United States. Bureau of Animal Industry.

Special report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding online

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the udder and kept warm by pouring on water as warm as the hands


can bear, every ten or fifteen minutes. When this . has been kept up
for an hour or two the bag may be dried, well rubbed with soap and
left thus with a soapy coating. If the pain is great, extract of bella-
donna may be applied along with the soap, and a dry suspensory band-
age with holes for the teats may be applied. Strong mercurial oint-
ment is very useful in relieving pain and softening the bag. This is
especially valuable when the disease is protracted and induration
threatens. It may be mixed with an equal amount of soap and half
the amount of extract of belladonna. In cases of threatened induration
excellent results are sometimes obtained from a weak induction current
of electricity sent through the gland daily for ten minutes.

If abscess threatens it may be favored by fomentation and opened as
soon as fluctuation from finger to finger shows the formation of matter
at a point formerly hard. The wound may bleed freely, and there is a
risk of opening a milk duct, yet relief will be secured, and a dressing
twice daily with a lotion of carbolic acid, 1 part, water, 20 parts, and
glycerin, 1 part, will suffice to keep the wound clean and healthy.

Gangrene of the affected part is often fatal. It demands antiseptics
(chloride of zinc, 1 dram to 1 quart water) applied frequently to the
part, or if the case can not be attended smear the affected quarter with
melted Venice turpentine, or even wood tar. Antiseptic tonics (tinc-
ture of muriate of iron, 4 drams) may also be given four times daily in
a quart of water.


As stated in the last article, that form of inflammation of the udder
which attacks the gland ducts and follicles, causing deep-seated, hard,
nodular swellings, is often contagious. Franck has demonstrated this
by injecting into the milk ducts in different cows (milking and dry),
the pus from the bags of cows affected with mammitis, or the liquids
of putrid flesh, or putrid blood, and in every case he produced acute
inflammation of the gland tissue within twenty -four hours. He thinks
that in ordinary conditions the septic germ gains access by propagating
itself through the milk, filling the milk canal and oozing from the exter-
nal orifice. He points to this as a reason why dry cows escape the
malady, though mingling freely with the sufferers, and why such dry
cows do not suffer from inflammation of the gland tissue when attacked
with foot-and-mouth disease. In this last case it is evident that it is
not simply the inoculation with the milker's hand that is lacking, for
the skin of the bag is attacked, but not its secreting glandular parts.
Now that in any case of abscess we look for the cause in the chain
forms of globular bacteria (Streptococcus pyogenes), in the cluster form
of white globular bacteria (Staphylococcus pyogenes albus), and in the
golden and citron yellow forms of clustered globular bacteria (Stapliy-
lococcus pyogenes aureus and Staphylococcus pyogenes citreus), the for-
mation of pus gives presumptive evidence of the action of one or more


of these germs. So in cases of mortification of the bag; in the very
occurrence there is fair circumstantial evidence of the presence of
erysipelas micrococcus or other germ which kills the local tissues.
Again, in tuberculosis affecting the bag (a not uncommon condition),
the active local cause is without doubt the tubercle bacillus.

It is now well established that the milk ducts and gland tissue, as
well as any sore on the exterior of the teat or bag, may become the seat
of diphtheritic inflammation and the formation of the skin-like pellicles
that characterize that disease. Here again there is a definite germ
causing the disease. The liability of cattle to diphtheria was noticed
by Damman in connection with the epizootic outbreak in calves and
children in Pomerania in 1875, and, among others, Roux and Yersin
have since inoculated the disease from man upon animals.* Dr. Klein,
of London, in 1889, inoculated two cows, respectively three and four
weeks after calving, with the products from a case of diphtheria in
man, and in three days found a serous exudating sore and hard swell-
ing in the seat of inoculation in the right shoulder, followed by vesicles
(blisters) on the teats and udder, appearing from the fourth to the
eighth day. He found the diphtheria bacillus in these, in the shoulder
sore, in the milk (in which it increased enormously if left to stand at
68 F.), in the eruption produced in calves by inoculation with the
scrapings, in cats that died with diphtheria after lapping the milk, and
other cats that died of diphtheria after living with the former.i

It has been claimed that scarlet fever has been transmitted from the
cow to man, and it can not be denied that in many cases the infection
has been disseminated through the milk. The facts, however, when
brought out fully, have shown that in almost every case the milk had
first come in contact with a person suffering or recovering from scarlet
levT, so that the milk was infected after it left the cow. The alleged
exceptional cases at Hendon and Dover, England, are not conclusive.
In the Hendon outbreak inoculations were made on calves from the
slight eruption on the cow's teats, and they had a slight eruption on
the lips and a form of inflammation of the kidneys, which Dr. Klein
thought resembled that of scarlatina. The cows that had brought the
disease to the Hendon dairies were traced back to Wiltshire, and cows
were found there suffering from a similar malady, but there was no
sign of scarlet fever resulting. In the Dover outbreak, the dairyman
first denied any disease in his cows, and brought the certificate of a
veterinarian to prove that they were sound at the time of the investi-
gation; then later he confessed that the cows had had foot-and-mouth
disease, and consequent eruption on the teats some time before. So

* The diphtheria bacillus of calvcH, according to Loftier, i- not the name an tin-
human diphtheria Bacillus. There is an yet no positive evidence to prove that hu-
man diphtheria may be communicated to animals, excepting perhaps the cat, unless
this in done by direct inoculation. [Ed.]

t Nineteenth annual report of the local government board, 1N<9-'90.
24G97 17


the question remains whether the man who denied sickness iu the cows
to begin with, and adduced professional evidence of this, did not later
acknowledge the foot-and-mouth disease as a blind to hide the real
source of the trouble in scarlatina in his own family or the family of
au employe. Dr. Stickler's corroborative proof from, the three children
inoculated with imported virus of foot-and-mouth disease is equally in-
conclusive, as the results were certainly not those of the foot-and-mouth
disease as it appears in man, and the fact that the children did not con-
tract scarlatina when exposed to it later proves only that they were at
the time naturally insusceptible, or that Dr. Stickler had in some way
infected his virus or the lancet used to insert it. so as to give them
scarlatina. Certain it is that foot-and-mouth disease does not produce
scarlet fever in man, and that scarlet fever so constantly prevalent on
the American continent does not produce foot-and-mouth disease, from
which this continent is happily free. Foot-and-mouth disease does,
however, produce in man an eruption of blisters on the mouth and
lingers and other symptoms which Dr. Stickler's cases failed to show.
Whether the swollen glands of the neck in the one case and the sore
throat in the other resulted from scarlatinal germs introduced from
another source, or whether these were merely the result of septic inoc-
ulation with the impure and overkept matter imported from England,
does not appear. We are left, therefore, without positive proof of the
existence of scarlatina in the cow. That the milk may be contaminated,
however, after leaving the cow is certain, and it has been suggested
that on the open sore of the cow a scarlatina germ may be temporarily
grafted, which, though harmless to the cow, may escape into the pail
during milking and infect the person using the milk. Too great care
can not be exercised in keeping the infection of scarlet fever apart from
dairy cows or their milk products.

Among other contagious forms of maminitis I may name one which
I have encountered in large dairies, starting as a sore and slight swell-
ing at the opening of the teat and extending up along the milk duct
to the gland structure in the bag, all of which become indurated, nodu-
lar, and painful. The milk is entirely suppressed in that quarter of the
bag, and from that it may extend to the others as it does from cow to
cow through the milker's hands.

Another form almost universally prevalent iu this district of central
New York in 1889 broke out over the teats and udder as blisters
strongly resembling cow-pox, but which were not propagated when
inoculated on calves. It was only exceptionally that this extended
through the teat to the gland tissue, yet in some instances the bag was
lost from this cause. Scarlatina in man was very prevalent at the
time (many schools were closed in consequence), but no definite con-
nection seemed to exist between this and the cow disease, and on dif-
ferent dairy farms there were families of young children that had never
had scarlet fever and who did not at that time contract it.


It will be seen that contagious mammitis is not a single affection, but
a group of diseases which Lave this in common, that they attack the

Prevention is to be especially sought in all such cases. In purchas-
ing new cows see that they coine from a herd where the teats and udder
are sound. If a new cow conies from a public market with unknown
antecedents, let her be milked for a week by a person who does not milk
any other cows. Keep her in a separate- stall from others, so that there
may be no infection from litter or flooring. Wash the udder with soap
and water, and wet with a solution of two teaspoousful carbolic acid in
a pint of water before letting the regular milker of the other cows take
her. If any cow in the herd shows the indurated end of the teat, or
the inliammatiun and nodular tender character of the gland, separate
her at once and give her a separate milker. If another cow is to be
put into the stall she occupied, first clean and scrape it, and wet it
with a strong solution of Milestone, 5 ounces in a gallon of water. The
milk may be drawn off with a teat tube, or spring teat dilator (Plate
xxiv, figs. 3 and 4), and the milk ducts injected frequently with a solution
of peroxide of hydrogen. I have had little success in checking the
upward progress of the disease through the teat with carbolic acid, or
boracic acid solutions. Used on the outside of the other teats, how-
ever, these may serve to prevent them from becoming infected. In the
absence of peroxide of hydrogen the affected teat maybe injected with
a solution of 1 grain corrosive sublimate in a pint of water, and the
same may be used on the other teats, provided it is washed off every
time- before milking.

As additional precautions, no cow with a retained afterbirth or
unhealthy discharge from the womb should be left with the other cows.
Such cows doubtless infect their own udders and those of the cows next
them by lashing with the soiled tail. If milkers handle retained after-
birth or vaginal discharge, or unhealthy wounds, or assist in a difticult
and protracted parturition, they should wash the hands and arms thor-
oughly with soap and warm water and then rub them with the corrosive
sublimate solution, or if not, at least with one of carbolic acid. Clothes
stained with such offensive products should be washed.

The general treatment of contagious mammitis does not differ from
that of the simple form, except that antiseptics should be given by the
mouth as well as applied locally (hyposulphite of soda, one-half ounce


This is another form of contagious inflammation of the udder which
docs not spread readily from animal to animal except by the hands of
the milker. It is held to occur si>outaneously in the cow, but this is
altogether improbable, and so-called spontaneous cases are rather to be
looked on as instances in which the germs have been preserved dry in
the buildings or introduced in some unknown manner. It is not


uncommon in the horse, attacking the heels, the lips, or some other
inoculated part of the body, and is then easily transferred to the cow,
if the same man grooms and dresses the horse and milks the cow. It
may also appear in the cow by infection, more or less direct, from a per-
son who has been successfully vaccinated. Many believe that it is only
a form of the smallpox of man modified by passing through the system
of cow or horse. It is, however, unreasonable to suppose that this
alleged modified smallpox could have been transmitted from child to
child (the most susceptible of the human race) for ninety years, under
all possible conditions, without once reverting to its original type of
smallpox. Chauveau's experiments on both cattle and horses with the
virus of smallpox, and its inoculation back on the human subject, go
far to show that in the climate of western Europe, at least, no such
transformation takes place. Smallpox remains smallpox and cowpox
cowpox. Again, smallpox is communicable to a person who visits the
patient in his room but avoids touching him, while cowpox is never
thus transferred through the air unless deliberately diifused in the form
of spray.

The disease in the cow is ushered in by a slight fever, which, how-
ever, is usually overlooked, and the first sign is tenderness of the teats.
Examined, these may be redder and hotter than normal, and at the end
of two days there appear little nodules, like small peas, of a pale red
color, and increasing so that they may measure three-fourths of an inch
to 1 inch in diameter by the seventh day. The yield of milk diminishes,
and when heated it coagulates slightly. From the seventh to the tenth
day the eruption forms into a blister with a depression in the center
and raised margins, and from which the whole of the liquid can not be
drawn out by a single puncture. The blister, in other words, is cham-
bered, and each chamber must be opened to evacuate the whole of the
contents. If the pock forms on a surface where there is thick hair it
does not rise as a blister, but oozes out a straw-colored fluid which con-
cretes on the hairs in an amber-colored mass. In one or two days after
the pock is full it becomes yellow from contained pus, and then dries
into a brownish yellow scab, which finally falls, leaving one or more
distinct pits in the skin. Upon the teats, however, this regular coiirse
is rarely seen; the vesicles are burst by the hands of the milker as soon
as liquid is formed, and as they continue to suffer at each milking they
form raw, angry sores, scabbing more or less with intervals, but slow
to undergo healing.

The only treatment required is to heal the sores, and as milking is
the main cause of their persistence that must be done as gently as
possible, or even with the teat tube or dilator (Plate xxiv, Figs. 3 and 4).
It is essential to check the propagation of the germ, and for this pur-
pose the sore teats may be washed frequently with a solution of half
an ounce hyposulphite of soda in a pint of water. This will usually
check the inflammation and cut short the malady.



The absence of milk in the udder may result from ill health, debility,
emaciation, chronic disease of the bag, wasting of the gland from pre-
vious disease, or insufficient food, but sometimes it will occur suddenly
without any appreciable cause. The treatment will consist in remov-
ing the cause of the disease, to feed well on rich albuminoid food made
into warm mashes, and to give ounce doses of aromatic carminatives,
like anise-seed, fennel-seed, etc. Rubbing and stripping the udder are
useful ; and the application of oil of lavender or of turpentine, or even
a blister of Spanish flies, will sometimes succeed.


Blood may escape with the milk when the udder has been injured by
blows, also when it is congested or inflamed, when the circulation
through it has been suddenly increased by richer and more abundant
food, or when the cow is under the excitement of heat. The milk froth-
ing up and assuming a pink tinge is often the first sign of red- water, and
it may result from eating acrid or irritant plants, like the rauunculacea?,
resinous plants, etc. Deposits of tubercle or tumors in the udder, or
induration of the gland, may be efficient causes, the irritation caused by
milking contributing to draw the blood. Finally there may be a reddish
tinge or sediment when madder or logwood has been eaten.

In milk which becomes red after it is drawn it may be due to the
1 11 seiu-e in it of the micrococcus prodigiosus. This also grows on bread,
and is the explanation of the supposed miracle of the "bleeding host."

The treatment will vary with the cause. In congested glands give 1
pound of epsom salts, and daily thereafter 4 ounce saltpeter, with a
dram of chlorate of potash; bathe the bag with hot or cold water, and
rub with camphorated lard. If the food is too rich or abundant it must
be reduced. If from acrid plants these must be removed from pasture
or fodder. Induration of the udder may be met by rubbing with a com-
bination of iodine ointment 1 part, soft soap 2 parts; or mercurial oint-
ment and soap may be used. Careful milking is imperative.


Watery milk in blue, but the presence of a germ (Jlacillux ci/tntogcnm)
causes a distinct blue shade even in rich milk and cream. It may reach
the milk after it has been drawn, or it may find its way into the open-
ing of the milk ducts and enter the milk as it is drawn. In the latter
case, frequent milking and the injection into the teats of a solution of 2
drams of hyposulphite of soda in a pint of water will servo to destroy


This may be caused by fungi developing in the liquid, and that the
spores are present in the system of the cow may IMJ safely inferred from


the fact that in a large herd two or three cows only will yield such milk
at a time, and that after a run of ten days or a fortnight they will recover
and others will be attacked. I have found that such affected cows had
the temperature raised one or two degrees above the others. Like most
other fungi, this does not grow out into filaments within the body of
the cow, but in five or six hours after milking the surface layers are
found to be one dense network of filaments. If a needle is dipped in
this and lifted, the liquid is drawn out into a long thread. In one ease
which I investigated near Ithaca, N. Y., the contamination was mani-
festly due to a spring which oozed out of a bank of black muck soil and
stood in pools mixed with the dejections of the animals. Inoculation
of pure milk with the water as it flowed out of this bank developed in
it the fungus and the string characters. By fencing in this spring and
giving the affected cows each 2 drams bisulphite of soda daily the trouble
was arrested promptly and permanently.


These may be caused by anything which irritates them. The power-
ful sucking of the calf, the sudden chilling of the teat in winter after
the calf has just let it go, or after the completion of milking with a wet
hand ; contact with cold water, or stagnant putrid water, or with filth
or irritants when lying down; slight congestions of the skin in connec-
tion with overstocking, and, indeed, any source of local irritation may
cause chapping. This may be slight or extend into great gaping sores
and induce retention of milk or even rnammitis. Soothing applications
of vaseline, or a combination of equal parts of spermaceti and oil of
sweet almonds, may be applied. If healing is tardy add 10 grains bal-
sam of Peru to the ounce of ointment. If the irritation is very great,
wash first with a solution of 1 drani sugar of lead in 1 pint of water,
and then apply benzoated oxide of zinc ointment.


These are often very troublesome, yet they may be greatly benefited
or entirely removed by smearing them thickly after each milking with
pure olive oil. If they persist they may be cut off with a sharp pair of
scissors and the sore touched with a stick of lunar caustic. They may
now be oiled and the caustic repeated as demanded to prevent their
renewed growth.

Scabby teats may be smeared with vaseline containing enough carbolic
acid to give it an odor.


Under unhealthy conditions of the gland or milk ducts, clots of casein
form, and these, pressed clear of most of their liquid and rolled into
rounded masses, may block the passage. They can be moved up and
down by manipulation of the teat, and if they can not be pressed out they


may be extracted by using the spring teat dilator (Plate xxiv, Fig. 3)
being held surrounded by its three limbs. Before extraction is attempted
an ounce of almond oil previously boiled should be injected into the teat.


When the calcareous matter of the milk has been precipitated in the
form of a smooth, rounded stone, a rough conglomerated concretion,
or a fine sand-like debris, it may cause obstruction and irritation.
These bodies are felt to be much harder than those formed by casein,
and the milk usually contains gritty particles. Extraction may be
attempted by simple milking in the case of the finely divided gritty
matter, or with the spring dilator (Plate xxiv, Fig. 3) in the case of the
larger masses. Should this fail the teat may be laid open with the knife
and sewed up again or closed with collodion, but such an operation is
best deferred until the cow is dry.


In this case the obstruction may be near the orifice of the teat or
higher up, and the solid mass is not movable up and down with the
same freedom as are concretions and calculi. The movement is limited
by the elasticity of the inner membrane of the teat from which it
grows, and is somewhat freer in certain cases because the growth has
become loose and hangs by a narrow neck. In the ease of the looser
growths they may be snared by a fine spring passed as a loop through
a fine tube (like a teat tube open at each end), and introduced into the When this can not be done, the only resort is to cut in and excise
it while the cow is dry.



As a result of inflammation extending from without in ward, a gradual
narrowing of the milk-duct may occur from thickening and narrowing
of its lining membrane. This may be limited to a small area near the
lower end, or it may extend through the whole length of the teat.
The stream of milk becomes liner and liner until it finally ceases alto-
gether, and a firm cord is felt running through the teat. If the con-
striction is only at the outlet the teat may be seized and distended Im-
pressing the milk down into it from above, and an incision may be made
with a .-harp penknife in two directions at right angles to each other,
and directly in the original opening. The knife should be first cleansed
in boiling water. The opening may be kept from closing by a dumb-
bell shaped Ixmgie of gutta-percha (Plate xxiv, Fig. "M or by the spring
dilator. If the obstruction is more extended it may be perforated by
Lathi's jwrforating sound. (Plate xxiv, Fig. la and I/O This is a steel
wire with a ring at one end, and at the other is screwed on to the wire
a conical cap with sharp cutting edges at the base, which scrapes away


the thickened masses of cells as it is drawn back. This may bo passed
again and again to sufficiently enlarge the passage, and then the passage
may be kept open by wearing a long dumb-bell bougie, a thick piece of
carbolized catgut, or a spring dilator. If the passage can not be suffi-
ciently opened with the sound it may be incised by the hidden bistoury.
(Plate xxiv, Fig. 2.) This is a knife lying alongside a flattened protector
with smooth rounded edges, but which can be projected to any required

Online LibraryUnited States. Bureau of Animal IndustrySpecial report on diseases of cattle and on cattle feeding → online text (page 30 of 56)