Mastitus & teat cannulas: which one, when and how?

Mastitis is the inflammation of the udder that occurs when bacteria enter the udder. Usually, the latch hole and the nipple duct form a natural barrier together with keratin. However, the latch hole or the nipple duct can be damaged, resulting in mastitis. So it is important to observe the health of your cow's latch holes and nipple ducts. Even so, has mastitis developed? We will inform you how to treat it and how to prevent it in the future. 

Recognising mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the udder tissue caused by bacteria entering the udder. Mastitis not only endagers the cow's health, but also costs a lot of money. On average, a cow suffering from mastitis costs €458.- but it can even amount to over € 900.-! In practice, two kinds of mastitis can be recognised; clinical mastitis and sub-clinical mastitis. 

Symptoms clinical mastitis (visible symptoms)

  • Abnormalities in the milk (blood or lumps)
  • Pain or swelling in the udder
  • Fever
  • A red coloured quarter

Symptoms of sub-clinical mastitis (without visible symptoms)

  • An increased somatic cell count
  • Reduced milk production

Treatment of mastitis

Before starting the treatment of mastitis, it is wise to consult your vet first. Mastitis is almost always treatable with antibiotics. To make sure the antibiotics get to the right place, use our Maxi Plastic nippel cannula 15 mm or Maxi Plastic Teat cannulas 55 mm. These cannulas are easy to insert  – the 55 mm cannulas even have a special grip handle - and to remove and the (multiple) openings ensure a better distribution of the medicine. 

In addition, it is also possible to close the nipple duct manually with a ‘teat plug’ during the dry period to prevent the entry of bacteria. Our range offers  various teat plugs, such as the Maxi Wax Teat plugs. These self-dissolving sterile wax teat plugs promote the recovery of damaged teats and adapt to the environment, resulting in less irritation. In addition, the Maxi Dry Cow Teat Seal is used to seal the teat lock hole during dry-off. 

The great thing about the Maxi Teat Plugs Sterile is their sterile property. Because these teat plugs are packed individually and sterile, you reduce the risk of contamination. In addition, the Maxi Wool teat plugs have been specially developed to promote the recovery of damaged latch holes and inflamed teats. 

Preventing mastitis

Of course, preventing is always better than cure. To prevent inflammations of the latch holes or nipple ducts, it is advisable to check the functioning of the milking machine or the milking technique. If these are not in order, an infection can easily occur. It is also important to keep a close eye on the cow's teats. Healthy teats have a healthy colour after milking and are warm, dry and soft. If you notice a deviating colour or other defects, take action immediately. 

It is also important that there is enough time for sufficient keratin to be produced after milking. Keratin is a waxy substance that inhibits bacterial growth. Part of the keratin disappears during milking and is built up again between milkings. If a cow lies down in one of the cubicles too soon after milking - i.e. when the latch hole is still open and the keratin is not sufficiently built up - bacteria have free rein to penetrate. Therefore, make sure that the cow stands up for at least 20 minutes, but preferably up to 90 minutes, after milking. 

Mastistis can also be prevented by ensuring good hygiene during milking. It is advisable to wear milker's gloves and it is best to use one sheet of udder paper or udder cloth per cow. You can also dip cows with disinfectant after milking. Use our dip cup and Maxi Subliem CP