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What is Mastitis?


Mastitis is inflammation of the mammary gland, usually caused by an infection.  The most prominent signs are painful, hot, hard and swollen udders, with decreased milk production. Nursing kids might be hungry and weak. The doe may by clinically ill with fever, loss of appetite.

Severe forms of this disease include bluebag, hard bag.  Bluebag refers to gangrene mastitis. The bag changes color, going from red to gray to bluish tinged/black. These animals are euthanized and not used for food. Hard Bag refers to condition where the udder becomes hot, inflamed and large milk clots and abscesses may develop. Milk production is reduced and the udder or half of the udder may become disfunctional.


Signs of Mastitis

  • Mammary gland is hard, swollen or reddish in color.

  • Udder is very hot and sensitive to the touch.

  • Milk is watery, yellow in color, clotted and flaky.


Treating Your Goat

Mastitis can be cured if caught early enough, but it varies case by case.

  • Treatment may include antibiotics like benzylpenicillin, cloxacillin, amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid, cephalonium and cefoperazone, erythromycin , tylmicosin, kanamycin, penicillin, ampicillin, erythromycin, or tetracycline.  Talk to your vet to see which antibiotic would work best for your doe. 

  • Continue to gently milk her to relieve the pressure in her udder.

  • Peppermint oil can be rubbed on her udder to help with the pain. 


Preventing Mastitis

Being proactive is the best way to prevent any problems in your herd.  Below are ways you can try to prevent Mastitis.

  • Keep your pens and bedding clean.

  • Early detection using a screened cup is very helpful to see clots, and flakes in the milk.  We use Hamby’s cup.

Strip cup.webp
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