Research Article
Volume 5 Issue 9 - 2020
Risk Factors Associated with Occurrence of Mastitis in Mathira East in Nyeri County, Kenya
Esther Kamau1*, Mburu Kimani1, Edith Chege1, Austine Bitek2 and Portas Olwande3
1State Department of Livestock, Regional Veterinary Investigation Laboratory, Karatina, Kenya
2Food and Agriculture Organization, Nairobi, Kenya
3Department of Animal Science, School of Agriculture and Food Security, Maseno University, Maseno, Kenya
*Corresponding Author: Esther Kamau, State Department of Livestock, Regional Veterinary Investigation Laboratory, Karatina, Kenya.
Received: August 06, 2020; Published: August 26, 2020


Mastitis is a major challenge to dairy farming in many regions of the world and causes great losses which range from low milk yields, high costs of treatment to culling of affected animals. It is caused by various bacteria which include normal teat flora, opportunistic and environmental pathogens. We sought to estimate proportion of lactating dairy cows with mastitis, identify mastitis causing pathogens and determine risk factors for mastitis in Nyeri County, Kenya. We used a cross-sectional study design and randomly selected 19 villages and 169 farms from the 6 wards of Mathira Constituency. California mastitis test was used to detect positive animals whose samples were collected for culture and identification. Association between prevalence and breed, stage of lactation, floor type, udder cleanliness, milker, body condition, udder consistency, average milk production and parity were compared using Chi square tests. Farmers’ knowledge of signs of mastitis was also assessed including measures taken by farmers to minimize incidents of mastitis. Prevalence of mastitis was 92% at cow level and 86.5% at quarter level. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common bacteria isolated (68.5%) either singly or in combination with other bacteria. Holstein/Friesian breed and poor udder hygiene were identified as major risk factors for mastitis (p ≤ 0.05). Majority of the farmers were able to tell whether a cow has mastitis when there was a reduction in milk production (60%) or when animals produced milk with curds or which curds on boiling (59%). All farmers interviewed cleaned hands and animal udder before milking as measures to control mastitis. Disposable hand towels (4%), udder disinfectants (9) and dry cow therapy (5%) were rarely used. Good hygiene which includes dairy farm, cow and milker hygiene is key in eliminating mastitis. Udder cleanliness should be emphasized as dirty udders serve as means by which bacteria enter the teat canal. Frequent screening can help identify cases early and reduce incidences of pathological changes in the udder tissue. Farmers’ education on awareness and common mastitis signs could help in detecting cases early. Use of disposable paper towels, udder disinfectants and dry cow therapy should be embraced to reduce incidences of mastitis.

Keywords: Mastitis; Prevalence; Risk Factors; Udder Cleanliness


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Citation: Esther Kamau., et al. “Risk Factors Associated with Occurrence of Mastitis in Mathira East in Nyeri County, Kenya”. EC Veterinary Science 5.9 (2020): 142-149.

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