The udder of cows is one of the most important and very sensitive organs. Experienced farmers can determine by their condition whether the animal is healthy or not. If the udder has any external changes, for example, it is swollen, then you need to contact the veterinarian for help.
Causes of occurrence
Veterinarians note that udder edema in most cases is observed in recently calving cows, but it also happens that pathology can also occur in nulliparous individuals. The main causes of edema are as follows:
- toxicosis in a cow throughout the entire gestation period;
- various heart diseases in an animal;
- kidney problems
- improper diet in first-calf during pregnancy;
- uneven blood circulation, too little blood outflow in the udder.
Any of the above reasons can cause swelling, sometimes this phenomenon develops in the cow immediately before the birth of the calf. But still, most often, this problem is faced by farmers after the animal is resolved from the burden.
Experts note that this disease can often be observed in those individuals of cattle, in the daily diet of which there were proteins in large quantities, and hay and straw were not enough, or it was completely absent.
Any farmer should know about the main signs of udder swelling, as this knowledge will help to more likely see the development of the pathological process and seek help from a veterinarian. The main symptoms of the disease are the following:
- the skin thickens on the surface of the organ, resembling the dough in appearance and touch;
- edema, if pressure is applied to the skin of the udder, it does not disappear, the organ takes much longer after pressing;
- swelling can be observed not only on the entire organ, but also on its front or back;
- the temperature of the skin directly on the udder will be colder than on other parts of the animal’s body;
- edema in the area of the nipples is especially noticeable, their appearance will differ from those that have not yet had time to undergo this phenomenon;
- after the birth of the calf, the swelling on the udder can be either on one part of it or on the other;
- an increase in body temperature after calving is not often observed in cows;
- the appearance of milk with edema changes extremely rarely, its quantity can only decrease;
- the cow does not experience discomfort if you touch the nipples;
- puffiness that appeared before childbirth can disappear if everything is in order in the animal’s body.
Possible complications and consequences
Veterinarians do not recommend leaving this problem in the cow unattended. Swelling of the udder for several days before and after childbirth is not considered a pathology. But this phenomenon must be observed, since it can reduce the resistance of the tissues of the udder and the whole organism to various harmful bacteria.
In addition, edema can lead to the formation in the animal of a disease such as mastitis . Also, the ailment has the ability to become chronic, and with this phenomenon, the connective tissue grows and becomes more dense. The size of the udder with these pathologies becomes larger, and the volumes of milk that a cow can give are becoming smaller.
It is worth noting that mastitis can occur in stages. At first it can be serous and catarrhal. With this type of disease, there is a deterioration in the expression of milk in connection with the formation of plugs in the milk ducts. In this case, the cow does not feel worse, body temperature can be observed only in areas of the udder, which has undergone swelling.
The farmer will be able to determine this type of ailment by boiling milk. With serous mastitis, it breaks down into flakes, and with catarrhal mastitis it becomes less greasy.
In addition to the above types of mastitis, there is the most dangerous, which is called fibrous. Often this type of ailment becomes purulent. With fibrous mastitis, the animal's body temperature rises, seals appear in the udder, it becomes painful. A purulent type of disease is characterized by the appearance of pus and the development of inflammation in the tissues of the udder.
Veterinarians advise starting treatment of mastitis in its early stages so that the animal does not stop lactation.
How to treat udder swelling?
The veterinarian selects the medication for the cow. It is unacceptable to choose drugs on your own, as you can aggravate the situation.
Most often, to cope with the disease, doctors prescribe the animal intravenous administration of calcium gluconate. This drug helps to normalize blood circulation. Instead, the doctor may recommend the use of calcium chloride, as it has the same properties. The exact dosage and duration of therapy is determined individually in each case after examination of the cow.
Also, in order to restore the function of the cardiovascular system, veterinarians prescribe an animal with a subcutaneous injection of a drug such as Caffeine Benzoate. In addition, the doctor may prescribe the treatment of the disease with the help of ointments that eliminate swelling, for example, Rieghen, which includes phenylbutazone and aluminum.
In addition to this ointment, the veterinarian can prescribe Bismuth-zinc, which is applied several times a day. Vishnevsky ointment and ichthyol ointment are also effective. These drugs are excellent in the fight against inflammatory processes, but give milk an unpleasant aftertaste.
Sometimes doctors prescribe diuretics and laxatives to animals. It is worth mentioning that such drugs are prescribed at the final stage of therapy, but they can not be used at the beginning of the development of the disease.
In parallel with medication, the veterinarian may advise the cattle owner to massage the udder. This procedure is prescribed in order to restore the movement of blood and lymph in the body, as well as to reduce the level of pressure in its tissues. When performing massage it is forbidden to apply creams and ointments.
You can also familiarize yourself with information on how to avoid the appearance of puffiness of the udder in a cow and cure it from the video below:
Instead of drug therapy, the doctor may advise treating the disease in a cow with the help of folk remedies. One of the most popular treatments is poultice of hay. If the cow is relatively calm, this method is great for her. You can also try to get rid of puffiness with the help of warm wraps. In addition, veterinarians advise tying the udder if it is very sagging.
Some experienced farmers treat the disease by changing the habitual diet of the animal. It is especially important to monitor the nutrition of the cow during pregnancy and after calving. Salt and high-calorie food should be excluded from its menu for this period.
The animal must be fed high quality hay. Also, veterinarians advise owners to be more attentive to the milking process. Milking a cow should be at least 7-8 times a day. In addition, it is worthwhile to ensure that the cow drank enough water. Special dill water helps to speed up recovery.
With udder edema, it is very important that the animal is not subjected to mechanical stress on this organ. But, nevertheless, he needs to walk in the fresh air 2-3 hours a day.
Are there preventative measures?
In order for the pregnant cow not to develop swelling of the udder, it is necessary to organize daily walks and try not to feed her succulent feeds. If puffiness nevertheless appeared, then they are generally excluded from her diet until the moment she finally recovers. The animal requires special attention about feeding about two weeks before birth and for at least ten days after it.
To prevent mastitis from developing due to swelling, the cow must be kept clean. In the room where she lives there should not be a temperature difference, the litter must be changed daily. Before placing a cow in it for the winter, it must be thoroughly disinfected to destroy all bacteria. Also delicate should be the process of milking the animal.
Cow swelling of the udder does not always indicate pathology, but in any case, it deserves the attention of its owner and specialist advice. An untreated illness in time can lead to serious complications in the animal's body.