Udder phlegmon

Udder phlegmon

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Purulent mastitis in cows is a rather dangerous inflammatory disease of the udder or its individual parts. This type of disease is accompanied by the accumulation and further release of pus. As a rule, purulent mastitis in cows leads to loss of functions of the mammary glands, in some cases, death is possible. To prevent mastitis, you need to know its symptoms and how to properly treat purulent mastitis in the early stages.

Forms of purulent mastitis

In order for the treatment of mastitis to be as successful as possible, it is necessary not only to take timely measures, but also to correctly determine what kind of purulent mastitis a cow has. This influences the choice of treatment tactics.


Subclinical mastitis in cows is dangerous because the course of the disease is latent. The disease goes away for a long period of time without any visible symptoms. It is possible to determine mastitis through laboratory tests, thanks to the counting of somatic cells and the analysis of microflora. If the subclinical type of mastitis is not detected in a timely manner, it will turn into a clinical form.


If the animal has a clinical form of mastitis, then the udder hardens, swells, and becomes quite hot in the affected areas:

  • if the form is light, then small flakes and lumps can be found in milk;
  • with moderate mastitis, the udder begins to swell, harden and redden, while the cow experiences pain;
  • a severe form of mastitis suggests a critical condition of the animal, resulting in general intoxication.

The symptoms of mastitis depend entirely on the severity of the disease.


The chronic form of mastitis, as well as the subclinical form, is latent. As a rule, farmers for quite a long time do not even suspect that their cows are sick with purulent mastitis. The bacteria that contribute to the development of the disease are found in the tissues. During the chronic form of mastitis, the animal develops inflammation for a while, after which a seemingly complete recovery occurs, but you need to understand that it is imaginary. As a diagnosis of the disease, it is necessary:

  • evaluate milk - it will be watery, with the presence of flakes;
  • use special tests;
  • resort to the method of settling.

If you do not provide the animal with timely assistance and do not start treatment, then the mastitis worsens.


As a rule, this form appears in the event that there is an incorrect process of milking a cow.

The following symptoms are distinguished:

  • small nodules appear near the nipples, as a rule, they can be seen on the 5th day of the disease;
  • in the first few days, the cow feels normal, after which the body temperature rises;
  • weakness appears;
  • loss of appetite;
  • flakes are present in milk, fat content disappears.

Often only part of the udder is affected by mastitis. The infection that has penetrated the tissue begins to affect the milk ducts and mucous membranes. In this case, bacteria penetrate through the nipples.


For purulent mastitis, the following symptoms are characteristic:

  • there is hardening;
  • in places of hardening, the udder becomes hot;
  • the body temperature of the cow rises to + 41 ° С;
  • there is pus in the milk.

In addition, with purulent mastitis, a cow may develop:

  • abscess - abscesses that appear on the mammary glands, gradually increase and grow together. With a low immune system, metastases appear;
  • phlegmon - diffuse purulent inflammation, foci appear without clear boundaries, filled with pus.

If an animal has an abscess or phlegmon, then the cow will no longer be able to recover from the disease.

Purulent punitive

At the moment when pus begins to accumulate in the milk ducts, this form of the disease develops. There are several reasons:

  • cows are kept on the farm in poor conditions;
  • there is a problem in the reproductive system.

3-4 days after the first symptoms appeared, purulent mastitis recedes. In this case, this form of mastitis in a cow can completely pass or worsen and go into a chronic stage.


Typically, this form appears after the cow has calved. Inflammatory processes are observed only in the part of the udder. The symptoms are as follows:

  • the udder swells, turns red;
  • seals appear;
  • inflamed areas become hot;
  • flakes appear in the milk, it becomes liquid and resembles water.

With the serous form of mastitis, the milk becomes blue.


This form occurs with catarrhal mastitis. Symptoms include:

  • hemorrhage in the affected areas of the udder;
  • purulent discharge.

As practice shows, fibrous mastitis in most cases ends with gangrene and metastases. If fibrin enters the tissues, an accumulation process occurs, which leads to impaired circulation and necrosis.


In this case, the walls of the vessels of the mammary glands become thin. Symptoms:

  • red or pink milk;
  • crimson spots appear on the udder.

Blood seeping into the tissues and milk ducts clogs the vessels.


This form of purulent mastitis in cows is the most difficult. During the development of the disease, blood circulation is disturbed:

  • tissues in the affected areas of the udder die off, acquire a dark blue, almost black color;
  • a fetid liquid of brown or green color begins to stand out from the udder.

In this form of the disease, the animal dies in most cases.

Attention! It is possible to determine the form of mastitis by the existing symptoms and the results of the tests performed.

Causes of occurrence

There are several reasons why cows are exposed to an acute inflammatory disease - purulent mastitis. Among all the existing reasons, the following points should be highlighted:

  • the animal has a nipple injury;
  • on the farm, animals are kept in inappropriate conditions. For example, the rooms are quite cold, with high levels of humidity;
  • if the milk is not fully expressed during milking, then stagnant processes begin;
  • in addition, purulent mastitis can appear if improper hygiene is carried out before and after milking, or if it is completely neglected;
  • small cracks appeared on the nipples during the life of the animal - microcracks;
  • the animal has complications of endometritis or any other infectious inflammatory disease.

It is important to understand that purulent mastitis in animals is not just an inflammatory disease, pathogenic bacteria are directly involved in it. Typically, pathogenic bacteria include:

  • streptococcus;
  • staphylococcus;
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
  • Escherichia coli.

These bacteria penetrate through small cracks in the udder of the animal, after which an active reproduction process begins.

Important! As a rule, purulent mastitis occurs in those cows that have a rather weak immune system. That is why animals should receive vitamins along with good nutrition.

Symptoms and course of the disease

As practice shows, purulent mastitis develops and proceeds rather quickly. With proper attention to cows, mastitis can be recognized early on by:

  • some part of the breast increases in size;
  • you can feel the seal, it becomes hard, very hot, the animal is in pain;
  • milk yield decreases;
  • flakes appear in the milk, the color of the milk changes from white to yellow, it tastes bitter;
  • in some cases, you may notice purulent discharge from the nipples;
  • loss of appetite;
  • often with purulent mastitis, a febrile condition can be observed in an animal;
  • an abscess can be seen with the naked eye - purulent wounds appear.

Having noticed any of the above signs, it is recommended to immediately seek help from a veterinarian and begin treatment, since purulent mastitis is life-threatening for cows.

Attention! If a breeding individual is exposed to the disease, then it is necessary to enter data from the history of the disease with purulent mastitis in a special card in the cow.

How and how to treat purulent mastitis in a cow

After udder phlegmon has been identified in a cow, it is required to immediately start treating it:

  1. The first step is to isolate the animal. The room must be dry and clean. Milk should not be added to the bulk, as its quality is rather low.
  2. Every day, it is worth splashing cold water on the udder of a cow up to 5 times, then stroking the udder and milking.
  3. Milk should be donated as often as possible, as a result of which harmful bacteria can be removed. It is not recommended to use such milk.
  4. If necessary, you can use a solution of ethacridine lactate, potassium permanganate and other antiseptics. These solutions must be injected into the mammary gland using a syringe at low pressure.
  5. The solution is left in the udder for 4-5 hours, after which it is removed.
  6. For better distribution of medicines, the udder is massaged.
  7. Some veterinarians recommend using a baking soda solution to get rid of the flakes in your milk. This solution is poured in for 40 minutes, the procedure is repeated after 24 hours.

Timely treatment helps to protect the animal from further adverse effects of purulent mastitis and death.


If you do not cope with the disease within 7-10 days, then quite often it turns into a chronic form.

With serious damage or complications, purulent mastitis quite easily passes into the phlegmon of the udder. At the beginning, small foci of purulent inflammation appear in the cow without clear contours, after which putrefactive processes are observed.

In advanced cases, death cannot be avoided.

Preventive actions

In order for the cows not to undergo purulent mastitis, it is required to carry out preventive measures to prevent the disease. The following measures are referred to the prevention of mastitis:

  • it is necessary to keep cows on the farm in dry and clean rooms;
  • as a rule, only professionals should work with animals in milking parlors;
  • the diet should be of high quality and nutritious, with the addition of vitamins;
  • an experienced veterinarian should monitor the health of cows;
  • if cracks, cuts or wounds appear, you must immediately take measures to heal them;
  • when using automated milking, it is recommended to carry out all work as carefully as possible, since incorrect movements can harm the animal;
  • milking is carried out regularly, at regular intervals;
  • before milking the cow and after that, it is worth performing an udder massage.

Following such simple recommendations, you can not only timely prevent, but also prevent the appearance of purulent mastitis in an animal.

Advice! The emergence of mastitis largely depends on the incorrect milking process, the technique must definitely be adjusted.


Purulent mastitis in cows is a rather serious disease that can occur in various forms. As a rule, mastitis appears imperceptibly, in some cases it proceeds without visible symptoms. Even an imaginary cure may occur, which will subsequently lead to culling or death. Only thanks to the timely diagnosis of purulent mastitis and the implementation of preventive measures can the animals be protected.

Watch the video: How To Treat Two Abscess In Cows Leg, Watch How Veterinary Doctor Helps (February 2023).

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