DEPARTMENT: AGRICULTURE

UDDER AND TEAT LESIONS



M.S.K. Mashishi


A healthy udder is one of the important parts of the cow's body. It produces good-quality milk for both human consumption and the calf. Certain preventative measures should, however, be applied to promote good udder health. These measures differ and depend on the specific condition. Teat lesions can be mild or severe. Immediate attention should be given if any lesion is observed. Many of these conditions cause milk shortages to the calf or for household purposes

TICK BITES

  • There are different types of ticks, some of which have long mouthparts, e.g. bont-legged ticks, bont ticks and Karoo paralysis ticks. These are the ones that cause most damage to the teats when they feed on the animals. This is because their mouthparts cut and penetrate into the skin, causing abscesses
  • Proper tick control can help reduce this problem
  • These lesions can lead to fly strike, bacterial infection and can permanently affect milk production

CUTS


PEELING/SLOUGHING OFF

Mastitis

In some severe cases of mastitis, the skin of the udder and the teats peels off. The udder is crusty and when the crusts are removed raw, red, seeping sores are seen.

Photosensitivity

There are certain poisonous plants which, when eaten, cause animals to be very sensitive to light. Areas exposed to direct sunlight, especially with light pigmentation (colour), are affected first and most, especially where the hair cover is sparse. This can affect the udder.

Chemicals

Use only registered teat dips for teat dipping. Avoid home-made dips!

Udder oedema

Sometimes the udder gets bigger than normal because fluid collects in the tissue. As the cow walks, the udder rubs against the inner thighs, causing reddening of these areas. Constant rubbing at these areas causes the skin to peel off, leaving raw lesions on the udder.

Blue udder

This disease of the udder is caused by a bacterium. The udder and teats have a blue-black colour and the skin peels off.

Extremely cold environment

During cold-weather periods the udder may start to peel off.

LUMPS

Lumpy-skin disease (LSD)

Warts

Cancer

This also causes lumps on the udder

OPEN AND CRUSTY LESIONS

Sometimes red blisters are seen which later are filled with pus. They then rupture (open) and form a crust

Pseudocowpox and cowpox

Herpes mammilitis

Lumps caused by this disease dry up and slough off, leaving raw ulcers that become covered with dark brown or black scabs

BRUISING

Bruising can be a serious condition. The udder looks red and swollen

INVERTED TEAT OPENINGS

This condition, where the teat opening folds inward, can be congenital (female calf is born with the defect), but it is mainly caused by high-vacuum pressure when using a milking machine. To prevent this condition, read the instructions and set the machine vacuum level and other settings according to the manufacturer's recommendation


OTHER UDDER AND TEAT PROBLEMS

Extra teats

Blocked teats

Leakers

 

For further information consult your
state or private veterinarian or animal health technician or

Animal Health for Developing Farmers
ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute
Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort 0110


2001

Compiled by Directorate Communication, Department of Agriculture
in cooperation with ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute

Printed and published by the Department of Agriculture
and obtainable from Resource Centre, Directorate Communication
Private Bag X144, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

This publication is also available on the web: www.nda.agric.za/publications


Information provided by
Animal Health for Developing Farmers
ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute
Private Bag X05, Onderstepoort 0110