First freshener with hard udder

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by TDen81, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. TDen81

    TDen81 New Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    I have a goat who is a first freshener and she's got some really crazy things going on with her udder. I'm a complete newbie, so I'll start from the beginning:

    This doe developed a small, but full looking udder that was hard as a rock before she was ever exposed to a buck. I was told this was "percocious udder" and that it would take care of itself. I kept a watch on it and although it remained hard, it didn't grow and was never warm or red or showed any signs of being infected or fevered. She was bred and the hard udder still never went away, but did enlarge. I assumed this was because she was actually pregnant. The udder got quite large and remained hard, but has never been fevered or red and she seemed completely healthy otherwise so I didn't worry about it. I assumed it would resolve after she kidded.

    She has now kidded and the kids are a little over two weeks old. They are growing well and appear very healthy. I attempted to milk her for the first time this morning. It did NOT go as I expected. Her udder is extremely large and very hard. I got almost a half a gallon of milk from her before I gave up, but it was very difficult due to how hard her udder is- on BOTH sides. It even appears misshapen in some areas. There were no strings, clots, or blood in the milk. The udder is not fevered or red in any way. Massaging didn't appear to help at all. She's a nightmare to milk, but I don't think she was in pain when I milked. It's just that it was her first time to be milked and she is notoriously just an uncooperative, cantankerous goat (for lack of a better word, lol).

    I've googled and googled and I just can't find anything that seems to fit our situation. She exhibits no signs of CAE other than the hardness of both sides of the udder (and she is producing a decent amt of milk). From what I've read, CAE would mean that she wasn't producing much. If it was edema, then the excess fluid should be mobile. This doesn't seem to fit because her udder is literally rock in places. If it was mastisis that had been going on for this long, it certainly seems her udder would be fevered or red and it isn't.

  2. Goat_Scout

    Goat_Scout Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2017
    Hi! I must say, I think we have littermate sisters... ;)

    I have an Alpine that is cantankerous, bratty and is (*was, now she's getting better) a horror to milk.
    She kidded for the first time 3 weeks ago. Her udder is and was hard as a rock, but I..... kinda put that down to the chronic skin staph she had been struggling with in her belly/udder area (which is almost cleared up now, thanks to FightBac from Jeffers).
    The first few times I milked her, I barely got anything and it was very hard to milk her since her udder has no give to it. I only get maybe 1/4 of a cup of milk before I have to stop and massage her udder until her teats fill back up again (if they don't look full, I can't ever get anything out!) - then I have to repeat the process until I can't get anything else out and it's nearly time for school. On a good day, all I get for my efforts is the measly amount of 1 1/2 cups of milk. :confused:

    BUT, milking her each day (sometimes twice a day if I am able) HAS softened her udder a little bit, and I have hopes that it will eventually get even softer. I owned her dam as a first freshener, and her dam's udder was perfect - it had the great dairy-like soft skin.
    LaManchamaniac and TDen81 like this.

  3. groovyoldlady

    groovyoldlady Goat Crazy!

    Jul 21, 2011
    Central Maine
    Her udder might be congested. If so, warm compresses, massage and milking her out completely should help. But sometimes you have to do this repeatedly before they soften up...
    goatblessings, TDen81 and Kath G. like this.
  4. Suzanne_Tyler

    Suzanne_Tyler GreenTGoats

    Jul 19, 2014
    I agree on congestion. I would keep milking her once a day and see if that helps.
    TDen81 and Kath G. like this.
  5. TDen81

    TDen81 New Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    Thanks everyone! I always jump to the worst conclusions. Lol! I've been fearing CAE even though the symptoms don't exactly fit. I'll try the warm compresses and keep up the milking. Maybe she'll soften up soon!
    goatblessings likes this.
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree, if her milk looks good, it is congestion. Good luck keep at it.
    TDen81 likes this.