Mastitis is an infection of the mammary glands. It is particularly common in nursing and milking cows. When a cow develops mastitis, her teat and udder often become red, inflamed, and painful. She may not allow you to milk her, and she may not allow a calf to nurse. There is an antibiotic medication called quartermaster that can be delivered straight into the udder, through the teat. This medication can be quite effective at alleviating mastitis and its symptoms. However, it can be a little cumbersome to use — at least the first few times around. Here are some tips that should help you out when giving quartermaster to a cow with mastitis.
Milk the cow.
Quartermaster and similar medications work best when they are injected into an empty or nearly empty udder. This way, there will not be as much milk to dilute the antibiotics; they will have more complete contact with the mammary tissue. So, if at all possible, you want to fully milk the cow out before administering the quartermaster. Some cows may not allow this, especially if they are in a lot of pain. You may need to have someone hold up one of the cow's back legs while you milk her out so she cannot kick you with the other leg. Or, you may need to put her in stocks to milk her. This will be easier next time when the quartermaster has begun working and she isn't so uncomfortable.
Use an alcohol swab to clean the teat first.
Before you administer the quartermaster, swab the outside of the teat with an alcohol swab. Some iodine will also work. Basically, you want to kill or remove any bacteria from the surface of the teat so you don't push them inside when you administer the medication.
Insert the cannula all of the way.
The quartermaster comes in a container with a long, flexible tube that you insert into the teat. This tube is called a cannula. If possible, try to push it all of the way into the udder. This will reduce the chances of some of the medication leaking out, and it will help ensure the medication infuses all of the way up into the udder.
With the tips above, you should be able to use quartermaster more easily and effectively with your cow. With any luck, she'll be more comfortable and back to milking soon.
Speak to a company like US Vet to learn more.