Machine induced changes of caprine teats diagnosed by ultrasonography
Analyses were performed on 10 nanny goats of the Polish White Improved breed aged 2 to 5 years. Ultrasound images of the longitudinal cross-section of teats were taken in 9 replications, 4 times daily before and immediately after morning milking, and then 4 and 10 h after milking, using a Hitachi EUB405+ apparatus with a 10 MHz linear probe. The ultrasound probe was placed in a plastic cup filled with water (approximately 30 - 35°C), in which teats were immersed. Measurements of the diameter and length of the teat canals and the thickness of the teat wall were taken on ultrasound images in the MultiScan® 12.05. computer software. Immediately after milking a marked thickening (swelling) of the teat wall, an elongation of the teat canal was observed by approximately 40 and 18%, respectively (p < 0.01). Four hours after milking, the swelling was still considerable and teat walls were thicker by
approximately 30% (p < 0.01). These changes started to subside after approximately 10 h after milking, at that time reaching a level close to the initial condition, which may indicate the necessity to provide animals with an approximately 10 to 12 h intervals between milkings to ensure teat regeneration. Less marked changes in teat morphology is concerned with the measurement of the diameter of the teat canal. No definite effect of age of animals (lactation) and the shape of the udder on teat morphology were observed. Results of analyses indicate considerable suitability of ultrasonography in the monitoring of caprine teat morphology; however, thorough training of operators is required, since
significant differences were observed in values of individual measurements between operators with varying professional experience.
Keywords: Goat, teat reaction, machine milking, ultrasonography