A seventh installment in the “Tool Box for Udder Health” weekly series is available at the University of Wisconsin Milk Quality website.
In “Week SEVEN: Relationship Between Teat-End Callosity or Hyperkeratosis and Mastitis,” milk-quality experts look at the relationship between callused teat ends and udder health.
After repeated milkings, changes appear in teat-end tissue, resulting in the development of a callous ring around the teat orifice. Cow factors like teat-end shape, teat position, teat length, milk production, lactation stage, and parity show a relationship with callused teat-ends. The teat canal is the primary physical and chemical barrier to invasion of mastitis pathogens into the udder. Changes in teat tissue by milking, teat canal integrity, and teat tissue pliability may favor penetration of bacteria into the udder. Veterinarians and others require a simple and reliable method for evaluating teat health in dairy herds. The evaluation of teat-end callosity is based on a research classification system.