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Positive Contrast Mammography - An Aid for Diagnosis of Udder Fibrosis in a Cow.


Surgical conditions of udder and teats are getting much attention now a days as these affects the farmer's economy. Milk alone contributes around 63 percent to the total output from livestock. The udder and teats are vulnerable to external trauma or injury because of their anatomical location, increase in size of udder and teats during lactation, faulty methods of milking, repeated trauma to teat mucosa, injury by teeth of calf, unintentionally stepped on teat, paralysis resulting from metabolic disturbances at parturition. Any disease condition of udder and teats not only causes painful milking but also makes udder and teats prone to mastitis. The diseases of udder can be congenital or acquired anomalies. Thus, many changes in morphology of teat canal and teat cistern may take place in a milking cow. Some of these changes require surgical correction and thus an early diagnosis is important. Radiography of teat with contrast media prior to surgery improves the prospects of complete removal of obstruction and restoration of normal milk flow. Contrast radiography of udder and teat is a simple technique and can be easily performed (Bristol. 1982). In the present report, a positive contrast mammography aided to diagnosis of udder fibrosis due to chronic mastitis in a dairy cow.

Materials and Method

A full mouth Jersey crossbred cow was presented with history of calving two days prior and no milk let down of milk from all four quarters. The animal was treated for chronic mastitis during its previous lactation. Physical examination revealed hard mass at base of all four teats. Clinical examination of udder with teat probe revealed patent teat canal in all four quarters. Based on history and clinical examination, the condition was tentatively diagnosed as udder fibrosis due to chronic mastitis. To confirm the diagnosis, it was decided to perform contrast radiography of udder.

The animal was physically restraint in right lateral recumbancy. The udder was cleaned well and right lateral survey radiography of mammary gland was taken using 90 KVP, 30 mAS and 100 FFD as factors (Fig. 1). Then the left fore quarter was cannulated through teat orifice using teat infusion tube and infused with 30 ml of Diatrizoate meglumine and Diatrizoate sodium injection 76% (iodinated contrast radiography agent - [Trazograf.sup.a]) and right lateral radiography was taken with the same factors after sealing the teat orifice of left fore teat with Larson's teat plug (Fig. 2). Likewise the individual contrast mammographies were repeated for right fore quarter, left hind quarter and right hind quarter respectively using 30 ml of [Trazograf.sup.a] injection (Fig. 3). Finally complete contrast mammography of all four quarters of mammary gland was taken after infusing iodinated contrast agent in to the mammary gland (Fig. 4). The results were compared with the survey radiography.

Results and Discussion

Complete stagnation of contrast radiography below the base of teats were noticed in right and left fore quarter and minimal passage of contrast agent to caudal aspect of right and left hind quarter were noticed. In all the quarters, the teat canals were patent and stagnation of contrast media at base of teat in fore quarter and minimal passage of contrast media to caudal aspect of hind quarter confirmed as udder fibrosis. Udder fibrosis might be due to chronic mastitis in the previous lactation. The findings of contrast mammography in the present case correlated with history and clinical observations.

Radiography employing a contrast medium can be extremely useful for diagnosis and demonstration of surgical conditions involving the bovine mammary gland and teat (Clifford, 1972). Positive contrast mammography was performed using a small volume (10-30ml) of iodinated contrast media (Hypaque-76) infused into the affected and a non-affected teat via teat cannula. Lateral radiographic projections were then acquired of each mammary gland separately. Structural lesions of papillary duct and lactiferous sinus can be detected (Anthony et al., 2014). In the present case the contrast agent was stagnated below the base of teats right and left fore quarter and minimal passage of contrast agent to caudal aspect of the right and left hind quarter due to udder fibrosis.


Positive contrast mammography with iodinated contrast agent (Diatrizoate Meglumine and Diatrizoate Sodium injection 76%) was used as an aid to diagnose udder fibrosis due to chronic mastitis.


Anthony, P., Stephanie, N. and Amy, Y. (2014). Diagnostic imaging in food animal. In: Farm Animal Surgery by Susan Fubini and Norm Ducharme. Saunders, St. Louis, Miussour, USA. P. 15-16.

Bristol, D.G. (1982). Teat and Udder Surgery in Dairy cattle. Compend. Continu. Educ. 11: 868-73.

Clifford, F. (1972). Radiography Relative to the Mammary Gland and Teat of the Cow. Acta Radiologica: Diagnosis 12 : 83-89.

D. Vishnugurubaran (1), S. Kathirvel (2) and R. Uma Rani (3)

Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology Veterinary College and Research Institute Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) Tirunelveli - 627358 (Tamil Nadu)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author


(2.) Associate Professor

(3.) Associate Professor and Head

(a) - Brand of J.B. Chemicals and Pharma Ltd., Mumbai
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Vishnugurubaran, D.; Kathirvel, S.; Rani, R. Uma
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Jul 1, 2017
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