Goats/mastitis

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QUESTION: Hi Donna , i acquired a 5 year old first time freshener from a fellow . She had triplets and lost one at birth , and if we hadn't intervened the second would have starved as there wasn't a lot of milk , and after that the third one had to be taken from her . Thats where i came in and rescued her from a trip to the meat locker , as i think she has mastitis . I had checked her before about a month ago and her udder on one side seemed hard and the milk a bit watery , no blood . I told the owner he should needle her with pen , he never did . I brought her home yesterday and milked her out , and the milk seemed fine although the udder is hard on both sides , but i have does that have a natural firm udder , thats why I'm not sure about this . The milk i took this morning in an ice cream container , about a cup was left a few hours as i had forgotten it in the milkroom . I brought it in and strained it and there was about a tablespoon of clumpy milk similar to curdled milk . This is a bit different to what i experienced with my does last summer , and by the way they remain mastitis free thank God . Is this mastitis ? sure would explain the absence of milk in a really nice doe . Thanks

ANSWER: How long ago did this one kid?  The hard udder can be from mastitis or it can also be just congestion, especially in a first time kidder.  But it sounds like you are getting a little milk from her and it also sounds like the milk does not look like mastitis, correct?  The clumpy milk certainly could be due to just temperature change in the milk.  You could try some things to open up her internal mammary tissues and make the udder softer and more milk to be produced first before starting her on penicillin. You can use peppermint lotion - I take peppermint oil - two or three drops to 8 ounces of human body lotion (I usually use unscented, but it does not matter), mix well, and massage some into the udder two to four times a day - usually within 2 to 3 days the mammary tissues will open up a bit and the udder become softer with more milk production.  You could also try using a cabbage leaf compress - you take large cabbage leaves and soak in a hot water until they can be formed/shaped/soft and you put them as a compress onto the udder and hold them there for 5 minutes if possible - the leaves an anti-inflammatory property and also help open the mammary tissues.  You would do this four times a day at least.  Again after 2 or 3 days of treatment the udder should be softer with more milk.  

Glad you rescued the little ones.  And so glad your girls are keeping free of mastitis too.  Nice job.

Hope this helps - Donna

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QUESTION: Hi Donna , i had forgot that i have a cmt test kit here , so i took some milk and checked it and it did react not real bad but about medium . I double checked with some milk from another doe and there was no reaction . I believe what you are saying to be true also , and if this procedure had been implemented the mastitis no doult would have been averted . To answer your question , she kidded about 5 weeks ago , with no milk in one side and a little in the other . I must tell you her living conditions were not good as the mess from the year before was left in her pen and only got worse as time went on . I hate seeing people use these animals as breeding machines just for money , and make profit at the expence of the goat . One good thing is these types of operations usually fail , because of neglect , but unfortunately at the expense of a few of these wonderful creations . Thanks , and i will do as you said .

ANSWER: Hi there - I totally agree with you about people's irresponsibility to goats - it is fortunate though for goats that people like you are out there to help them when you can - nice job.  Hope the items work for the little lady.  Donna

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QUESTION: Hi Donna , just an update on nellie . I milked her off again this morning about a cup , and just to be sure , i cmt tested the milk again . The reading confirmed mastitis so I've started pen , and i find it takes 10 days to get rid of it , she is around 100 lbs and I'm giving her 6cc twice daily . I do have a question however . Nellie is a lay down if your going to touch me doe lol , so literally she lays down and its difficult to milk holding her up with one arm and milk with the other . Even the feed doesn't distract her , any suggestions ? She also gets real shaky as if  she is terrified . I do my best to reassure her , and maybe I'll get through . I don't intend to use her for milking but while I'm treating i like to milk off the bad milk .

Answer
Thanks for the update.  Sounds good.  I'm sure you remember that she also needs probiotics during this time.  Re her laying down, making a sling to put under her mid to back section of her stomach and attaching it above her so she cannot lay down helps - I have done that with good success.  Re the shaking she has - that is from discomfort and insecurity - if you have the ability to put the milk stand so that one long side is against a wall so you can gently push in on her helps make them feel a bit more secure.  You could also try Pulsatilla, a homeopathic remedy for nerves - you can order these online - you could use 3 or 4 of these pellets orally twice a day, 2 hours apart and then again a second day, and that usually allows them to become more mellow/less nervous.  Hope this helps - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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