Diseases causing mastitis in cows

Various factors lead to the occurrence of mastitis in dairy farms:

• Infectious and pathogenic agents

• Improper design of structure, spring and free stall

• Creating a psychologically unsafe environment for livestock and the occurrence of stress in dairy livestock

• Farmer’s lack of knowledge about the health condition of the milking machine

and other known factors, each of which alone or together with other complications, can lead to breast disease and loss of livestock for the farmer.

In this article, some complications caused by infectious, bacterial and viral factors on the animal udder are mentioned.


Bovine mastitis is a very common disease with high prevalence in dairy cows. This disease causes a lot of economic losses. Mastitis is defined as an inflammatory reaction of the parenchyma of the breast tissue, which can be caused by infectious factors, trauma, lack of hygiene during milking, or toxic factors. This disease is identified by physical, chemical and bacteriological changes in milk and breast tissue changes. Diagnosis of the disease is based on clinical symptoms, swelling of the breast tissue, pain during touch, fever and depression. Diseases of cow herpes virus, cow pox, foot and mouth virus, bacterial eczema, eczema caused by breast licking, nipple warts, black spot, can cause lesions in the mammary tissue and mammary ducts and also weaken the natural defense mechanism of the mammary tissue. which indirectly predispose the breast to the occurrence of mastitis.

1- Bacterial eczema

This is a rare disease that is caused by sucking nipples. The cause of this disease is the presence of a wound on the lip of an animal that has a habit of sucking its own breast.

The most probable cause of this lesion is Fusobacterium necroform bacteria. This disease can lead to mastitis.

2- Breast inflammation caused by bovine herpes virus

In appearance, its lesions are very similar to necrotic dermatitis.

It is a viral infection of udders, in some cases the damage to the skin of the udder is so severe and painful that it is not possible to milk the cow. Usually, the nipples are more involved than the breast. Glycerin and emollients can be used to treat nipples. But it should be noted that these cows are milked at the end or that after milking, the crab used is completely washed and disinfected.

3- Cowpox

It is a viral infection that affects udders and is characterized by horseshoe lesions. In this disease, the lesion spreads superficially on the skin of the nipple and sometimes bleeds. But the animal does not feel pain and can be milked.

4– Eczema caused by licking or summer sores

This disease is caused by the irritation of flies. Some animals have a habit of licking their udders strongly, which results in the creation of wounds on the udders. Severe cases can lead to mastitis.

5- Nipple warts

Warts are caused by the papovavirus. There are five strains for this virus and as a result the forms of the disease are also different. Since this disease is more common especially in heifers and near streams, insects are considered one of the causes of the disease. However, this disease is also observed in herds with high livestock density.

The presence of warts can cause problems in milking:

1. Warts prevent the milking liner from fully connecting. As a result, they lead to pulling the liner and hitting the tip of the nipple.

2. Warts may be painful, so they prevent the breast from getting well, and the amount of remaining milk in the breast increases and the total production decreases.

3. Warts around the teat canal can make the cow susceptible to mastitis.

4. Skin damage caused by warts can predispose livestock to diseases caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus disgalactiae bacteria.

6- Black spot complication

This disease is necrosis of the sphincter of the mammary gland and is usually associated with secondary Fusobacterium necrophorum infection. The spread of damage in the nipple can lead to mastitis. The onset of the disease may be caused by damage to the milking machine, but the contaminated environment also causes the spread of this condition.

7- cow foot and mouth disease

One of the most common diseases in cattle can be called foot-and-mouth disease. Foot-and-mouth disease is caused by the spread of a virus called Picorna. which causes the milk to stop and the cow’s weight to decrease drastically. Severe fever in cattle is one of the most important symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle, which will be accompanied by blistering of the nipples and inside the cow’s mouth. This disease occurs mostly in winter. There is no definitive treatment for foot-and-mouth disease, but it is possible to prevent the spread of the disease to the entire cattle herd by timely vaccination of the cow and also by quarantining the cow. In Iran, there are types A and O of the disease, which can be treated by quarantining and inoculating cattle.

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