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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2014 Jan;46(1):127-32. doi: 10.1007/s11250-013-0462-8. Epub 2013 Aug 25.

Clinical findings related to intramammary infections in meat-producing ewes.

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  • 1Departamento de Clínica Médica, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva, 87, São Paulo, 05580-270, São Paulo, Brazil,


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between clinical findings and bacterial isolation in milk samples of meat-producing ewes. The study was conducted in 17 commercial flocks and 550 udder halves from suckling Santa Ines ewes. Initially, the clinical examination of the mammary glands and teats was performed by visual inspection and palpation of the teats and udder halves; then a scoring system was devised for all the findings. After that, the strip cup test and the California mastitis test (CMT) were performed. Then, milk samples for somatic cell counts (SCCs) and bacteriological analyses were collected. Staphylococci bacteria were the main etiological agent isolated in the present study. Upon investigation of the correlations between bacterial isolation and the clinical findings, only the presence of teat injury, pendulous udder, and alterations in the palpation of the teat were associated with bacterial isolation. A significant correlation between bacteriologically positive milk samples and CMT and SCC was also found. Thus, some clinical findings appeared as a risk factor for bacteriologically positive milk samples and can be used as a tool in mastitis control programs. However, a complete and extensive diagnosis, an appropriate therapy, and an efficient mastitis control program will require the combination of clinical examination, microbiological tests, and SCC.

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