Author(s): Shuster DE, Harmon RJ, Jackson JA, Hemken RW
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Abstract Healthy, midlactation cows were given intramammary infusions of 10 micrograms of endotoxin in two homolateral quarters. Productive, inflammatory, and systemic responses were studied to investigate the pathophysiological effects of mastitis on lactational performance. Endotoxin suppressed milk yield in all quarters of treated cows. A more severe and prolonged suppression occurred in infused quarters compared with uninfused quarters. The fat percentage of milk from all quarters was increased with a greater increase occurring in infused quarters. The protein composition of milk was elevated, and the lactose concentration was depressed in infused quarters. Mammary inflammation--as measured by milk SCC, NAGase, serum albumin, and lactoferrin--was limited to infused quarters. Changes in milk NAGase closely paralleled changes in milk SCC. Daily feed intake was unaffected, and serum glucose levels did not decline following infusion. The lactose concentration of urine increased rapidly after infusion. Reduction in milk yield in all quarters, but varying changes in milk composition in infused versus uninfused quarters suggest that mastitic hypogalactia is mediated by multiple pathophysiological events and is not solely due to inflammatory damage to the mammary epithelium. Part of the reduced lactational performance may result from escape of milk components from the udder into the circulation.
This article was published in J Dairy Sci
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