Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Hi all,

My best milking doe came down with a case of mastitis.  Last Friday, I should have detected it because her production on the infected side was noticeably lower.  But, I was very busy, prepping for a craft market, had to go to work, and trying to organize a hay delivery to coortdinate with the weather, the schedules of the muscle (stackers) and the delivery guys schedule.  I didn't know I had a problem until Saturday, when she was nearly dry on that side.  I tasted the milk (salty) and tested it on a mastitis indicator card.  Instantly turned very blue.  There were no symptoms besides her drying up.  Also, the milk was very slightly thicker and very slightly yellower.  No heat in the udder, no inflamation, no harder to milk out.

Any way, Saturday morning was again terribly busy, as I was due at the craft market in less than an hour, so I didn't have much time to deal with it.  I met up with a friend at the market who had grown up on a dairy farm, and he said they always used penicillin.  I'd wanted to do a bit of research and see what else I could do, but no I started the pen that day.  Now it will be day 5 and I'm using the indicator cards every milking, and there's little change.  They still turn blue right away.  Maybe not as blue, but blue.  Does this mean that she's not getting better?

Today, I'm going to mix up some garlic, peppermint, and oregano oil in a carrier to rub on her udder, and get some goldenseal tincture to give her.

Would anyone like to chime in with advice, stories, etc...  Thanks bunches! :)

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Tonight I gave Moon her 5th penicillin dose.  I also did a porta scc goatmilk test.  The result was over three million.  Her udder is still not hot or inflamed.  The milk looks normal, though it may be the tiniest bit thicker than normal, and a tiny bit yellowish.

I rubbed her udder down with oil with peppermint, oregano and garlic in it tonight.  I also gave her a dose of goldenseal tincture.

I can't get any antibiotics in town.  I'm not sure what may need to be done other than what I'm doing.  I'm not sure how fast it could get worse if I stop using the penicillin.  I'm wondering if I should order today to treat her with?  More research, I guess.

I've left her kid nursing full time since I started the penicillin since I can't use her milk anyway.  Is there any reason why that would be a bad idea?

So, I'm really a lot unsure of myself as far as treating this mastitis.  I never thought of it as complicated, but the more I read online, the more confusing it gets.

I'm wondering what I should do now.  I ordered Today, and paid huge shipping fee to get it quickly.  It should be here by Monday, I hope.  I got twelve tubes.  I've read many things online, from "Just use it twice" to "use it until 24 hours after the mastitis clears."  Also, am I right to believe that the kid must be separated from the doe while I'm treating her with Today?  How long after giving the does must they be separated?

If she clears up with the essential oils, garlic and goldenseal tincture, am I fine not treating her with anything else?  Do I keep treating her, either naturally or with the Today, until the SCC is normal?  Do I assume the Today isn't going to work if the SCC doesn't start going down after a couple of days?

Thanks for any insight you can give! :)

For anyone who might be following this thread to see what happens, or get answers yourself; 

It's been three days now using the peppermint, oregano and garlic oils mixed with fractionated coconut oil on Moon's udder, and drenching her with goldenseal tincture, about .5 cc morning and evening.  I was afraid to stop giving her the penicillin in case it was helping at all, but I stopped after Thursday evening's injection.  She is improving! :)  Her milk looks completely normal now.  It's turning the mastitis indicator card a bit green instead of dark blue.  Both good signs that the somatic cell count is going down.  I'm now hoping that I may not have to use the Today.

I still don't know how I should use the Today, since I read on another goat forun that you have to ignore the directions on the box and use it until the milk tests normal.  I'm hoping for some confirmation on that yet.

I will update...


I am following. I'm so sorry I can't give you any feedback, having never experienced mastitis. Thank you for the updates! I'm definitely filing your story away as it progresses!

That's fine. :)  One thing's for sure.  Something will happen, I will do something, something will happen, and we both will learn something.  :/   Seems to be the way it goes learning to care for these animals. :)

Naomi D'Andrea said:


I am following. I'm so sorry I can't give you any feedback, having never experienced mastitis. Thank you for the updates! I'm definitely filing your story away as it progresses!

Sorry for the delay! I saw your first post and thought, "yep, sounds good." I forgot that since I had not commented, that Ning would not send me notifications of new posts. 

Anyway ... every case of mastitis is different, and you've done a great job of trying to figure out what to do in this situation. If an antibiotic hasn't helped in five days, then it's not going to, so it's a good idea to switch to something different. I've used peppermint and oregano essential oil on a goat's udder with mastitis, and it worked within a few days. It's been a few years, and I don't remember details any longer, but it wasn't more than about 3-4 days -- and her udder was hot and hard.

With Today, the kid can't really nurse for at least a few hours because the meds need to stay in the udder. The only time we ever used Today was when we had a doe that didn't have any kids nursing, so it wasn't an issue.

Thank you, Deborah! :)  I did get the Today, but haven't used it yet.  She is slowly getting a lower cell count with what I've been doing, but it is slow.  The mastitis indicator cards can't detect it any more, but the porta SCC goat milk test still tests fairly high, like about a million cells/ml.  I'm not sure what to do at this point.  I think it's been 6 days using the oils and goldenseal tincture.  Yesterday I fed her a clove of garlic whole and she at that too.  Probably will see if she'll eat more tonight.  Her udder never has been hot or hard, and the milk was never clumpy, flaky, stringy...nothing like that.  Just a little thick.  It didn't want to filter, but I got a very fine mesh strainer and there was nothing left behind.  Also squirted it onto the black paper portion of the mastitis indicator card and there were no flakes or anything left behind.  The milk is now completely normal, though I haven't tasted it yet.

I read somewhere while looking for info. something you wrote about a doe dying, and the necropsy showed mastitis?  But there were no symptoms?

My gut says just go back to normal, but keep using the oils on her udder and be vigilant.  However, I'm not sure that's a good idea considering what happened with your doe...

I'd also like to start separating her kid again, but I don't know if I should do that because her udder wouldn't be getting emptied so constantly, and that might mess things up more.  Would love your thoughts. :)

Yes, you remember correctly. That doe did have a very high SCC at the end of her last lactation but no other symptoms, so in the end, I felt terrible about not taking the SCC seriously. She died about three days after kidding. I had the necropsy done because she had no symptoms of anything. She just went off feed, stopped letting her kids nurse, laid down for a day, and died. 

Thank you, Deborah.  I think for now I'm just going to be vigilant, and continue as I am.  If she still has a higher than normal cell count when I dry her off, of if she gets worse before that, I'll be sure and treat right away.  Thankfully, I'm prepared now (hopefully). :)

I thought I'd update this thread, since it has been resolved.  Moon's cell count never did go all the way down to normal, and in fact went way up again, so I tried Today, following the package directions of two doses twelve hours apart.  It continued high so finally I made an appointment with the vet to get the milk checked out.  He spun a sample from her clean half and from her high cell half, which by this time was nearly dry.  The normal half had a nice amount of fat cells and no somatic cells.  The high cell half had a lot of fat cells and tons of somatic cells, but absolutely no bacteria.  The vet said he thinks that she was hit hard in the udder, which caused some damage and started the drying off process.  The high cells are a result of that, and nothing to worry about.  He said just let her dry up on that half and she should freshen normally next spring.  She's doing fine now, with a dry half.

That's interesting. Thanks for the update.

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