MASTITIS

One of the first percentage Boers we bought was a doe we named Bertha. Bertha was 1/2 Boer and 1/2 Nubian. She was big and somewhat of a bully.

The first time Bertha kidded for us she had triplets – two 8 pound bucklings and one 5 pound doeling. And in less than 24 hours we realized we had a problem.

Bertha started to run a fever of 104, one side of her udder was harder than the other and hot to the touch), and her milk had a yellowish tinge. She was extremely docile (for Bertha) and didn't want to eat. We immediately recognized something was wrong and rushed her to the vet's in Pulaski.

By the time we drove the 15 miles, Bertha's temperature had risen to over 105. Bertha had signs of both acute mastitis and chronic mastitis. The swelling, pain, and heat in the affected side of her udder is a symptom of acute mastitis while reduced production, an unbalanced udder, and a slight salty flavor are signs of chronic mastitis. Dr. Galbraith kept her overnight so he could treat her with antibiotics and fluids intravenously.

 
 

And suddenly we had bottle babies! Fortunately we had a Nubian who kidded a single kid the same day as Bertha.

Bertha came home from the Animal Hospital the next day. We had to tenderly milk her out several times a day. Her teats would become so engourged the kids couldn't latch on to nurse. We treated her with steroids and antibiotics for approximately one week.

Bertha raised all three of her kids – and all her subsequent kids. The only lingering effect of her bout with mastitis was one teat that would swell up like a balloon for the first two weeks after she kidded. We would have to milk that side until we would get the teat small enough to fit in her kids' mouths. After about two weeks the kids would take over by nursing often enough for the balloon not to fill up.


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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168


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