerous with the appearance of mastitis, deterioration in milk quality and a decrease in milk yield. If you experience characteristic symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
Causes of occurrence
The main reasons for the development of the disease are as follows:
- Udder injury.
- Pathology of the kidneys, heart muscle, blood vessels (if the udder is swollen long before calving).
- Lack of physical activity.
- Improperly formulated diet (lack of coarse fiber, excess protein and juicy feed, as well as an excess of magnesium, potassium and salts in food).
- Mycotoxicosis (fungal diseases).
- Hormonal Disorders.
- Serous edema of the udder. It develops against the background of a violation of lymph or blood flow during pregnancy and after calving.
Symptoms and Signs
Signs of a firm udder in a cow before or after childbirth are:
- Swelling of individual parts of the udder (right, left half, back) or the entire organ. The painful condition extends not only within the gland, but also to the surrounding tissues.
- The nipples get shorter.
- The skin is rough, shiny, with a bluish tinge. When you press on the udder, a depression is formed, which does not disappear for a long time (the organ is similar to dough).
- Hematomas, abrasions (if the cause of the pathology is trauma).
- Increasing the size of the udder.
- Tightness of the skin.
- Watery milk.
- There is no pain on palpation.
- Organ deformation.
- Compaction of tissues with advanced serous edema.
- The cow produces little milk.
The disease can temporarily fade away, and then reappear, but already in other areas of the breast.
What complications and consequences can there be?
Often, edema occurs before childbirth, but disappears on its own in the first days of lactation. Veterinarians still recommend monitoring the condition of the animal, since the disease (albeit short-term) increases the organ's susceptibility to the effects of pathogenic microorganisms.
Another dangerous consequence is organ induration, in which the gland becomes hard. The cow produces little milk and has to be culled. Mastitis can turn into a chronic form, the signs of which are tissue overgrowth and thickening. The udder size also increases and the amount of milk decreases. There is no point in waiting for the mastitis to go away on its own. The animal needs urgent veterinary care.
Methods for treating udder edema
There are three main methods of therapy that allow you to completely eliminate the swelling of the mammary gland:
- drawing up the correct diet;
- massage and other physiotherapy;
- the use of medicines.
Pathology can be treated with a properly selected diet. Succulent feed is removed from the menu of a sick cow, contributing to the formation of milk. They also reduce the amount of table salt, concentrates and protein supplements.
Instead of the above, cereal hay is left. In this case, the animal is kept on individual feeding. Most of the time, the cow is on a leash. Short walks are allowed, but going out to the pasture as part of a common herd is completely excluded.
To restore blood and lymph flow, a sick cow needs to massage the udder. The direction of movement is from the nipples to the base of the gland. For convenience, the sagging udder should be secured with a special bandage.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Milk stagnation can be prevented by frequent milking - 5 to 8 times a day. When edema appears before calving, the cow is milked no more than once a day.
This method is used if the first two are ineffective. Therapy includes the use of ointments and intravenous solutions. Infusion treatment reduces the manifestation of allergies, increases blood clotting. Heart medications such as caffeine are also used. Thanks to the stimulation of cardiac activity, blood flow increases, which promotes the removal of fluid from the mammary gland. Veterinarians advise to smear the problem area of the udder with "Rigefen". The therapy continues for 1-4 days - until the inflammation disappears. The same effect has bismuthzinc ointment, ichthyol and Vishnevsky. However, the last two drugs spoil the taste of the milk somewhat.
Folk remedies and recipes
Home-made products are allowed if approved by a veterinarian. Self-treatment of an edematous udder is fraught with the development of complications. Traditional methods are effective in the early stages of the disease and only in combination with drug therapy. Such funds help to quickly achieve a positive effect. To relieve udder swelling, you can use diuretic infusions and decoctions:
- dill broth (in advanced cases);
- from buds of birch, juniper berries, field horsetail;
- infusion of dill or fennel (pour a bucket of boiling water and give 1-2 buckets to drink per day for 3 days).
Ointments and lotions that are applied to the inflamed udder are no less effective. To prepare home remedies you will need:
- Rice starch. The product is diluted in water until a thick consistency is obtained and spread on cheesecloth. Then the compress is applied to the sore spot and kept for 3-5 hours.
- Milk, butter, rye flour. A cake is made from these components and applied to the udder for a couple of hours.
- Lean oil, paraffin, or beeswax. The ingredients are mixed in a water bath, cooled and lubricated with a diseased area.
- Potato starch, vegetable oil. The products are mixed and a cream is obtained.
Are there preventive measures?
Preventive measures for the development of udder edema are proper maintenance. In particular, this rule applies to the quality of the animal's nutrition. Cows need to be regularly taken out to pasture in order to exclude stagnation of lymph and blood in the body.
The most important preventive measure to avoid udder edema is the preparation of a suitable diet during the dry period.
This point requires special attention in the three-week period before and after calving: food should consist of one hay, and juicy herbs and concentrates are removed from the animal's menu. In addition, the frequency of milking is reduced. Protein supplements, silage and concentrates are added to the cow's menu three weeks before giving birth to prepare the body for feeding.
It is important that the feed is of very high quality. Food should be checked regularly for mycotoxins and grain should be processed by crushing or extrusion. Changing the diet after childbirth is carried out gradually, since the body has not yet recovered from childbirth.
To prevent the development of udder edema, it is necessary to follow the rules of hygiene and sanitary requirements when performing such manipulations:
- surgical intervention;
- a haircut;
- other events of this kind.
If symptoms of udder edema are found, take the animal to a veterinarian. You should not deal with treatment on your own. The main method of therapy is diet correction.