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Is there a way out of mastitis without the antibiotics?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I have a super millky ewe. I even had to milk her before giving birth.

The problem is that she has the udder like 4" from the ground. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that she hurts it, but one side is so hard now that I can hardly get some milk out of it. The 2 lambs had enough milk with one side, which is fine. I saw there was something wrong because she was giving bumps with her foot as a relfex to the lamb who tried the right side. And I know this side has always been a little bigger. She behaves normally and does not look sick.

It is said that mastitis comes from an infection, but is it so sure? I would tend to think that first comes the inflamation if this side is not milked, and then can come some bacterias...

Anyway at the moment, I massage and try to get out some milk, and obviously I never get as far as making the udder supple. What else can I do? Put some heat? Are there some plants, like essential oils that would do it? Or I give the vet treatment?

As a second aspect, I ask myself if I should keep her or not.... I still cannot get the answer if this size of udder is normal in milk bread! I am the seoncd owner, and they told me that she was ginving milk for an exceptional long time after giving birth. Of course in our irregular stoney ground, she always hurt her udder.
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pollinator
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Personally, I'd cull her.  With such a low-hanging udder, she's going to constantly have issues with it and you'll have to spend so much time, and probably money, to keep her.  My experience is that problem animals are seldom worth keeping, though they are probably the best way to become an expert in that species as you'll end up having to deal with many health issues.

I'm conflicted when it comes to how to cull problem animals.  You can usually find someone to sell the animal to, but they're often not experienced enough to know better.  I believe in being totally honest with the buyer, so if they want to buy it's hard to say no.  You'll never keep any of her offspring, so her place in the flock is likely best used for an animal that's an easy keeper.
 
pollinator
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Have you tried giving her dolomite lime? A tablespoon a day is a good preventative dose, but a bit more at first might help get rid of the mastitis.

Pokeroot is a good herb to feed her.

Vitamin c helps goats with mastitis, I'm not sure if it will definitely work on sheep though.
 
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That side really needs to be milked out all the way. It can be difficult to do because it comes out in clots. I have used poke berry One bunch a day. I have seen people make a bag that ties over her back for big udders.
 
Posts: 47
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I've read about hot compresses helping to loosen it up enough to come out. Look up stripping a cow with mastitis. It's nasty and effectively milking pus out. If it isn't emptied you'll need to do the antibiotics.

What happens is the teat gets blocked or under milked, and bacteria grow in the old milk left in the udder, causing an infection. It's the same thing as when human women get mastitis when trying to wean their kids. (Sorry for the frankness but it's true!)
 
pollinator
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Keep in mind too, even if Organic, under Organic Certification rule, use of antibiotics is required if conditions warrant it.
 
pollinator
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A hard udder can be a case of congestion/inflammation without an infection. If there truly is infection, then it may not clear up on its own without antibiotics. An infection will eventually make that side of the udder non-milk producing. The infected breast might even rupture open.

Livestock owners should consider keeping a bottle of injectable penicillin in the refrigerator for times like these. It's inexpensive and can often save the animal. Something to think about. It won't treat the mastitis in the udder, but it will treat the doe for infection that often leaves the udder and spreads through her body. Antibiotic treatment for mastitis is a medication that is formulated for intra-udder use. It's usually in a tube with a nozzle to go right up through the teat and into the udder. Jeffers Livestock Supply (and other livestock suppliers) carries it.

Now back to your problem......
   Is the udder infected it just inflamed? Sometimes it's difficult to tell. But look at the milk that comes out. Mastitis often means bloody milk or bloody fluid, or milk that looks like thick yellow pus. It is often stringy or lumpy, or comes out in clots, and often smelly. Congested udders can also have yellow milk, but it doesn't look like pus. And the milk is good, not smelly. Congested udders sometimes don't release much in the way of milk. With either condition, the udder will be firm and tender. Infected udders are hotter to the touch than inflamed udders, but it takes experience to tell the difference sometimes. With some cases of mastitis the doe will become sick herself. In those cases, an injectable antibiotic is warranted.
   In either case, to save the udder it needs to be milked out. The best success rate is if you milk it out very frequently. Massage & milk out. Massage & milk out. Don't machine milk....do it by hand. The owner has to be dedicated to do this for 2-3 days. Thus the reason for resorting to antibiotics so that you aren't glued to a goat's udder for days. I've heard of goat owners who have milked out a bad udder every hour. Udders are often sore and painful, so if you have Banamine on hand (another drug that's good to keep on hand if you own goats), you may wish to give the doe some every 12 hours.
   Some owners report massaging the udder with peppermint salve helps. I think that Jeffers Livestock Supply also carries this. Applying a warm compress to the udder before massaging helps somewhat. Keeping the doe well hydrated is also important.

This goat has another udder problem which probably predisposes it to the current issues. Her  suspensionary ligaments are damaged. Thus her udder hangs too low. It's not a repairable problem. People who want to keep such a goat will make a udder bra to protect the udder and lift it. But that does mean that the kids cannot freely suckle. While you can buy such a bra harness, most people fashion their own.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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This was becoming my exact conclusion!
No infection, just congestion. the milk is still like milk, and I am fortunate, as I  have milked her with some cratches on my hands, I did not get infected....

I have put the treatment inside with canula from the vet, 3 days, and it was prednisolone and some anticeptic. 1 shot i did, I guess he send me antibiotic (I am nto the one who went to the vet). It was not enough but massaging is now easier. I struggle with hand lack of energy nyself to milk very often, but will try to do more, so it will also hurt me less!

YES about ligaments! This is not a doe, this is an ewe! So the size is even more disproportionate! And at birth, I think also from the ligament problem, the 1st did not expulse properly and the second came. I even pulled the second while the first was still in the way, so imagine how much room there was! Then I got the first out. The legs were not out so I could not get her out. And also she could already breathe. So I just pulled the second out.

About being hurt on the ground, the lower part of the udder has become like hard leather and wrinkled.

Yes I had used mentol from cow products before, for bitches, and it was efficient. They seem to not have it here.... I now put helicrhysum italicum, very strong anti-inflamatory.
 
Alexis Richard
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Youch. Sounds like this ewe has some serious problems. Kudos to you for taking the extra time. Also it sound like you know way more than me about this so ignore me lol.
 
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I commend you being willing to ask!  There's a lot of people who like to flame others for not wanting to follow conventional treatment.  I personally look for all other options first, and dread having to take my questions to any forum...

I had a friend whose milk cow got stopped up.  The vet came out to look at her and he took a large needle and literally shoved it up the hole of the nipple to bust open the clog.  Makes me skin crawl, but it worked for her cow.  The cow wasn't quite into mastitis yet.
I have also talked to a woman who didn't treat her milk goat and tried to "let it pass" and the goat's udder "exploded".  (her words. I didn't see it)

So yeah, mastitis isn't' going to happen unless there is bacteria in the udder/milk itself, which could happen from environmental contamination of the teat or from within the body if the ewe is combating some kind of bacteria internally.  

Are you open to herbal treatment?  Here's some info straight from one of my favorite herbal books "Medicinal Plants of the Western Mountain States", C. W. Kane.

RED ROOT:
"At the core of Red Root's therapeutic influence is its effect on lymphatic tissue, immunological cells, and blood-lymph lipids.  The plant is not necessarily a strong white blood cell stimulant, like Echinacea or Stillingia, but rather an organizer/stabilizer of these cells and tissues.  The low-level immunological stimulation (mainly due to the triterpenes) that does occur is most pronounced in the viscera - particularly the spleen and liver.
It has been postulated that Red Root is additionally therapeutic due to its influence on surrounding cellular charge.  This stabilizing effect is evidence by its activity on swollen adenoids, or in the extreme, tonsillitis.
...It reduces organ swelling due to a mild regional leukocyte stimulation (or organization).  Applications for Red Root in this area include: visceral swelling from minor physical injury, infection (bacterial, viral, or parasitic),, and autoimmune disturbances (such as Lupus erythematous) that affect the organs.
Defining Red Root's amplitude is important.  Consider it a long-term low-level approach for these conditions.  The plant occasionally gets touted as an 'anti-viral' herb.  ...it's most pronounced effect is not against a particular virus, but rather its reduction of the disorganization that a virus may cause.
FOR MASTITIS, internal use of Red Root in concert with external Poke Root oil (and/or sweet clover) will prvoe an effective combination.  Poke Root, being the stronger of the two herbs, may even cause the area to 'sweat'; this being the result of Poke Root's powerful lymphatic stimulation.  Fresh Poke Root applied as a poultice will be the strongest preparation.  

If possible tincture the fresh root [Red Root].  ...dried material tend to be less potent - good for tannins, but lesser so for Red Roots' lymphatic qualities.  If making the dry plant tincture be sure to include 10% glycerin in the menstruum.  This will inhibit the tannins from forming unwanted complexes.
Dosage (for humans)
Fresh or dry plant tincture (50% alcohol/10% glycerin): 30-60 drops 2-3 times daily
Root decoction: 4-6oz. 2-3 times daily

Cautions: Although remote, there may be blood coagulation issues with excessive usage."

SWEET CLOVER: "...The plant's effect is mainly due to its coumarin content, which becomes especially pronounced once dried (vanilla-scent).  It's this group of compounds (and flavonoids)) that is responsible for the plant's influence of pain, inflammation, and swelling.  
...Sweet Clover reduces swelling and edema associated with tissue injury, be it from an acute situation (burns and contusions) or chronic, such as arthritis or old injury flare-up.  ...Even soft tissue/duct pain of MASTITIS will be quieted with topical and internal doses.

Dosage (for humans mind you)
Tea: 4-8 ounces 2-3 times daily
Fluid Extract (30% alcohol): 20-30 drops, 2-3 times per day
Topical: as needed

Cautions: There are no cautions for Sweet Clover and the small quantities of coumarin which it contains
'Coumarin found in Sweet Clover is non-toxic and reasonably safe to consume,  Dicumarol, a natural antcoagulant compound, does not occur in fresh (or properly dried) Sweet Clover; however this compound does manifest when Sweet Clover is dried improperly (becomes moldy due to Penicillium and/or Aspergillus contamination).  Dicumarol poisoning (Sweet Clover disease) occurs when cattle feet on spoiled Sweet Clover hay.  It was problematic in America and Canada until the 1940's before its causation was fully understood. Soon after, the medical community began to test and then develop dicumarol as an anticoagulant for the treatment of thrombosis.  Warfarin (Coumadin), a synthetic derivative of dicumarol, was developed shortly after, intially as a rodent poison.  By 1954 warfarin was introduced commercially as a pharmaceutical anticoagulant, replacing dicumarol.  It is still used today.'"


Otherwise I personally have had wonderful success with Usnea for infection treatment, especially combined with basil for its antiseptic and pain-numbing qualities.  If it were my sheep I'd at least start her on Usnea tea to help abate possible impending infection.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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1st, Alexis, what you said was right! Just that Su Ba's answer showed an obvious enormous experience....

Jen, I used the vet stuff because I did not have enough options, and time counts!

Usnea is a discovery and I think that I can get it in wetter places, not far from mine.

https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/usnea-herb.html

and here they say you can dry it :
https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/usnea-extract/profile

I am not sure which one is red root.... Latin name? There are 2 plants known as red root or redroot...
 
Jen Fan
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:1st, Alexis, what you said was right! Just that Su Ba's answer showed an obvious enormous experience....

Jen, I used the vet stuff because I did not have enough options, and time counts!

Usnea is a discovery and I think that I can get it in wetter places, not far from mine.

https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/usnea-herb.html

and here they say you can dry it :
https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/usnea-extract/profile

I am not sure which one is red root.... Latin name? There are 2 plants known as red root or redroot...



My bad, I should have sent the latin names for you :)

It is in the Ceanothus family, here it would be C. Americanus

Sweet Clover is Melilotus with many subspecies.

Don't confuse Usnea with Alectoria if you go foraging.  Usnea has a single thick root on it that attaches it its growing surface.  Inside this 'root' or 'stem' is a white elastic cord.  Alectoria is a hair lichen and has no single root like Usnea, although they can be the same color and otherwise look very similar, even growing side by side.  But once you make the distinction it's impossible to confuse them :)
 
Alexis Richard
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This is a terrific thread! Lots of great info for when I get my goats. :)
And good to know I wasn't wrong! I was worried maybe I'd given wrong info. Since I only know from research not experience.
 
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