Fever and small lump in udder

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Feira426, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Hey everyone - sorry I haven't been on in a while. My life got very busy there for a while.

    I'm hoping you experienced goatkeepers might be able to help me with a new problem I'm having. I'm a bit stuck and unsure of how to progress.

    I noticed my Alpine mix, Hasi, had a warm udder, I think it was yesterday morning, and produced a little less milk than usual. I didn't think too much of it, since it's really hot here in Texas right now and she might have just been laying on it or something and got it warmed up a bit, but I took a mental note. Then, I think it was yesterday evening, I felt a smallish lump inside her udder. I couldn't feel it except when she was completely empty, so I'm not 100% sure it's not always there, as I don't normally feel around a whole lot when she's empty, you know? Anyway, this worried me a bit, so I spent most of this afternoon browsing through these forums looking for information, and most of my looking led me to think she might have mastitis, especially after I checked her temperature and found she had a fever. The milk didn't taste or smell off at all, and it didn't appear stringy or clotted; but from what I've read, sometimes it doesn't. And she had the lump and the fever, so...

    Oh, and the lump doesn't seem to be sensitive. I was feeling all around it, squeezing it... Hasi didn't seem to care.

    Anyway, after some more looking I realized I couldn't just "treat mastitis," as apparently the treatment you need depends on what type of bacteria is causing the infection. So we hurried to the nearest goat vet I know of, who was about to close for the day, and... well, I'm not sure how many goats she sees, but she seemed to think it wasn't mastitis because the milk looked normal. Was I wrong that milk can sometimes appear normal with mastitis? Or does this vet maybe not know very much about goats? She suggested maybe Hasi had an abscess but she really didn't seem very sure. She said it could also be a tumor, or also I think something about a lymph node if I remember right. I wasn't certain what to ask her to do as far as treatment, as she wasn't giving me very much to go off of. I didn't want to do antibiotics in case it WAS mastitis and I needed to send it off for culturing, but I didn't really want to just spend $120 on the culture thing straight off the bat if the vet thought it probably wasn't mastitis anyway.

    I ended up having her inject some kind of fever reducer, the name of which I immediately forgot, and she gave me some pills to put in her food for pain and inflammation. Moxy something I think. And I stopped at TSC on my way home and got some mastitis tests.

    Those yellow dots did NOT turn blue at all, and I'm pretty sure I followed the instructions and did the test correctly. So I guess she doesn't have mastitis.

    And here I am almost back at square one, except now I know it's probably not mastitis. I'm wondering what you much more experienced goatkeepers think my next step should be. Should I assume it's an abscess like the vet seemed to suspect and take her back to the clinic for antibiotics? I have some Penicillin G here that I got for my horse earlier this year - can I give her that? I know it's technically "off label" since goats aren't listed on the bottle, but we've had a really rough time lately with car problems and a laminitic horse and a dog with an immune disorder, so I'm worried about spending the extra money on prescribed antibiotics if the stuff I have already would work just fine...

    Will a vet give you permission over the phone to use Penicillin on a goat? Do I need to be less worried about the rules of medicine? I don't want to risk getting into trouble, but I don't want to waste a bunch of time and money either.

    If there's something less prescriptiony that you've done and you think might work, I'm open to that too. I saw that a lot of people use a peppermint oil rub to help treat mastitis. Perhaps mint would also help with whatever Hasi has going on in her udder? I plan to give her vitamin C and garlic - I saw a lot of people recommending that for mastitis. The problem is, most of what I found pertained to mastitis, and that doesn't seem to be what I'm dealing with...

    I'm going to do more research, just thought I'd cast a line here as well, since you guys have been so amazingly helpful.

    On the positive side, I had the vet run a fecal while I was there and she said she didn't see anything, and that whatever I was doing for worms was working very well, so I'm happy about that. I'm using Molly's Herbals.

    TLDR: My lactating doe with a fever and a not-sensitive lump in her udder tested negative for mastitis. What could be the problem?
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  2. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    Call your local vet school and ask where you can send a milk sample for culture and sensitivity yourself. You can ise a red top blood tube for the sample. It is not crazy expensive... our lab charges about $20 for a culture and sensitivity for both sides. Put each side in its own tube and label. Do this before you give any abx or infuse anything into that udder though.

    When you took her temp.... had she been out in the sun or moving around at all? I try to do temps early early in the mornin right now if someone is having a problem.
     
    MadHouse, Feira426 and Iluvlilly! like this.

  3. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Hi Sfgwife - thanks so much for the advice. When I took her temp it was pretty hot out. I'll try taking it again this evening and see what it is. When the vet took her temp it read only 104.4, and that was only maybe an hour and a half after I took it, so yeah, maybe the hot afternoon sun made for a higher reading.

    Can you clarify for me - I thought the lab culture thing was for mastitis, and she tested negative. Does it help for other issues too? This is my first actual experience with an udder problem, and most of what I've learned through research has been on mastitis, so I really don't know much about the other potential issues. If a culture on the milk will help me figure out what's going on I'll figure out where I can get it tested. Maybe that meadow mist place does milk culture stuff. Someone once recommended them for ship-from-home fecal and blood tests, I think it was.
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  4. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki

    The culture is only for mastitis.
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  5. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Oh, okay. I guess that's not my next step then, lol. I suppose I will keep testing for mastitis - can't it sometimes develop if an abscess ruptures? Perhaps she has an abscess of some sort that hasn't ruptured. What sorts of abscesses can develop in the front of an udder?

    I've just read this morning that CL can present in the udder sometimes, but is it correct that the lymph nodes it affects are in the back of the udder, not the front? The couple of drawings I found seemed to indicate the nodes were only in the rear.

    Anyone had any experience with a non-mastitis, non-CL lump that caused a fever?
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  6. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Take her temp first thing in the morning before she is running around in the heat. Check her lungs for pneumonia. Pneumonia hits harder and more often in hot weather. (No idea why).

    Those mastitis tests where you put milk on the cardboard and the dot turns green are a helpful tool, but don't always show subclinical mastitis.

    If you choose to send in milk samples, first, wash and dry your hands, then wash and dry the teats. Squeeze out and discard 4-5 full squeezes of milk. Squeeze (without the teats touching the side of the sterile tube) milk into the tube to almost full.

    She may have 2 things going on, the lump may not be the cause of the fever.

    How is she acting? Eating, pooping normally? Active or standing off? How is her hair coat? Rough, smooth?
     
    Goataddict and MadHouse like this.
  7. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I took her temperature in the middle of the night and the reading was 103.8. So fever is down, appetite and milk production are currently back up, she seems to be feeling better and is acting more like her usual self. Poop is a little stickier than usual but not very. Her coat is nice. I can still feel the lump but it seems a bit smaller than it was.

    I'm giving her lots of garlic and she's on Replamin plus now for a vitamin/mineral boost. I'm also giving her the pills the vet gave me for pain and inflammation. Meloxicam. She's getting two 15mg pills per day.

    Should I consider asking the vet to try to drain the lump and see what's in there? Or do you think since she seems to be on the mend I should just let things be and keep checking everything?
     
    MadHouse likes this.
  8. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Has the vet physically seen the goat? I'd have the vet physically see her. This sounds hard to diagnose online.
     
  9. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Yes, we took her to the nearest goat vet I know of, I think it was the same day I made the original post. I'm not sure how many goats she's worked on... she squeezed out some milk and looked at it and said it looked normal, so she didn't think it was mastitis. She also felt the lump (with the udder fullish - she didn't have me milk her out) and said it could be an abscess or it could be cancer, or it might still be mastitis even though she doubted it; but she didn't really make any recommendations - just asked me what I wanted to do. It seemed a little weird. Most of my vet experiences have involved some kind of suggestion at least, even if the vet wasn't too sure of the diagnosis.

    The lump in her udder now feels like two smaller lumps. She seems to be feeling good, milk production is up (but I have to dump all the milk because of the pills, boo). Her appetite is good.
     
  10. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    So the other night when I was milking her udder felt warm, so I checked her temp again and she had a mild fever. I did the mastitis test again last night and she's still testing negative. The two small lumps are still there but don't seem to have grown, her appetite is normal, and she's not acting strange or lethargic at all. Does anyone have any ideas for a next step? She's eating garlic every day and I'm going to give her another dose of Replamin, just for a little boost. I have penicillin I could give her but I hate to give antibiotics unless I'm sure they're needed.

    I could send the milk for a mastitis culture but I don't know if there's any point if she's tested negative twice and the vet didn't think it was mastitis. I suppose it couldn't hurt, but we've been a little tight financially lately so I'm hesitant.

    I read somewhere that diluted tea tree oil rubbed on the udder can penetrate the skin and kill infections in the udder - have any of you ever tried that? If so, what was your experience?

    Open to any ideas anyone might have. I've considered asking the vet if she can lance the lump, but it doesn't feel very soft to me yet.

    I do think her milk smells a little different, but that might just be my nose - we've had to start drinking store bought cow's milk, so I may have just adjusted what "normal milk" smells like to me, if that makes sense. I don't know.
     
  11. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    There is a product called MastoBlast. It is homeopathic and available at some farm stores and Jeffers online. You use ten days orally. It can help fight those mild lingering cases, helps qith congestion and Supports the system. You say mild fever? What was her temp?
     
  12. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Thank you for the recommendation! Her temp was 104.8 if I remember correctly. I didn't see any MastoBlast at my local farm store - I will look online. Is milk withholding required? If so, do you know how long?
     
    happybleats likes this.
  13. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    104.8 is a bit high and concerning. Need to rule out pneumonia. Texas weather is ripe for pneumonia out break.
    There should be no milk with drawl on masto blast.
     
    toth boer goats likes this.
  14. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I didn't realize 104.8 was concerning - I was told 103.5 was within the normal range, and that's barely more than a degree over, so I thought it was mild. I clearly still have a lot to learn.

    She isn't having any breathing issues or acting strangely at all - what should I look for regarding pneumonia, besides fever? What can I check? What about the current weather makes you suspicious of pneumonia (I've not heard of summer weather conditions promoting pneumonia before). I'm in central Texas and we're in a drought right now - does drought promote pneumonia? I have always thought damp conditions promoted pneumonia, but I'm certainly no expert.
     
  15. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    I'm also central Texas
    Pneumonia is more prominent in hotter months than cold months. Crazy hot ..wet..humid..dry again can make goats immune system skip a few beats.
    Also what time of day was her temp taken? If it was hot out side and the goat seems well other wise. I retake temp in the evening when its a bit cooler.
    101.5to 103.5 is nornal range.. 104 has me watchful..104.5 has me doing a check up and possibke antibiotics. With goats we have to be on top of it since they can go down quickly.
    Signs of pneumonia can be. Fever, cough; runny nose what is green or yellow. Letharguc. Off to themselves..refuse feed..listless. can be some or all.
    I also like to get temps when my goats are well just to get an idea of where they run naturally. Some run 101 all the time other 104 is their norm. So it's important when trying to assess illness. Sometimes a shot of b complex is all they need.
     
    toth boer goats likes this.
  16. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I took her temperature at night - no runny nose or cough, no lethargy, good appetite. I do have some vitamin B. Maybe I will give her some and see what happens.
     
    happybleats likes this.
  17. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    B complex never hurts. Just retake her temp a few times the next few days to make sure it stays down. And watch for changes of course.
     
    toth boer goats likes this.
  18. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
  19. Feira426

    Feira426 Active Member

    206
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I have only given a B complex injection once and I feel I need a refresher - been looking for instructions but I'm finding a lot of varying advice. Do you recommend injecting into the muscle or under the skin? I thought I heard somewhere that the Vita-Jec B complex could also be given orally - is this true? The doe is still acting fine, so I don't feel it's super urgent, but I do have it on hand and thought I'd give her some in case it can help her fight whatever's going on.

    Specific directions as far as dosage, where to administer, and method would be greatly appreciated. My memory is terrible so even though I've done it before I can't recall with confidence what I ended up deciding on, and there is a lot of conflicting advice out there.
     
    happybleats likes this.
  20. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    UGH..I deleted my post LOL
    OK..So let me try again!