Sometimes it is tempting to only blog about the good things happening on our farm, but the fact is, that we have problems too. I have just been reminded that I don't know nearly as much about raising goats as I sometimes think I do. I am currently dealing with my first (and hopefully only) case of staph mastitis.
Shortly after I bought Mabel, she developed a knot in one teat that soon made milking impossible, and that side dried up. Twice when she has kidded the vet has opened the teat surgically. It would stay open for a week or two, then gradually close again as that half of her udder dried up.
I thought this was scar tissue from an injury received at her former home, as did our vet, but last month I noticed that side of her udder swelling suspiciously. When I felt it, I knew something was drastically wrong. It was hard, with round lumps- not at all normal. It was not hot, so I hoped it wasn't mastitis, but some research and talking to a very knowledgeable dairying friend soon brought me to the reluctant conclusion that she has staph.
|Close up of the affected side of Mabel's udder. You can see the round lumps clearly.|
Needless to say, I was pretty discouraged about the whole matter, knowing that staph is very difficult to clear up. Researching natural remedies led me to dosing her twice daily with a tumeric tonic to help cure staph,* and a heaped teaspoon each of vitamin C and dolomite.
*My tonic does not include coconut oil since we are currently out. I will be adding it when we get some more.
The swelling decreased significantly after I started giving her the tonic, then she swelled up some more, and now it's decreasing again.
In the meantime, she doesn't seem to be in any pain or discomfort, and is just her usual self. I am thankful that the infection is confined to one side, and that with good hygiene, there is little danger of it spreading to any of the other animals.
One other good thing that has come from this problem, is that our pre-milking washing has changed. We now wash the whole udder with warm water, with a few drops of iodine in it, then dip each teat in straight iodine. After letting it sit for a few moments, we put on the lotion, discard the first squirts of milk, and proceed as usual.
I don't know if these remedies will work or not. I'm not sure what will eventually happen with this situation, but I do know that God is in control even over the comparatively small things, like a sick goat, and that this will be a learning experience, even if she is not cured.