It is not uncommon for a goat which has not been bred to develop an udder which does contain a varying amount of milk. Sometimes a small udder will develop in a little doe who is only a few weeks old. Unless you find good reason to do otherwise, no nothing.
Just found this on the web. A couple of days ago I was wondering why my young doe's udders seemed bigger than I expected for an unbred doe...but I have never had does before last year...only bucks and wethers, and I'm not breeding or milking. She's about one and a half years old, and yesterday one udder was enlarged, almost like it was filling up with milk. I didn't know this was possible in any animal species, and just found the above info on the web. How do I determine that this is just milk (can I actually milk her out?) or a real udder infection or problem. It is not red or hot and she does not appear to be uncomfortable or in pain. It is not full like a bursting bag that needs to be emptied. In the above statement, it says to just leave it alone if it doesn't need anything, but I don't want to ignore it if it could be something else.
If it is small and even leave it alone it is hormonal. Barron does who are pets, will actually come into milk each spring, without being with a buck...why does who become pets after having mastitis don't do well, the udder fills with mastitic milk making for an ill doe each spring. Now if you kids udder is uneven than yes it's like staph...they get this systemically from having nursed a dam with subclinical staph. Vicki
Thanks Vicky...what do you mean even or uneven...you mean both udders the same? Only one teat is enlarged...the other is normal. But according to the link above, that is a sign of precocious lactation...only one teat might be filling with milk.
Since you say only one teat is involved, are you sure it's an udder and not an injury? Are you talking about inlargement like an udder, or just a swollen teat? Can you post a photo? If just a swollen teat I would leave it alone. IF it is swollen as in matured and a true percocious udder than yes I would cleanly milk out the fluid and send it to the lab for a test. LSU is on the goatkeeping101 section of dairygoatinfo.com all the info on how to send in the fluid, and right now all you pay is shipping the test itself is free. Don't mess with it until you are going to send the fluid in, then be super clean, and you may want to refil the teat with a tommorrow teat infusion for cows. Make her stand for at least 10 minutes after doing all that so the teat orifice seals. Wait for the results and get back with us, privatly if you want to. Vicki
It's the udder that is enlarged, not the teat (Sorry should not have used the term teat). I will take a picture of it tomorrow. Thanks so much. I should have thought of that and posted it with my initial post.
I'll look up the LSU info tomorrow too (time for bed now)..thanks for the directions.
OK..here are some pics. I am going to do some research now. I fondled it and gently squeezed it again today, and no tenderness or heat or cold. No lumpiness or hardness. It just feels like a normal udder with milk in it.
Edited to add. She is a bit over two years old now (just checked my records) and never been bred. And she came from a very good goat farm that keeps them very healthy. She's a Saanen, Toggenburg mix, if that matters.
Also, I just reviewed the mastitis info on goatwisdom.com, and they said there is a simple test kit (California Mastitis test kit) you can use to determine if there is any indication of mastitis in the milk. Do any of you use that, or is it better to send the milk to the lab in LA and let them test it?
I called my vet today and he said he's sure it's just precocious lactation and not to do anything. Thanks Vicki, for all your help. I'll keep that info on the lab on hand. My vet doesn't test either...they send it to the lab, so I won't try anything like a home test kit.
Do you have a good relationship with your vet? If you do and it isn't going to offend him ask him why if it's just percocious, meaning it's just hormonal, that only one half of the udder would mature? I have always wanted to ask a vet who feels this way to explain themselves. Plus LSU is running free tests Vicki
Sure, I'll ask...but from what I read on-line, that can happen with precocious lactation (or maybe I'm misunderstanding what I'm reading). But I can call him back on Monday.
He said if it's precocious lactation, it's better to not remove the plug in the teat, by milking to test the milk, because then she is exposed to possible infection, and the milking will induce more milk production. He also said she would probably be running a fever and not feeling well if it were something else, and she's playful and acting normal.
But now I'm wondering if I just didn't explain myself well enough and he thought I meant both udders too. Are you saying by "uneven" that if one udder is filled and the other isn't, that is most likely "not" hormonal, but indicative of something else? I was curious about why hormones would only affect one udder too.
He said she would have had to be punctured by something to get mastitis, and I can't imagine how she could get punctured by anything in her pen or barn. Unless she got a sliver from one of the wooden spools that are the goat mountains they play and sleep on.
No, actually subclinical staph is caught when nursing a dam or being fed milk from a doe who has subclinical staph. This is very well known in cows and is one of the many reason we pasturise milk even when being CAE negative. We test does routinely for staph. Vicki
Thanks Vicki. I will also talk to the woman I got her from. I was pretty sure that all the goats were tested regularly on the farm she came from.
Perhaps you can help me clear something up...which may be why I am misunderstanding everyone, or they are misunderstanding me. I know a goat has two teats, but is it considered just one udder, even though there are two mammary glands inside? I've been describing it as two udders (a left and a right, meaning only one udder...the right udder... is enlarged), so I didn't understand the term "even" used by both you and the doctor when referring to the enlarged right udder. Is it really just one udder with two teats?
A goat has one udder, with two halves....a cow has one udder with four quarters. We have two udders But you got the teat part right! The halves of the udder are completely seperate from each other in function, although they are incased in tissue making them one udder....it would be like us having more skin and tissue and blood around our two. A goat can loose function in one half of her udder and the other half remains fine....same with a cow she can ruin one, two, three or all her quarters.
To make it more confusing Boer goats are bred in some areas to have 4 teats, all functioning...but they function off only two halves, so two of the teats drain milk from the same side. Vicki
Vickie, you were right. My vet thinks infection (but not mastitis yet). He said it would be extremely rare that precocious lactation would only affect one mammary gland.
He says not to open the plug in the teat (no testing) because that will leave her more susceptible to mastitis, so she's on antiobiotics (Uniprim) for ten days to two weeks. Thanks for persisting. I hope to see her udder back to normal in ten days or so. If it gets worse instead of better, I will have to take her in.
Again, thanks so much for the help...and for making me go back to ask more questions!
My doe had the exact same thing when she was around 2 years old. Only one side was enlarged too. I could even milk her. I figured it was hormones and it went away, no problems. After she had kids, there wasn't any problems either, no mastitis or anything. Very healthy udder.
We had a yearling doe that developed an udder. We found out about precocious lactation and did nothing. She was shown in the 4-H show as a dry yearling. After the fair it got bigger. My son milked her. We continued to milk her and got about a half gallon daily till January when we dried her up and bred her. The milk was very drinkable and we used it. After she kidded she had no problems and gave around a gallon a day for about six months. She then slacked off. We milked her through the winter and now as a three year old she is still giving us nearly a gallon of milk on just the one freshening. We intend to breed her this fall and dry her off till she freshens again in the Spring.