How to prevent Udder ulceration in cows

Ulcerative Mammillitis | Causes | Signs | Treatment

Ulcerative mammillitis is a relatively uncommon condition but it can spread rapidly in herds which are affected for the first time and cause significant pain and discomfort. It tends to occur most commonly in early winter and in first lactation heifers.


Ulcerative mammillitis is an infection of the skin of the teats and udder of dairy cattle. It is caused by a herpes virus (known as BHV-2).

How to prevent Udder ulceration in cows
How to prevent Udder ulceration in cows


Lesions of mamillitis can spread over the entire udder and perineum, as well as this, the mouths of nursing calves might be affected. The clinical signs vary from small irregular fluid-filled blisters to larger areas of ulcers and scabs.


No specific treatment is available. Infected cows should be seperated from others. Iodine dips may help disinfect teats to prevent the spread of the disease. An emolient udder cream can speed healing of skin.


Once on a farm ulcerative mammillitis is difficult to eliminate.

Precautionary measures should be taken when bringing cattle onto the farm. Good parlour hygiene and controlling biting flies can significantly reduce the impact of this disease.

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