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Goats/cyst like udder problem


QUESTION: Hi, and Thank you,
I have five goats here but only one that I am milking. We are both first time milkers.  She is an Alpine/Nubian cross with heavier Nubian traits.  About two weeks ago I noticed she had two what looked like white puss filled cysts just above each teat on the back of the udder.  I started by spraying them with Iodine, but then went to bag balm on the advice of some one else.  They have both since opened up ( I tend to hit them when I milk)but the white is all solid like butter.  after awhile both sides got another one, but one side is just small zit like ones but there are a few whereas the other side has gotten another dime sized one.  They don't seem to be painful for her.  The only time they seem to be bothering her is when I'm trying to apply the thick bag balm on the open ones.  She weaned her two young about a week before.  She also went into heat and was bread during this outbreak.  Any thoughts?
Thank you for your time
Tristan Ray

ANSWER: This sounds like either allergic reaction to her bedding or something else you are using - have you always used the same bag balm and this in turn has turned into a Staph infection of the skin.  I would cleanse the udders with hydrogen peroxide and use antibiotic ointment (human type is fine) on the affected areas, every time you milk.  I would use gloves any time you are touching these or at least wash your hands extremely well as Staph can transfer to humans through open sores/wounds.  Would also start on an internal antibiotic if possible - either Sulmet oral liquid given as an oral drench or injectable antibiotics with penicillin being the best choice.  The only issue with this is that the milk would have to be dumped for the period of treatment and at least 96 hours after treatment has stopped.  You might be able to contain the infection with the peroxide and antibiotic ointment, especially if it is only a small amount.  Some does do get allergic reactions to their beddings and I have seen udders that were covered in pustules filled with the white material (infected material).  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: I only started using bag balm about a week after it started, and she has had the same bedding for a long time... its just wasted hay.  I found others with similiar problems online...It sounds like it could be a staf infection.  I was told that chlohexidine wash then dry it and apply Ammens powder (zinc oxide) they say it should clear up in about a week?  Im only milking one doe so what i've been doing was washing with a soapy cloth then drying, then milking. Ive been doing this since May.  Since this started I have been washing my hands well after milking, but I'll get some gloves too.  Thanks for your input

Thanks for the info.  Sounds like the bag balm may be causing the allergic reaction and then to the Staph infection.   Chlorhexidine is a little harsh on the udder skin and the zinc oxide can help with some skin infections but generally not a staph infection.  You can certainly try it, your choice.  You can also use bleach in a 1% solution, wiping down the udder skin, then wiping with a plain water paper towel, and then drying.  If the pustules are open I would advise using either human antibiotic cream or NFZ puffer (available on the internet or at some farm/feed supply stores). Glad you have been washing your hands well.  I do not advise reuse of a cloth - for 28 years I have used baby wipes to wipe down the teats, milk, then one last baby wipe to clean up the udder afterwards along with use of an udder cream that squeezes out of a container so my hands do not contaminate it.  Hope this helps - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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