Mastitis, which has already been mentioned many times, is an inflammation of the mammary gland, which can be caused by any of the known types of pathogenic microorganisms. Some bacteria live directly in the mammary gland of the cow and on the outer surface of the nipple, and are transmitted from the cow to the cow through milking machines or on the hands of milkmaids. These organisms are known as infectious mastitis pathogens.
Another large group of bacteria always exists where a cow is kept, and due to various circumstances it can cause significant problems with mastitis. These bacteria often cause serious problems with mastitis in dairy farms, where the level of pathogens is strictly controlled and there are no problems with other diseases.
What kinds of bacteria most often cause this disease? Usually the appearance of most new infectious diseases is caused by two different groups of bacteria. The first group, the coliform bacteria, includes E. coli and a similar group of bacteria called Klebsiella.
The other group includes streptococci: udder streptococci (Streptococcus uberis), streptococcus lactation disorders (Streptococcus dysgalactiae) and some other species. In the US, S. uberis is the most common type of streptococcal organisms causing new infectious diseases. Often the microorganisms of this group are collectively referred to as group B streptococci.
This group of microorganisms is always present on dairy farms. The habitat of bacteria is feces, so that each time they defecate the cow, they again fall into the surrounding environment. Coliform bacteria are able to survive in the litter, especially in materials of wood origin, such as shavings and sawdust.
If manure, leaked milk, urine gets into the litter, and this mixture is then heated by the body heat or simply from warm weather, under these conditions rapid and rapid reproduction of bacteria can occur.
The presence of coliform bacteria in a cow's environment is an important factor in the increasing incidence of new infectious diseases. An increase in the number of bacteria increases the risk of morbidity, a decrease - reduces this threat.
Permanent cleaning of premises and the replacement of contaminated litter is an elementary practice that reduces the risk of morbidity by reducing the concentration of bacteria. During the transfer of cows from the places of their maintenance to the milking parlor, care must be taken for stalls. Remove contaminated litter from the stalls and replace it with fresh, clean material.
This helps to reduce the level of bacteria, but keep in mind that as soon as dirt gets back onto the litter, the remaining bacteria will begin to re-build the colony. Therefore, cleaning must be carried out continuously.
Watch the avenues along which cows go to and from the milking parlor. If they are wet and damp, there is a risk that moisture will fall on the legs and tail, and from there - on the nipples, which, in turn, increases the risk of bacteria entering the animal's body. To transfer livestock from places of detention to the milking parlor and back, the alleys must be cleaned.
What material is best used as a litter?
Bacteria that live in the environment usually have the ability to use organic materials, such as wood products and straw, for food. For this reason, the choice of organic material as a litter is not the best solution for controlling the growth of the bacterial level in the environment.
It is often recommended to use sand for litter: it is clean, has an inorganic nature, and does not represent nutritional value for bacteria. In addition, without being an absorbent, it dries well, and the moisture content of the upper layers of sand remains relatively low.
For best results it is necessary to constantly fill the stalls with sand, and also often remove manure from the stalls to minimize the possibility of organizing bacterial colonies. Sand can cause problems with manure removal systems, however, it is possible to cope with them and minimize them.
On sale there is equipment for working with sand, which allows you to evenly distribute it in the stalls with a minimum involvement of manual labor. On new dairy farms with cowshed houses with loose cattle, consideration should be given to the choice of sand as a litter for animals.
Then, when there is no way to use sand, it is common to use sawdust, straw or recycled manure. In this case, the problem can be solved, often, as the contamination, replacing the litter and thereby preventing the risk of excessive growth of bacteria.
Importance of milking clean cows
When preparing a cow for milking, it must be remembered that the dirtier the nipples, the greater the risk of problems with mastitis. The risk of infection increases when dirty nipples get wet - due to rain or sprinkling cows before milking. Water promotes the movement of bacteria, can transfer them to the end of the nipple.
The most important thing during milking is to attach the milking machine to a well-cleaned dry nipple. When the milking device is put on a wet dirty, bacteria-coated nipple, it is very possible that some bacteria will penetrate the udder and cause new inflammations.
Correctly cleared nipples show not only the absence of dirt on the nipples, but also a reduction in the bacterial background. The degree of cleanliness of the nipple is directly proportional to the effectiveness of the agent used. The more effective the remedy, the less bacteria remain.
Finally, careful wiping, drying the nipple helps to remove the dirt mechanically with the bacteria. Thus, if in the beginning the outer surface of the nipple is treated with a disinfectant, leave it for 30-45 seconds, and then carefully wipe, the mopping action itself helps to remove a lot of bacteria that lag behind the nipple under the influence of the liquid.
The key to success is dressing the milking machine on a clean, disinfected and dry nipple. In addition, it must be ensured that dirty water does not fall and does not collect at the inlets of pipeline systems. If these rules are observed, the risk of mastitis from infection of the nipple and the penetration of coliform bacteria and streptococci is reduced.
Another method of reducing the problem of coliform mastitis is vaccination of cows with coliform bacteria. Such vaccination produces in cows immunity against microorganisms of coliforms. Based on published research results, vaccines contribute to reducing the severity of diseases: serious diseases occur in fewer animals, and loss of milk decreases.
Streptococci in the environment
This group of microorganisms is becoming a major problem in many model farms, where there is usually no problem with infectious mastitis. Usually they are called streptococci not of group B. They also refer to the form of streptococci, however they differ from group B streptococci (Streptococcus agalactiae), which are the most infectious, causing mastitis microorganisms.
These microorganisms cause serious problems. They are adapted to survival in the environment, as well as on the body of the cow and in its udder. The habitat of this type of bacteria can become and such areas of the body as the vulva, wool, skin and muzzle of the cow.
With the penetration of bacteria into the mammary gland, they can cause inflammatory processes that can take a short or long time, and their effect will be similar to that of infectious bacteria. The biggest problem is that a large percentage of udder diseases grow into a clinical form of the disease that needs to be treated.
The type of material used as a litter can play a decisive role in the number of bacteria that live in animal sites. Bacteria develop well in straw, so it is the use of straw as bedding that often facilitates the organization of their colonies in places where dead cows are kept.
These bacteria can survive and necessarily survive at a time when the cow does not give milk if the dry cows treatment program on the farm is ineffective or simply does not exist.
Carefully look at the dead cows with late lactation and newborn cows. If they were not treated properly during the period of the dead, within the first 30-60 days after calving the new cows will develop new streptococcal infections not of group B, which could have been preserved at the last stage of the dry period.
Conduct a test for sensitivity to antibiotics and make sure that the antibiotic you choose for dead dogs is effective against the detected types of streptococcal infections.
Streptococci can cause different, sometimes misleading symptoms. It is possible that their presence will affect the increase in the number of somatic cells, however, milk, at least in sight, may remain normal.
Infected cows can allocate a large number of bacteria in raw milk, hence when sowing bacteria, we can note an increase in their growth in raw milk. In general, at some stage a large percentage of inflammatory processes passes into the clinical form of the disease, and cows should be treated.
Treatment during lactation is not effective by 100% and, depending on the type of bacteria, their resistance to antibiotics can become a real problem.
In order to get rid of the problems caused by streptococcal infections, it is necessary to take measures that are somewhat similar to measures to combat coliform bacteria, with some exceptions. Proceeding from the fact that this type of microorganisms lives in wool and animal skin, it is necessary to remove the wool from the udder and milk the cow with perfectly clean dry nipples.
It should also be borne in mind that if the water from the animal's hair gets into the opening of the milking machine, the bacteria can penetrate the nipple through the teatcup if the apparatus slips and fails.
The technique of nipple processing before milking has proved effective in reducing the number of new diseases. The bactericidal action of the nipple treatment before milking performs an important work to disinfect the nipples. Hence, when the nipples are wiped from the treatment means, during the dressing of the milking apparatus on the teats, a low concentration of bacteria is noted.
Take into account the importance of maintaining cleanliness and order in the maternity units, work to maintain the sanitary conditions in this area. During calving and urination, cows are also secreted by streptococcal bacteria entering the litter.
This can infect the next cow that is at risk when transferred to the maternity ward. It is very important that the places where the cows are kept in the maternity ward are kept clean and that cleaning is carried out frequently.
The control of problems with mastitis caused by streptococci, living in the environment, includes several stages. Firstly, it is a test of the dominant species of the microorganism by taking a sample of milk and sowing bacteria, is it true that these are streptococci not of group B. If this result was obtained more than once, then this clearly indicates the existing problem and it is necessary to determine the source of this problem .
Check the milking technique. Look whether the wet and dirty cows do not go into the milking parlor, if too much water is used to wash the animals, whether there is a long coat on the udder, are ineffective methods used to disinfect the nipples before milking, do not wet the animals, Disconnections, slipping of the milking machines, if the nipples are not completely processed after milking. Improper performance of any of these techniques can lead to problems.
Check which products are used to treat dry cows, the conditions under which animals are kept, whether cleanliness and order are observed in the maternity units, how the disinfection procedures of the calving site are carried out when transferring to the new cow section.
Revise the diet of dead cows, especially pay attention to the fact that the content of selenium and vitamin E should comply with current recommendations. It is known that these components help the body fight infection, so the lack of elements can play a role in increasing the percentage of diseased animals.
The solution to the problem usually comes with time, as far as possible evaluation of each case and implementation of changes. But this is an endless process, resuming when there is some mistake. The problem is returned under the same circumstances. The number of somatic cells increases, clinical symptoms appear and milk is lost.