~Ritrisha Saikia and Nibedita Tamuly

     Mastitis is a common story of every dairy farm that remains as a major challenge to the worldwide dairy farms. Hence knowing about mastitis is of utmost importance for the public.
Mastitis is the term which denotes inflammatory conditions of the udder irrespective of cause which is characterized by alteration in the physical, chemical, biochemical, microbial and pathological changes of the udder.
In 2001, India estimated per year mastitis affected cows made loss of Rs. 6,0531 crores and in 2003 loss per cow per months was nearly Rs. 77,824/cow. It has been estimated that mastitis reduces milk yield by approximately 21% and butterfat by 25%. It is an important from public heath aspect.The bacterial load exceeding 3 lakhs(Normal)/ml of milk render the milk unsuitable for human consumption and also facilitate the spread of other zoonotic diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis, gastro-enteritis, leptospirosis problem.

Some of the predisposing factors include incomplete milking i.e.,
• Incomplete removal of milk from udder.
• Milker’s hygiene.
• Overcrowding of the high yielding animals.
Even, skin lesions and any mechanical trauma to the teat or udder also help the microorganism to enter the udder and cause mastitis.


Some of the main causes of mastitis include bacterial cause mainly Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, Staphylococcus, Corynebacteria, Klebsiella. Fungus also contributes to the mastitis such as Candida, Cryptococcus.


The avenue of infection is the teat canal. The cutaneous surface of the cow contains many organisms as a resident population from where organisms have the chance to invade the teat canal through the contaminated milk handlers. Along with milker’s hand, the clothes and cups of milking machines may also spread the disease. Flies and insects also play an important role.


In per acute, there is high fever, reddening and swelling of the udder along with pain. There are abnormalities in the milk where yellow clots may be present sometimes.
In acute, the fever is generally lower and the udder has swelling and pain.
In sub acute, there is watery milk with less changes to the general health.
In chronic cases, the udder undergoes irreversible abnormal change with presence of lump hard tissue when palpated. Udder shrunken, fibrous mammary tissue which may sloughed off if tissue gets necrotized and gangrenous mastitis occur.
There is also an another form i.e; subclinical form in which udder appears complete normal but milk yield is reduced and under laboratory diagnosis, somatic cell count is high. So it is advisable to test the milk sample of a farm routinely in microbiological laboratories whenever any abnormalities found .

Gross examination :

palpation of udder and teats for tumor, abscess. Sometime teats may get atrophied. Milk sample may contain flakes and it is curdy in consistency.

Prevention and control :

Whenever mastitis is suspected the owner should contact the nearby veterinarian and should avoid indiscriminate use of antibiotics himself.
Immediately after the milking ,the cow should not be allowed to sit, this can be achieved by providing them feed after completion of milking.
Milker should maintain proper hygiene and sanitation for the cow , environment in which it is living and for himself too. i.e; cleaning of udder with luke warm water before milking and milker’s hands should be properly cleaned.
Teat dipping is one of the good practice to prevent mastitis by dipping half of the teat in iodoform solution just after milking.

Ethnoveterinary practise:

50-100 gm aloe vera, 2 tea spoon turmeric, lemon juice, 2 tea spoon castor oil are mixed well and a paste is made. This paste is applied 2-3 times a day on the affected udder and teats to prevent the spread of mastitis.(


AUTHORS : Ritrisha Saikia and Nibedita Tamuly, LCVSc, Assam agricultural University, joyhing, North-lakhimpur.

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