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Udderly Awful: The Problem of Mastitis

One thing we hear from customers all the time is that our Udderly EZ™ Milker helps to clear up cases of mastitis in horses, cows, sheep, and goats. Mastitis is a common problem for breeding and dairy animals. It’s estimated that the disease costs the American dairy industry $1.7 to $2 billion each year in discarded milk, and severe cases can prove fatal.

This was one of the worst cases we ever saw: a cow with mastitis in three of her udder's quarters

Mastitis is the infection of the mammary gland, causing a painful swelling of the animal’s teats. It’s usually caused by an infection, but can also arise as a result of injury or allergy. Managers may notice the swelling of the udder, and/or a change in the appearance of milk, which may contain flakes and could be discolored. The bag may be hard and hot. In extreme cases, animals may become feverish, go off their feed, or appear lame due to discomfort from the udder.

The difficult part about treating mastitis is that the milk has to be removed from the udder, but the swelling makes normal means of milking because of the friction caused by hand milking extremely painful for many affected animals. That’s where we can help.

The Udderly EZ™ milker is gentle on teats because it draws out the Mastitis infected milk with a steady vacuum without any friction on the infected udder and has different parts large enough that it will fit even swollen teats. This way, you can flush out the milk to keep the bag from growing, without making the animal more uncomfortable. In most cases the hard extractor tubes without the Silicone or Rubber inserts should be used. (see picture) Milk is also tested in some cases to determine what antibiotic treatments may be needed to clear up the infection.

This is the cow's udder with mastitis before being milked out with the Udderly EZ...and this shows the cow's udder after milking. Looks much more comfortable, doesn't it?A few keys to preventing mastitis include ensuring good drainage and sanitation around pens and barns, keeping sheep on dry bedding, avoiding overcrowding, and preventing respiratory diseases in offspring who may pass bacteria on to their mothers’ udders. Keeping teats and udders clean and monitoring them regularly will also help avoid the disease.

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