Monday, November 15, 2010

Gangrene Mastitis Update

  Vivian's udder finished coming off Saturday, November 13th. She was in heat and doing a lot of fighting, I don't know if all the physical activity helped things along or not. My son and I noticed that it was hanging  down only a few inches off the ground by what appeared to be it's ligament. You can see it in the picture below. The udder is completely dried out, flat like a piece of jerky. The ligament was still soft and although cold, we were concerned it might still have some viable blood supply. Our vet of course was out of town. We were worried that if the thing was still firmly attached and with her picking fights with everybody it might get stepped on and yank out something serious, causing heavy bleeding or worse.
  We decided that after dinner we'd get her on the milk stand, tourniquet the ligament with kitchen string about half way down it's length and cut the udder off. So we got our surgery stuff ready, iodine, rubber gloves, peroxide, the whole thing. She was laying down in the pasture and when we approached her with a lead she stood up, she likes her treats on the milk stand, and the whole thing just fell off. Easy as pie. It broke off clean flush with her body. We put her on the stand and cleaned it up with peroxide and put Wound Care on it, having run out of Granulex. It wept a bit of blood thru Sunday but not badly. I didn't mess with it Sunday, hoping it would scab real good and start to dry.
  The pictures were taken right after it happened. I'm going to keep it clean with peroxide and put wound care on it daily for the time being. If it behaves like our last case, that hole will gradually close and it'll look like she never had an udder on that side.
  This is my last update unless there are any complications. I'm keeping careful watch on her good side, but don't anticipate any problems. I did notice that her tail end is balding. I don't know why she'd be copper deficient as we've had good luck with Sweetlix Caprine mineral supplementation, but I've read that some people think there's a relationship between copper deficiency and gangrene mastitis. That's just opinion of course, as nobody really bothers to study goats very much. I bolused her today and checked everyone else's tails. All good.
  I hope this chronicle has helped someone else. Remember: This will kill your doe in no time. If you've decided to "wait and see", you might as well dig the hole while you're waiting. Time is of the essence. Also, while Naxcel is only labeled for respiratory infections in goats, it has saved the lives of not only Vivian but her mother Samantha. I highly recommend using it, but increase the labeled dose. I used 3 ml twice a day for two days, then cut down to 3 ml once daily for another 10 days for Vivian, who weighs 165 pounds. Vivie is a pet and no longer breeds, but a good milker who makes good babies can support nursing twins with one teat. Definitely worth the effort and cost. My last advice: wear rubber gloves when cleaning and treating the rotting udder before it falls off. If you think buck smell is hard to get off your hands, just TRY removing "Eau de Roadkill".
  Happy herding, and may you never have to face this nasty disease...