Mastitis is a significant disease that affects all dairy herds. The disease may induce changes in the appearance of milk (clotting, discoloration etc.) and inflammation in the affected udder quarter but most infections are subclinical (hidden) with no alteration in the appearance of either milk or udder tissue. Over the years there has been very little change in the types of bacteria causing mastitis. Staphylococcus, streptococcus and coliform infections usually cause clinical mastitis.
Antibiotic Sensitivity Testing:
An antibiotic sensitivity test can provide a useful when selecting a treatment for mastitic cows or udder quarters. Milk samples that are collected correctly will contain one or two bacterial types. Sensitivity test results will indicate the antibiotic types which are not effective but will not guarantee clinical success with effective antibiotics. Antibiotic sensitivity tests only provides a guide to antibiotic selection. A successful outcome in animals, however, is dependent on many additional factors.
Milk Sampling Procedure for Mastitis Analysis
- Sample untreated animals.
- Sterilise the teat end with methylated spirits.
- Milk out the fore milk first.
- Collect sample in a sterile bottle.
- Avoid contaminating the top of the bottle when collecting the sample.
- Sterile universal containers are available on request.
- Samples should be kept in a fridge at 4°C and transported to the laboratory as soon as possible.