How to treat udder swelling in a cow after calving

Many farmers suggest that swelling of the udder in cows after calving is quite normal, as it is a natural reaction of the body to pregnancy. Yes, the short-term presence of a slight swelling is permissible during this period. But there are other causes of swelling of the mammary glands of a cow. We will talk about the causes of edema and how to deal with it in our article.

Why does the udder swell in a cow

Prenatal and postpartum edema occurs due to changes in the hormonal background, inadequate movement of the animal and the presence of a large amount of acidic feed in the diet of the cows. If the edema has arisen in another period of time, then the reasons for a hard udder can be:

  • kidney problems
  • diseases of the heart, blood vessels and circulatory system;
  • excess salts, potassium, magnesium in the diet;
  • lack of food with coarse fibers;
  • bite, injury, bruise.

The causes of serous (congestive) edema include impaired blood and lymph flow during pregnancy and after calving.

External signs

Timely resolution of the problem minimizes the loss of milk production of the cow or can even reduce them to zero. Therefore, it is very important for farmers to monitor the condition of their cows, so that after the discovery of the first symptoms, in time to understand why the changes are taking place. Signs of swelling of the udder are:

  • organ enlargement;
  • compaction of the skin and the appearance of dents after pressing on the organ;
  • the udder at the site of the edema feels like a dough;
  • shortening of swollen nipples;
  • tension and tension of the skin on the mammary glands, the appearance of a shiny bluish tint;
  • sometimes more watery milk and a gradual decline in milk yield;
  • the absence in the animal of a painful reaction to organ palpation.

Did you know? So that the cow could develop 50 liters of milk, she was forced to pass 25 thousand liters of blood through the udder.

Treatment of udder edema in cows

When a farmer notes a change in the udder of a cow, he immediately has an idea about how and how to treat the animal. But do not immediately panic. Perhaps nothing critical has happened. It is necessary to compare all the facts. If changes occurred before calving (shortly before it) or after, then a few days after delivery everything should go on its own.

It will be enough just to adjust the diet and increase the mobility of the burenki, as well as timely milking. If the swelling does not disappear and even increases, or the cause of its appearance is not associated with pregnancy, then treatment should be started.

Diet Changes

In any case, regardless of the cause of the ailment, the diet of the animal first of all changes. Caloric, succulent feeds are excluded from its menu, less give salt, concentrates, protein supplements. The diet is based on high-quality cereal hay. The menu should be individual.

Important! It is impossible to bring a sick animal to the pasture in the general herd.


So that milk does not stagnate and does not cause mastitis, it is necessary to milk the burenka 5-8 times a day with the same time interval. If the edema appeared during the period of pregnancy, then milking should be done once a day. If the udder sags strongly due to edema, it is advisable to support it with a special dressing.

A gentle massage helps relieve swelling. It must be carried out without ointments several times a day. With smooth movements, the mammary glands are rubbed from the bottom up.

For warming, paraffin compresses and ozokerite therapy are used. It is extremely rarely treated with ultraviolet and ultrasound.


Drug therapy is usually rarely used, mainly if the edema process has been delayed and a change in diet has not produced the desired result. To get started, seek help from a veterinarian. He will tell you what to do, having diagnosed, and write down the dosage of the necessary drugs. As a rule, apply:

  • calcium chloride or gluconate (injection intramuscularly to normalize blood flow);
  • caffeine benzoate solution 20% (subcutaneous injection supporting the nervous and cardiovascular systems);
  • dexamethasone (intramuscular injection from bites);
  • ointments ( Rigafen, Pikhtovitin, Troxerutin in order to relieve edema).
Important! Drug therapy is carried out only after calving.

Folk ways

Traditional medicine is more often applicable in the early stages of the development of the disease or in combination with drug therapy to accelerate the arrival of a positive effect. As a diuretic, infusions and decoctions are used:

  • juniper berries - 50–100 ml, birch buds - 10–40 ml, horsetail - 15–30 ml;
  • on a bucket of boiling water 15–20 tbsp. l dill or fennel insist for three hours and drink 1-2 buckets a day for three days;
  • if the edema is delayed, then dill decoction is given 10 days.

Ointments and lotions can be prepared independently.

  • Recipe number 1: 1 tbsp. mix vegetable oil, 40 g of paraffin or beeswax, mix in a water bath, cool.
  • Recipe number 2: 2 tbsp. l potato starch, 1 tbsp. l mix the vegetable oil until a cream consistency.
  • Recipe number 3: Rice starch is diluted with water to a thick sour cream and, laying it on gauze, applied to a swollen place for three to five hours.
  • Recipe number 4: Milk, rye flour, butter. The amount of ingredients is determined "by eye". It should be a cake that can be applied to the edema for two to three hours.

Edema in primordial cows

Edema in primiparous Burenoks is not much different from those who are not pregnant for the first time.

Edema of the udder in the first calf after calving

We have already said that the occurrence of swelling of the udder after childbirth is quite normal and, subject to all the rules for caring for animals, is not fraught with serious consequences. If you run it, then the cow's immune system begins to weaken, so the animal can easily catch any disease. Also, advanced edema leads to mastitis, and if the birth process was complicated, more serious problems may arise.

Did you know? Pregnancy in cows lasts as long as pregnancy in humans lasts for 9 months.

Postpartum edema in first-calf heifers is removed by frequent milking (with an interval of two hours) and intensive, but gentle massage. Continue the procedure for 2-3 days. Then, when the swelling slightly passes, switch to four times milking. If the udder greatly increases in size, then ointments should be used.

Edema in heifers before calving

Nature has laid the increase in the size of the udder in pregnant cows 2-3 weeks before delivery. The reason for this is low mobility and poor diet. It is enough to increase the duration of absenteeism, and adjust the diet. If the mammary glands have greatly increased in size and prevent the animal from standing normally, it is necessary to give less water, exclude juicy and combined feed from the diet, and apply a supporting dressing. After calving, puffiness should pass on its own.

After calving, the edema in the cow’s stomach

The appearance of swelling on the abdomen of a cow after calving is also quite normal. Most often, it occurs in highly dairy individuals. Such animals are limited in liquid and succulent feed. You can additionally apply decongestant ointments. In a few days, everything should normalize, if suddenly the appearance of a "bump" on the abdomen is not associated with the onset of the inflammatory process that has arisen against the background of a protracted and complex birth or after an injury. The abnormality of the swelling can be established by the following signs:

  • "Bump" is hot to the touch, increasing in size;
  • on palpation a crisp sound is heard;
  • the temperature of the animal jumps to 40-40.5 ° C;
  • swelling of the labia;
  • discharge with an unpleasant odor;
  • inflammation captures the perineum;
  • depressed state of the animal;
  • refusal of food;
  • change in breathing rhythm.
Important! If the edema is abnormal, you must immediately call a veterinarian.

What is the danger of edema

It was previously mentioned that a running edematous process can lead to mastitis. It affects the condition of milk and milk yield. It comes in many forms. If it goes into a purulent stage, it can lead to adverse consequences, up to fatal ones.

In addition, breast disease can signal the presence of problems in the functioning of the kidneys and heart. As a result, the protective functions of the body are weakened and any infection can freely attack the animal. Therefore, as soon as the udder edema occurs, which is not associated with pregnancy or from a mild form to a more severe one, an urgent diagnostic examination of the animal is necessary.

A method for treating cow breast edema will depend on the stage of the disease. At an early stage, it is enough to adjust the diet, increase mobility and isolate the animal from the herd. With the running option, you will need the help of a veterinarian.

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