Mastitis by Noah L. Goddard

This is a post that was on Managing Dairy Goats (yahoo group). Since we have had such a battle with Glacier and mastitis again this year (although not as badly as last year) it seemed like a good idea to post this for future reference.

Mastitis Vaccines
Mastitis Resistance: J-5 & Lysigin Vaccines
With kidding under way does are really stressed during this brutal winter weather and subject to acute mastitis at, or shortly after, freshening. If you have not already done so please consider vaccinating vulnerable does against Staph aureus and E. coli mastitis.

Fresh does always seem to be the most vulnerable to mastitis outbreaks. First, I want to emphasize that I am not a Veterinarian and that I make no claims of medical training nor am I recommending any treatments, therapies, or preventives. We use two cattle vaccines off label pursuant to the direction of our veterinarian, J-5 as an aid in the prevention of clinical mastitis caused by E.coli and Lysigin as an immunization against disease caused by staphylococcus aureus. While I am sure that these vaccines are sold by other vendors, both of these are shown about mid-page 43 of the PBS Animal Health Catalog or you can find them on-line at www.pbsanimalhealth.com or call them at 1-800-321-0235. They can be purchased without a veterinary prescription.

We follow the package insert instructions for dosage of each vaccine IM using a smaller needle, 3/4 inch by 22 gauge. We start about midway in their pregnancy and repeat it for a total of three times and then give a fourth injection about two weeks after kidding. We then give a booster about midway through their lactation. We do not give both vaccines in the same leg and do not give the vaccines at the same time. We rotate and give the J-5 one week and the Lysigin the following week. You may get an occasional injection site reaction resulting is a sore leg but that can be easily managed with Banamine. We also vaccinate dry yearlings before they are bred to freshen as 2-year-olds. Does that are historically more susceptible to mastitis are given more frequent boosters to heighten their level of immunity. You may want to consult your veterinarian about frequency of boosters.

We also emphasize overall resistance to mastitis which includes milk room sanitation. The worst germ carriers are on the end of our arms and they are called hands. One of the most crucial mastitis preventives is a hand sink and antibacterial soap in your milk room. I can’t emphasize enough the need for frequent hand washing. Washing hands with antibacterial soap before milking is important.

We use Nolvasan and individual washcloths for each doe to prep them before connecting them to the milking machine. We use an Iodine based post dip called Astro Tek which is kind of like pudding. It clogs the orifice and keeps dirt and debris carrying bacteria from entering the udder when they go out and lay down directly after milking. A bacteria-free milking machine is crucial to mastitis resistance. We use Mitricin Plus and hot water to clean our machine, then use a solution of Clorox and hot water after milking. Before the next milking we run another solution of clorox and hot water through the system and then rinse the system with plain hot water.

While other herd management practices may vary, we do not bed our loafing barn with hay, straw, shavings, or similar materials. It is well insulated and well ventilated. We use a 12-inch thick layer of lime screenings in the loafing barn which we believe keeps down bacteria that causes mastitis. We clean off the top layer periodically as needed and replace it with fresh screenings. Our loafing barn has a 22 foot by 60 foot awning on the south side that is used to cover the hay feeders. The hay feeders are 2×12 skids so they can be moved with the tractor permitting us to clean under the awning which is also bedded with 12 inches of lime screenings. The area under the awning requires more frequent cleaning as the goats spend much of their time in this area (see loafing area at http://www.goddardfarm.com/aboutus.htm). This loafing area also has a thermostat-controlled automatic Brower water system so the does have access to a fresh drink during all weather conditions (see attached picture). Fresh clean drinking water is crucial to herd health.

In all cases, we strongly recommend against beginning any new therapies, treatments, or vaccines without first consulting your regular veterinarian. The manufacturers package insert instructions, and/or those of your veterinarian should be followed and not deviated from.

Good Luck with your Mastitis Resistance program.


I have an Alpine doe, kidded on March 25th,
she now has clumps of blood coming out in her milk

what do I treat her with?

she weighs 120 lbs.
thanks Misty


You have a serious case of mastitis. First, get some milk samples of both sides of the udder and take them to your vet for cultures. Concomitantly start antibiotics immediately as follows, 8 to 10cc of Penicillin S.Q. twice a day for a total of 20cc per day for the first day. Then 6cc of Penicillin S.Q. twice a day for a total of 12cc each day for the next four days. Along with the Penicillin, give 5cc of Naxcel S.Q. daily for the same five days. Give 3cc of fortified B-complex daily for the same five days.

You need to vaccinate this doe and every animal in your herd with J-5 and Lysigin ASAP. Get into our list archive and read previous discussions on these vaccines.


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