Udder infection (mastitis) and sore teats are common in milking ruminants. Prime milkers are more prone to udder infection. Animals with long teats may easily get teat infections.
· Cracked teats.
· Wounds, tenderness, swelling.
· Hard, knob-like, painful udder.
· Animal does not permit milking.
· Small curdles occur in milk.
· Udder feels hot (in severe mastitis).
· Milk can become watery or pus-like.
· Milking with the thumb inside the fist, touching the teat (see diagram in Decreased milk flow, page 141).
· Effect of cow pox or foot-and-mouth disease.
· Bad hygiene, leading to infection.
· Rough milking.
· Not fully draining the udder during milking.
· Practice good
· Use proper milking methods.
· Completely drain the udder of milk during milking.
· Inspect the herd frequently.
· Gather fresh leaves of Ocimum sanctum, Ocimum basilicum or neem. Crush the leaves to obtain 10 ml juice. Mix with 80-100 g of butter or edible oil. Apply on teats 23 times a day until fully recovered. (India. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Use one of the following treatments.
· Gather 200 g each of fresh Ocimum sanctum (or Ocimum basilicum) and neem leaves. Boil in 500 ml of vegetable oil for 1 hour over a slow fire. Strain through a clean thick cloth. Store in a sterilized bottle.
After milking, inject 5 to 10 ml of this oil in affected quarters of the udder using a milk siphon. Do this twice a day until healed. (India. 1, 2, 3, 4)
· Massage the infected udder with lukewarm water. This helps especially in early cases to reduce the swelling. You can also add a handful of guava or neem leaves to the boiling water. (Philippines. 1, 2, 3, 4)
· Boil a bucket of water. Dip a thick cloth in the water while it is still hot. Wring out the excess water and hold the cloth on the udder. You can also add a handful of guava or neem leaves to the boiling water. (India. 1, 2, 3)
· Pound and boil equal amounts of Fumaria officinalis and Litsea sabifera leaves in enough water to make a paste. Add a pinch of baking powder. Apply the warm paste on the udder. (India. 1, 2, 3)
For initial stages of infection
· Grind together 1-2 ripe bananas, 2 tablespoons of powdered, dried turmeric rhizome and 1 teaspoon of salt. Give this mixture as feed in the morning and evening and again the following morning. (India. 1, 2.4)
· To prevent the infection from spreading, milk the healthy animals first, then the sick ones
· Practice full milking. Strip the udder completely.
· Wash your hands with soap before and after milking.
· Discard and destroy milk from infected udders.
· Use the siphon in the teat very carefully. If you have no siphon, use the end of a hollow feather. Boil it before using.