I just ran a PortSCC somatic cell count test on my two milking does.I would approximate the SCC to 1,000,000 - 1,500,000 cells/ml.Typically, they have never registered any color change on the PortSCC test strips.The goats are milked by hand, teat dipped after every milking, hands and teats sterlized before milking, one stream is stripped from each teat before milking into bucket, and one good stream is typically left in the teat at then end of milking.It has been very hot and dry here lately.Should I be concerned and seek immediate treatment, or simply monitor?What additional precautionary measures can I take to help reduce the SCC?Thanks,Andy
Type of Animal: Nubian Goat
Age: 3 years
Name of Animal: Delight
Thank you for your question.In regards XXXXX XXXXX two does with SCC count elevation, how are they in themselves?How have their eating/drinking been?Activity level?Are they up to date on their worming?Vaccinations?Any local issues with the mammary glands?Any other issues present (ie foot based, etc)?
Eating and drinking have been normal.
No issues with activity levels that I have observed.
They were last wormed in March.
CD-T was April 9th.
No local issues with mammaries. Because I hand milk I think it would be noticeable.
Hoofs are trimmed every two weeks. No issues observed.
Thank you for the additional information about the girls.
You management regime sounds to be very thorough and hygienically sound.
As you will be aware, an elevation in somatic cell count (SCC) is a result of the body's inflammatory white blood cells migrating into the mammary gland to fight inflammation. The higher the count, the more severe the inflammatory disease in the udder.
While the girls aren’t showing severe inflammation, the change is significant (especially with a history of consistent normal levels). Now in active clinical infections, we would expect a dramatic elevation of the SCC but if we are seeing moderate changes (like this case), then it can suggest that an infection is in early stages or it can mean that their may be inflammation elsewhere that is overspilling (if it is severe and penetrating the blood-milk barrier) or compromising the immune system such that it is weakening them and allowing a mammary gland based infection that they could have normally cleared on their own.
At this stage, I would be concerned, as this warrants monitoring. Ideally, this would be a good time to have a milk sample sent for culture/sensitivity (samples from both could be pooled). Either your vet or yourself can send this to the vet lab where they will grow any bacteria present in the milk. The culture will allow you to identify them, and the sensitivity will pin point the antibiotics it is most susceptible to (if necessary). Otherwise, I would plan to recheck their SCCs in 5-7 days to appreciate if there are any changes (since moderate inflammation may be a transient issue that settles on its own).
In regards XXXXX XXXXX measures to lower SCC, the main focus is maintaining optimal health and hygiene so that we are removing any risks that might compromise the immune system or introduce infection into the animal.Your hygiene protocols sound like they are thorough, but you may wish to review them to make sure all your bases are covered.
Your vaccination and worming regimes are two elements of this. That said, if you haven't wormed the girls since March, you may wish to cover your bases and worm them again now (since we can worm them every three months) or consider checking a fecal sample to make sure nothing is lurking.
As well, studies have also suggested that nutrition is another important factor that can help in the doe with her SCC/mastitis, as proper nutrition is involved in providing the building blocks that are used to support our doe's immunity. Inadequate energy or deficiencies will affect her ability to fight infection successfully. Diets may be deficient in nutrients that are related to immunocompetence. A balanced ration with proper amounts of minerals and vitamins improves the ability of a doe to ward off bacterial challenges, thus decrease for immune stimulation, and white blood cells migrating to the mammary gland and ending up in the milk. As well, recent research has shown selenium and vitamin E are related to healthy tissue in the mammary gland, so it is worth double checking your diet to make sure they is receiving adequate supplementation.
I hope this information is helpful. Please do let me know if you have any further questions. If you have no further questions, feedback is always appreciated.
All the best,
As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
Hi Andy,I'm just following up on our conversation about Delight. How is everything going?nekovet