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© 1995, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Mastitis in dairy cows is a frustrating, costly, and complex infection. A good, workable, effective preventive control program is presented in this NebGuide.

General Characteristics of Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland usually caused by bacterial infection of udder tissues. Except for rare injuries, infectious bacteria or other pathogens, e.g. yeast, fungi, etc., enter the udder through the teat end. Mastitis in both clinical (obvious abnormality, visible to naked eye) and subclinical (unseen signs of abnormality, invisible to nake eye) stages is a frustrating, costly and complex disease that reduces the quality and quantity of milk.