Question I have a Nubian doe that has never been bred. She is several years old (I'm not sure of her exact age) and for the last year or two her udders have grown quite large. We've never tried to milk her and have not really been concerned because she acts perfectly healthy. Recently, though, one side has begun to grow larger than the other so that the udder looks obviously imbalanced. The larger side feels hard and the teat is very small due to the swelling of the udder. I attempted to milk it, but I didn't see anything come out(add that to the fact that my goat is not used to having her udders touched so I had to wrestle her to be able to palpate her udders and couldn't see very well because she was moving around so much). The other side doesn't feel so hard and I was able to milk it and the liquid coming out looked clear. I'm wondering if I should be concerned about mastitis and what I should do to help my goat. Thank you.
Answer Some goats who have good milk production in their genetic lines if not bred have what are called precocious udders - udders that fill up but not with true milk. But, the one side of the udder that feels hard sounds like it has mastitis. This could also be that the udder side is so filled with fluid that milking is so difficult but it needs to be drained/milked. Can you tell if the udder side that is hard feels cold or hot to touch? I would advise starting the goat on injectable antibiotics. Penicillin, which is available at most local farm/feed stores without a prescription works well - 3 cc/100 pounds body weight given twice a day for 7 days - this is given as an intramuscular injection in the rear thighs - use of a 20 gauge 1/2 inch needle is best, also available at farm/feed stores. Have you given intramuscular injections before? The goat also would need probiotics - yogurt mixed in a little water and given orally works well - about 2 tablespoons twice a day while the goat is on antibiotics - this helps keep the rumen good bacteria alive. Is that side of the udder a darker color than the other half? Totally milking out both sides would also be advised. You can also use things like peppermint lotion - add a few drops of peppermint oil to human type body lotion, mix well, and massage onto the "hard" udder twice a day for a few days - this helps to open up the tissues inside to help drain the liquid out. Hope this helps - let me know - Donna
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Thank you for your very thorough answer and for getting back to me so quickly. I appreciate you taking the time to answer. I will be trying your suggestions and will probably write a follow-up letter very soon to answer your questions and let you know what happens.
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