Teat lesions and their relationship to intramammary infections on small-scale dairy farms in Kiambu district in Kenya
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Mammary gland quarters of 139 lactating dairy cows from small-scale dairy herds were examined visually and by palpation for teat lesions and by California mastitis test (CMT) and bacterial culture for subclinical mastitis. Teat lesions were observed in 97 teats. These included teat chaps (39.2%), teat papillomas (23.7%), teat erosions (22.7%), teat fistulae (5.1%), inverted teats (5.1%) and blocked teats (4.2%). According to the CMT, the prevalence of subclinical mastitis was 33.4% in all the mammary gland quarters, 71.0% in quarters with teat lesions and 24.5% in quarters without teat lesions. There was a significant (P < 0.01) association between teat lesions and the prevalence of subclinical mastitis. The mammary gland quarters with teat lesions were 7.2 times more likely to have a positive CMT (P < 0.01) and 5.6 times more likely to have bacterial organisms (P < 0.01) isolated from them than those without any teat lesions. The bacterial organisms most frequently isolated from the CMT-positive milk samples from both the mammary gland quarters with teat lesions and those without teat lesions were Staphylococcus aureus (50.0%), Streptococcus spp. (34.8%) and Arcanobacterium pyogenes (6.2%).