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Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:14 pm
by Riparianranch
Hey everyone. I'm new to the forum and just starting to dabble in raising milk cows. I have one guernsey in milk and two dry jerseys whos previous history I don't know anything about. They have been with a bull now for a month. My jersey who I think is older has had one quarter swell very slowly over the past 3 months. At first I thought it was just her and it was normal but I can see it has gotten a bit bigger. Obviously no milk in there but there is clear yellow liquid. No heat or pain or anything and she otherwise seems happy, healthy, hairy and fat. They are out on pasture right now and very fat so they aren't getting any grain. Should I be worried? I'm going to call the vet but they can't see her unless I bring her there as we are too far out in the sticks for house calls.
Thanks in advance!

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:00 pm
by TCRanch
I'd get her in as soon as possible. Mastitis can be effectively treated if caught early & isn't too aggressive but it also puts a cow on the top of the cull list.

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:02 pm
by regolith
Clear 'yellow' liquid in a dry cow is normal.

How close to calving? Three months is an awful long time to watch one quarter get bigger, but if she's springing up for calving it's possible. They don't all come up at the same rate.
As for treating mastitis, my rule with dry cows is you break the seal to check the milk only *if* palpating the udder reveals excessive heat/hardness or you can feel clots in the teat (by rolling the teat gently between thumb and finger you'll feel the roughness of clots inside, if they're there). Admittedly, by sticking to these guidelines I may have left one or two cases untreated for longer than they should have been left... but I didn't break the protective seal on a lot of cows that didn't need checked, either. Once they've been effectively treated for mastitis, the secretion returns to a clear yellow liquid until they're close to calving.

Now my best guess from the information that she's an older, dry dairy cow of completely unknown background; is that she's had mastitis in that quarter before and there is some residual swelling. It may or may not continue to be an issue after she calves. *All* cows in that category who are retained and not culled should be treated with DCT when dried off to help cure/prevent further infections.
So unless she presents the typical mastitis symptoms of clotty/custardy milk and/or excessively hard hot quarter and discomfort, do nothing. She may have a problem after she calves, checking the milk daily for four to five days at that point will show if it needs any treatment or not.

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:29 pm
by branguscowgirl
Since you have already "broke the seal," can't you just take a sample into your vet to be looked at?

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:10 am
by Riparianranch
I was told she was exposed to a bull in the summer. I have seen the her pasture mate in heat but not her so I'm not sure if that was a lie, she might just be too old or maybe she's already pregnant. So basically I just have no idea. :) I did break the seal before I read I wasn't supposed to break it! Whoops. :( So if I can take that in for a culture I might as well do that.

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:26 am
by dun
After you get the results on mastitis from the vet, I would still treat that quarter with Dy Cow Treatment and maybe put just a tiny dab of nail polish on the teat opening to sort of reseal it. I've done that in the past, don;t know if it helped but it at least didn;t hurt anything

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:48 am
by regolith
dun wrote:After you get the results on mastitis from the vet, I would still treat that quarter with Dy Cow Treatment and maybe put just a tiny dab of nail polish on the teat opening to sort of reseal it. I've done that in the past, don;t know if it helped but it at least didn;t hurt anything


It won't hurt anything if the milk isn't being sold for human consumption.
There's a lot of things used to be done in the past that testing is just too sensitive to get away with now. As there's little blood flow through a dry quarter, there's also little metabolisation of the antibiotic until milk production starts near calving. So withholding periods could be a lot longer, than if the dry cow treatment was used immediately after the last milking.
At least that's what the inspectors tell us. I don't know of anyone who's been caught out for putting DCT into a dry quarter then following normal withhold times after calving.

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:14 pm
by Riparianranch
Will the milk be ok after treatment? We use the milk mostly to feed pigs and for our own personal consumption (raw) so I'm a little worried about using her milk if she does calve now.

Re: Clear yellow liquid in one quarter?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:08 pm
by regolith
Your vet is the best person to answer that question for you. The milk withhold time should also be written on any product you buy to treat her with.

My best blanket recommendation would be to milk her for seven days before you and your family drink the milk, and don't slaughter/sell any of the pigs that are drinking her treated milk, within that time.
I personally wouldn't have any issues drinking the treated milk... no known allergies to antibiotics and I know better than to try making cheese or yoghurt with it.