Udder edema is the accumulation of fluid in the udder region (and forward into the lower belly) that develops in the weeks prior to calving that can cause redness, swelling and pressure within the udder.

Edema is a normal part of calving in cows of all ages. Most cases of edema resolve on their own through routine milk-outs.

Dairy heifers tend to have the most significant edema. Their newly forming udder will begin to “bloom” up to a few months in advance of their first calving (mostly in the last month). Their tiny udder will slowly grow larger and may some days take on an odd shape as the fluids squish around from place to place. Remember, all this skin is stretching out for the first time!

Cows are more likely to get mild to moderate edema closer to calving (2 weeks or less) and tend to recover more quickly than first time calvers.

Cows with udder conformation issues will tend to have more severe edema than cows with healthy udder conformation. For example, if a cow has a slipped median suspensory ligament (the the ligament holding the right and left sides of the udder together and in place). Or, if a cow has a “meaty” aka “fleshy” udder that has a lot of tissue but not a lot of room for expansion may have edema that is harder to purge after calving.

Dairy cows tend to develop edema more than beef cows because dairy animals are bred to produce a larger amount of milk than beef cows.

What does edema look like?


Edema starts out looking like the cow is developing an udder (which she is) but edema continues on as excess fluid that can stretch the udder to larger than normal and uncomfortable size.

The udder may go from feeling soft and supple to feeling more like modeling clay. Note in the picture, there is a red line where the median-suspensory ligament should be (you should be able to see a nice keep cleft between her two rear quarters, but it’s flat instead). 

The fluid is mobile – if a cow lays on one side, the fluid may all squish to the other side. Then that cow stands up and you may think your cow has suddenly developed mastitis on one side. A good way to know that she just stood up and that it’s not mastitis is that you may see wrinkles on the smaller side and no wrinkles on the fuller side. If you watch the cow frequently enough, you’ll likely come to realize that she lays on the same side each day, so you’ll begin to recognize a normal pattern.

Many people mistake edema for mastitis. Edema can be differentiated from mastitis in a few ways:

  • If the edema has shifted to one side, the whole side should be larger than the other side (for example, both front and rear quarter on the right side are fuller feeling than the front and rear quarter on the left side). In mastitis, one single quarter will be significantly larger than the other three. (This can happen in edema, depending on the previous mastitis history of your cow, so is helpful to have past lactation records).
  • A quarter with mastitis will tend to:
    • feel warmer to the touch than the other quarters.
    • feel tender – a cow may kick at you when you touch it but not when you touch the other quarters.
    • feel “rock hard” compared to “firm”

Where does the edema show up?


More significant edema: Fluid under the belly and in front of the udder.

Edema usually starts in only the udder.


On some animals, the fluid will gradually extend forward toward the belly and/or upward toward the vulva and/or into the rear legs around the region of the udder.


Edema: Fluid in front of the udder




In this photo, notice how under her belly is loose and full of liquid. This is excess fluid retention settling from gravity from the udder into a low spot, the belly.

More common in first-time calvers than in older cows.

Do not do anything to the fluid in the belly – leave it alone. Do not massage or mess with it, you’ll likely just end up getting kicked! Edema in the belly will go away on its own over a few week period.

Edema medical care:




The best cure for edema is frequent milk-out! Milking two or three times per day on a routine is the quickest way to reduce edema.

edema cure for dairy cattle.png

When milking, massage each area of the udder to attempt complete milkout.

You may not get a complete milk-out for the first few colostrum milkings – the edema can inhibit milk flow. For the first few milkings, do the best you can to massage out what the cow can give without leaving the machine on for too long. The udder may not feel changed.

Edema usually lasts for a few days to a few weeks. During the first several milkings, the cow’s udder will not get a super soft collapsed feel when empty – this takes time – but you should begin to feel gradual softening, wrinkling, and collapsing of the udder after each consecutive milk-out. A cow with edema will have swollen teats, so the first few times milking her may be quite difficult. Do not lose hope, each milking should become easier and easier!

The idea of reducing edema by milking the cow is only effective if the cow is letting down her milk. To read more about how to tell if a cow is holding up her milk and the practical use of oxytocin when needed, click on this link and scroll about 2/3 of the way down: Teaching a Heifer to Milk


If you are concerned that the swelling is putting too much pressure on the crease (udder cleft), then you can rub lotion into the crease.  

A good edema lotion to use is one that contains Tea Tree Oil and Peppermint Essential Oils (EO). The brand name Udder Comfort, Udder Mint etc. are very effective, yet expensive. If you feel comfortable making your own lotion, you can purchase the essential oils fairly inexpensively online and add them to a lotion base. I also like having the thicker cream on hand for winter time, when a lotion is substituted for teat dip when the weather is coldest (for preventing chapped teats!).

My base lotion is:

  • 2/3 lard
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • Liquid from 10 capsules of Vitamin E
  • 20 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Place the lard and olive oil in a pan on the stove. Cut the tips off of Vitamin E capsules and squeeze the liquid into the pan with the oils. Warm until soft or just liquid, then stir. Remove from stove and cool until starting to thicken. Add essential oils and whip together. Pour or scoop into a container.

Work in the cream by rubbing from the bottom of the udder up to the very top of the udder and repeat in an upward motion to help move the fluid out of the udder. This works best if done after milking the cow, for up to 5-10 minutes. 

Edema Stress Sores:

Watch for sores on the inside of the leg where the swollen udder can rub on the inside of the leg and cause sores. If sores are detected, try to keep the area clean but also use some ointment or baby powder to keep the friction down so the leg can move smoothly without causing more sores. We have had more luck using dry powder rather than ointments which tend to keep the area moist and more open to infection.

If infection occurs, first try to curb the infection by wiping the area with a rag soaked in diluted iodine water or diluted peroxide. Do this as frequently as possible, at least after each milking. Often the cow will lift her leg for you because she knows you’re going to make her feel better. 🙂 If the infection does not go away after several days, an antibiotic ointment may be necessary to clear up the infection.

** Be careful, if the udder has cracked skin or sores, the peppermint lotion may cause additional irritation, so plain oils should be used for sensitive skin**


Allow for moderate exercise for the cow in an open paddock, alley, or field. Avoid box stalls or confined areas (unless the cow is in need of close supervision, such as for milk fever). An active cow will heal from edema more quickly than a stationary cow.

Do limit activities that may harm the suspensory ligaments (ie. Do not let the cow run out to pasture).

For serious, detrimental edema (rare):

  • Once fresh, if edema is severe, a quick way to reduce it is to milk the cow 3x a day for a week or more.
  • We do not recommend pre-milking a cow before she calves. Occasionally though, the cow will be dripping streams of milk or have an enormous udder, so pre-milking may be necessary in that case. (If pre-milking, be sure to save and freeze enough colostrum for the calf when it is born! Or purchase powdered calf colostrum to have on hand before the day of calving.)
  • Oxytocin may be used to improve let-down, but should only be used on occasion to prevent risk of dependency.
  • Dexamethasone can be prescribed by a vet if the edema is outrageously bad. We find Dex to be a “temporary fix” – like how banamine will mask a fever – Dex will temporarily reduce edema but the edema often comes back just as bad, if not worse, afterwards.
  • An older cow with a stretched ligament – in her case, some ligament function did return after her diet was changed!

    A cow with a slipped median suspensory ligament will often hold in permanent edema, which does not go away no matter what you try. This type of edema acts more like scar tissue & inability to milk out completely. Just to look at her, looks a lot like calving edema, but the edema never goes away. Try to avoid buying a cow with a weak or slipped ligament. (Flat between the rear teats, where there is not much cleft.) If your cow does have a weak ligament, it’s not the end of the world, but long-term protection of the udder from further damage is important.

  • TMR, a “hot” diet can cause excess swelling in the udder (as well as in other parts of the body such as the joints), even well after calving. Avoid feeding a diet too high in energy, too much grain, or short-fiber high moisture) at any point in a cow’s life. If a cow develops edema while on a hot ration, do what you can to reduce the intensity of the ration by adding in long-stemmed fiber & consider less grain and any supplements (ie: rumensin) that may be increasing milk production. 

Last tips, on preventing edema:

  • Maintain healthy body condition – over-conditioned heifers and cows are more likely to develop edema
  • We have had better luck reducing edema by limiting the dry cow diet to grass hay and a little alfalfa, starting about a week before calving with a pound or so of grain, then waiting until after calving to increase grain consumption to the full amount.
  • If you live in a climate with hot summers, attempt to calve out of season. We find that our winter-calving cows tend to not have a lot of edema. Spring and fall calving cows do often still have edema, but the milder temperatures at least may provide further comfort for the cow during this stressful time.
  • Some wives-tales encourage limiting salt – we do not recommend this! Free choice salt and minerals – our dry cows consume more than our lactating cows, and for good reason – they’re growing another being!

41 thoughts on “Edema

  1. JerseyLover

    hi there I just bought a 2 yr old jersey (1 week )ago who apparently calved in December. its now May and I have 2 calves on her but 3 nights ago I noticed she has what looks like edema can this be possible?


    1. Edema can be possible, but not the post-calving edema. Edema outside of calving is most likely to be mastitis or injury. You should check each individual quarter by milking them out to see if any clots or blood comes out (if so, treat as mastitis). If the milk comes out clear, then likely a calf hit her too hard and she’s developed swelling. Either way, she’s probably very tender, so keep your head as far back as you can when you investigate, as she may be kicky!


      1. JerseyLover

        ok thanks I did milk her, and it came out like normal milk, although the calves had just sucked so I only got about a cup full, but her bag still looks full and is “gooshy feeling” not hard like mastitis


      2. No, a vet call doesn’t seem necessary at this point. Travel would just cause a lot of stress. If you can, keep milking that quarter a bit each day to make sure no mastitis develops. Watch the calves to see if they’re being too aggressive. Hopefully whatever has injured the area will not reoccur and the swelling should go away over the next several days.


  2. Do you only deal with cows? I have a goat that I could use good advice like you are giving these people. Our vet only tends to pets, dogs cats etc. a farm vet is so expensive.


    1. Hi Diane, I’ve never owned a goat, although many of the ailments of dairy goats can be similar to what we deal with in cattle. I also have sheep, that would be my closest experience to goats, sorry! I understand what you’re saying about vets – many do not deal with sheep, pigs, goats, etc.


  3. Belinda

    The cow has a massive udder, just calfed a few weeks ago, but doesn’t produce any milk. Her udder is blue and rock hard and when you milk only blood comes out. And no she doesn’t have mastitis, any suggestions as to what could be the problem?


  4. wani

    My cow has swollen udder,as I try to milk,she gives a jerk as if feeling it painful and drops her tongue out sort of and gives negligible milk though being a good milk yielding cow,how can I treat her?I mean the medicine and precautions,somebody suggested anti inflamatory drugs like avil etc..


    1. You should speak to a vet. Time and natural remedies are usually more helpful (long-term) than any drugs. Some natural remedies are: – Peppermint is soothing to apply externally on the udder in a lotion or cream. Raspberry leaves can be fed to the cow to reduce edema. Massage from the bottom to the top of the udder to improve blood flow.


  5. Annah Dubois

    Hello. I have a 3 yr old Jersey that calved 13 days ago with her second calf. She has a beautiful healthy bull calf. Her two right quarters are damaged and blind.(She came from a commercial Dairy. instead of treating mastitis in the right quarters they “dried” them off) Currently, We have been having a really bad case of edema. We treated her 4 days after calving with 5 days of a diuretic and a steroid. The swelling went down some. Now that we are 5 days past the treatment the swelling went back up. She has the calf on her and the only way I can get milk from her is if I pen the calf up for a few hours and bring him in to get the milk flowing. She will not let down for me alone. At this time we do not believe she has a whole lot of milk and the calf is getting it all. I have used a cannula more than once in attempt to drain that quarter.(Using alcohol to clean teat) Nothing comes out. At a loss with this cow. My first cow. I have been massaging her with cayenne, peppermint, olive oil and coconut, I have found she will stand and let me brush her udder with the brush. I brush towards her tail in attempt to get the fluids to drain.
    We went to “interview” another cow Tuesday and I very successfully milked her out. So I know I am capable of milking. At this point this, I feel that we will not freshen Clover again. Nor can we sell her to give someone else her problem. She is such a sweet gentle pet of a cow. I know we may have 4 more weeks of this swelling. I am afraid she will have mastitis by the time we can actually get milk out.
    I would be very open to suggestions.


    1. If the right side is blind and you are unable to get milk out, then the edema will just have to subside on its own – and that happens very slowly in that case. Often, mastitis scarring causes permanent scar tissue and/or permanent edema – meaning it will never go away. 😦

      In the immediate, I would highly recommend talking to your vet to see if they will give you Oxytocin. That is the natural hormone that a cow releases to let down her milk so she can be milked out. She’s not giving it to you because she wants her calf to have the milk. But if you think she’s got too much milk in the two good quarters and/or that the edema is severe and not allowing the milk out, Oxytocin is a great way to temporarily treat the issue. (Using it at each milking for 2-3 milkings can significantly improve edema. 2cc in the muscle (IM) or 1/4 (.25cc) in the vein just before milking her) I think in this case, a vet would likely agree that it could improve her edema. Sounds like you’re already doing a lot of natural things to soothe the edema, go ahead and keep up on those activities as well.

      I agree with you – the cow may not be salvageable as a nurse cow and if that is the case, your best bet may be to use her as meat and find a good long-lived healthy cow for a milk cow. A tough decision, I’m glad to hear you’re thinking it through.


  6. Bart

    I can’t get anything out of the front 2. I’m going to give her a shot of oxytoxin, she’s a beefmaster. Her udder looks extremely full, just nothing coming out of front 2 quarters. She had some udder edema pre-calving.


    1. There could be some tissue or calcium balls blocking the teat canals. Can you feel anything around the base of the teat inside the udder that might be blocking the canal? Heavy massaging can often remove them.

      Could be she has not come in to her milk much yet, and milk production may improve over the next few days.

      Oxytocin can be a help, but if she’s letting you milk the back two quarters out, then it’s not likely that she’s holding up her milk.


  7. Susan

    We have a first calf Holstein heifer that calves yesterday morning. We can only get a few squirts out of her quarters. How do we get her milked out when all we get is squirts? I have read the above comments and it sounds like she has edema but I am concerned since I wrongly get a few squirts. The calf is on her also.


    1. Heifers may not give much at first. Heifers are also notorious for “holding up” their milk for their calf and not giving it to the human. You should read up more on “sharemilking” to decide if you can really handle the complications that causes. Continue otherwise with general protocol for dealing with edema – she may have it a few weeks, but it should get better. If nothing has started to improve by now, you should contact your vet and discuss with them the use of oxytocin for a couple milkings to see if that helps.


      1. Bart

        I also have a first time heifer that has a lot of edema, I’m getting milk out of the back 2 quarters but nothing out of the front yet. One day after calving?


      2. You should be able to get some milk out of each quarter. Is any milk coming out at all? Any chance the calf nursed on the front two already? Keep trying, if the edema is bad, you can milk 3 or 4 times per day for a few days to try to get the milk out more completely.


  8. adrian

    My family just purchased our first milking cow. She is grass fed and was thought to have miscarried before we purchased her and was breed again. We knew she was pregnant but we didn’t know that the original vet was wrong and she never miscarried. She had her calf a few days ago very unexpected. All went well and at first we wondered who’s calf wondered into our field lol We have a beautiful new bull 🙂
    We had been milking a 1/2 gallon from her all the way up until 2 weeks before calving. We only stopped because she had small clots and blood in her milk. We were advised to giver her rounds of antibiotics. We were heart broken. We did the recommended treatment as we would rather her alive then dead…and our kinda pioneer our way into holistic treatments for livestock amongst our group of friends. Well, we are now wondering if this all could have something to do with her about to calf and not have been mastitis at all? We are so excited to have a our first baby on the farm but are filled with so many other questions now that I think only time will tell. For instance, we shouldn’t have been milking her at all the last 2-3 months….
    Any thoughts and experience would be appreciated. Thank you 🙂


    1. Well, congrats on the surprise calf! How often do you milk the cow? Milking twice a day is important, especially if you think she could have mastitis (one of the best “treatments” is to milk frequently).

      In the future, you can confirm pregnancy status very accurately (not how far along, just whether or not pregnant) by blood or milk test – http://www.biotracking.com or http://www.antelbio.com are reputable companies that offer these services.

      Some cows do get milked through their whole pregnancy, often in a similar situation as yours. It’s ok, not ideal but does happen. Her production may be down this lactation, but you can be sure to give her a good dry period next time to make up for it!! The milk should not change other than to become thick with colostrum. Do you feel confident the calf received colostrum (ideally, 3 feedings of 4 pints)?

      As far as the potential mastitis, you can’t really know for sure what she had before she calved, but you CAN test her milk soon. I would recommend waiting a couple weeks to let the colostrum clear out, then test each individual quarter (or if you’re on a strict budget, test at least the quarter(s) that are suspicious. We have a page on how to do milk testing: https://spiritedrose.wordpress.com/jersey-cattle/how-to-produce-quality-milk/milk-testing/

      Hope this helps. 🙂


  9. Christine Seals

    Hi there!!! So glad to find you!!!! I have many questions about treating cattle with oils!

    I have a 250 steer that has shipping fever. Can I use oils internally? Or should apply it to his heels? Which oils would you recommend? How often?

    Are any of the oils toxic to cattle?


    1. I’ve heard of CEG being a great tincture to treat respiratory issues – Cayenne, Echinacea, and Garlic. We recently had a discussion about it on the Family Cow Forum: http://familycow.proboards.com/thread/80894/cows-turns

      Doterra’s Modern Essentials book is the most in-depth I’ve seen for how to use essential oils, and I believe it includes animals. I’d recommend finding a copy of that book to look at!

      Shipping fever can be deadly, so be very careful in your treatment. Your steer may require more than just essential oils at this point. Heavy doses of probiotics are always helpful, too. The next time animals are moved/stressed, you might research what you can give as a preventative. If you find something that works, please share it with us here. 🙂


  10. Kylee

    this is our cow’s second calf and she isn’t due until October, but she is swelling pretty big. Not extreme yet, but I’m wondering if we should milk her until she gives birth. Any suggestions?


    1. She should NOT have any edema 2 months before calving, and she should not be making milk yet. (Unless your date is wrong – did you AI or service with bull, and what is your exact breeding date?)

      Is the whole udder swelling or only a quarter or two? If only one area, I would worry about possible mastitis – are there any signs of mastitis (redness, heat, tenderness, hard lumps, etc?)


  11. You have no idea how helpful this article and the comments are for me right now. Very reassuring and helpful! Our heifer just freshened Tuesday night and she’s starting to get edema now…she’s our fourth dairy cow we’ve had (only one right now) but our first heifer. Definitely has its challenges! Thank-you for this!!


  12. FAQ: Edema causes mastitis, right? My vet gave me banamine to treat it.

    All cows get edema, it’s just one of those things in life. It doesn’t mean she is definitely going to get mastitis, I promise. Banamine won’t do much except make her a little happier, temporarily. Some cows take up to a month or more to lose all their edema. It’s more important to have a sanitary milking routine and clean bedding and feed management. Even if you think it’s doing no good, get some cream and massage the udder all over, especially the cleft. The stiffness of the teats at first can prevent the teat ends from closing properly, so having a post dip and practicing good management (such as keeping the cow up and eating for a half hour after milking) will help the teat ends close up before the cow chooses to lay down.


  13. FAQ: I want to give my cow Dexamethasone so her swelling goes down:

    Dexamethasone can cause dehydration and cause a cow to stop eating. Many people do not realize that you can use less than the recommended levels for just as good of results. My husband Jay likes to use a lesser amount, and then over a 3 day period if he does use it. Dex. is used for aborting calves, so you have to be careful of unintended consequences of use. Again, this is all mostly if you are using too much. It can stop liver functions. He says it’s like wringing them out, sucking out the edema but also dehydrating them. The difference between dex and banamine is that dex does not make a cow thirsty, but banamine gives the cow a good feeling so she wants to drink.My opinion is to just not use any drugs unless really necessary. Occasionally, a cow may have a bad calving and get swelling all over, and so some cases do benefit from dexamethazone. It’s just good to be cautious. People see good results, so they might not be so careful about dosage.Any anti-inflammatory type medicine inhibits healing. For simple udder edema, there are any natural methods, and time, that any cow on a healthy diet will respond to.


  14. Sarah

    Hi! My full blood Jersey cow Kari calved for the second time 9 days ago. She still has edema and we’ve been massaging her bag. She also had a touch of Ketosis which we have given two shots of Dexamethasone for it. She is definitely not giving as much milk as compared to last year 9 days after calving. I’m at the end of my whits with this and any help would be greatly appreciated. She is eating a pubescent grass/alfalfa mix hay and eat ground barley & peas for grain. Please, please…..any advice I will gladly take! Thanks!


    1. The edema is normal, can take up to a month to get it all out. Why Dex for the ketosis? Have you tried molasses water, soaked beet pulp, oat hay, etc.? Sounds like she needs more energy foods – the molasses or corn or something to that effect. Even if you mix in molasses to the grain you feed, that should help. How’s her manure?

      If you’re comfortable giving an IV, then a bottle of CMPK and a bottle of Dextrose would be really helpful. If not, then at least a tube of CMPK gel (warm it up before giving it), maybe even a second one 12-24 hours later.


  15. Laura LyAn

    My Jersey calved Sunday night. It’s now Wednesday. She is our first dairy cow, but we have had dairy goats before (although huge difference.) Her milk has not really come in yet, although it’s getting better. However, there is one quarter that I can get nothing but small drips out of. It is not hot, nor does what I get out seem clumpy. It doesn’t cause her pain when I massage it and she doesn’t flinch when I try to milk it. Nothing will come out however. It seems very swollen. I have used peppermint oil with coconut oil and will add tea tree oil tomorrow to the mixture. Do you think this is edema and what should I do? Thanks!


    1. Spirited Rose Dairy

      Do you know her past history? Has she calved before, have you milked her (before she was dried off for this calving, for example), and did the prior owner say anything about a “shy” or “dry” quarter?

      If the quarter is shy, you may just get little to no milk out of it. The cause could be injury to that quarter as a heifer, or could be the result of a bout with mastitis (a bacterial infection in the udder). Edema will still occur in this quarter, maybe moreso because you’re not able to milk it out, so the blood flow is limited. If you know it’s shy/dry, just leave it alone. If you think she should be milking out of it, then I would be concerned there might be something plugging it. In that case, it would really be best to have a vet out to examine and even maybe use a tool to insert up the teat to allow flow or remove the restriction.

      Keep using the peppermint and tea tree oils – great stuff!


      1. Laura LyAn

        This is her second freshening. There is no history of mastitis and all four quarters were working properly. She was hand milked before. I was able to get several squirts of milk out of it this morning, but that was it. It still is not hot and not causing her any pain. It just doesn’t matter what I do, I can get any down. I have seen those devices that you can put in to allow the milk to flow out. I considered getting one and seeing if it helps. We live very far out and having a vet to check her wouldn’t be easy. Besides, they are not experienced with dairy cows in our area. I will keep up with the oils. Let me know if you think I should do or try anything else. Thanks!


      2. Spirited Rose Dairy

        Laura, If you know all four quarters were working when you dried her off, then there is most definitely a problem…. but what is it? 😉

        It could be a number of things, we’ve seen where cows can get a kind of “stone” that blocks the teat canal – I believe our vet used a tool that he put up the teat to extract it. I think someone on the KFC forum (familycow.proboards.com) had this happen recently and they were able to buy the tool online and do it themselves (like you, no vet…). Don’t mistake it with a “cannula” though which is just a little plastic blunt end “needle” that allows for milk flow. You could always try a cannula, but it might be too narrow for a stone. Be sure to use only sterile new cannulas (etc) and only in emergencies like this. Also, use an alcohol swab on the teat and a second on the teat end to get it super clean before inserting anything. Risk of pushing bacteria into the quarter.

        Another thought, could be she had subclinical mastitis when you dried her off and is calving in “shy” due to ongoing damage – in that case you would need to try to get enough milk (3cc) to send a sample to a milk lab.

        Third thought, new active mastitis with chunks blocking the teat canal – massaging and frequent milking “should” get it to flow. Hard to ID unless you have a CMT (California Mastitis Test) and send in milk sample(s).

        Massage the dickens out of that quarter when applying lotions/oils. Be careful to always work/milk out that quarter last to avoid contaminating the good three quarters. If you just really get stumped, you could consider using antibiotics (can’t do milk samples for a couple weeks after giving antibiotics, though, keep in mind!). Feeding extra garlic, probiotics, etc. things to boos immune system are always helpful.


  16. Pingback: Twice a Day Milking a Once a Day Cow | grassfood.

  17. HI I have a cow that calved Sunday. He’s been on her this whole time but she was looking awful full so we decided to milk her last night with the machine. All 4 quarters gave milk but 2 quarters are pretty hard and still looked full after milking. Her udder & or teats are not hot, no redness and not one clump in any of the milk. She doesn’t seem uncomfortable when I touch them, rub into them (peppermint oil) with a real good massage. I have seen the calf drink from all of her teats but of course I do not stand out there all day and watch. This is her second calf, first with us. Any advice?


    1. Spirited Rose Dairy

      Edema can last up to a month and sounds like what you are describing.

      If this is a beef cow you are describing, they can nurse their calves without any additional care. For almost all dairy breeds, we recommend milking out twice a day. even if share milking, the cows almost always make more milk than one calf can consume, especially a newborn. If you do not milk regularly, you risk serious reduction in milk production and mastitis.


  18. Faith

    Great! Gracie is acting like she is thinking about having a baby! (But I wish she would wait a little bit because 1.she’s a heifer and 2. we have snow on the ground but its melting pretty quick!) I’m glad it’s nothing harmfull to her udder (of course unless she has edema really bad) Thank’s again I’m getting soo excited for this!


  19. Faith

    Thank’s, this really helped me! I have a first time heifer and half of her bag is like swollen more than the other one but she doesn’t act like it hurts her, she is fixing to have her baby any time! 🙂 wish me luck I hope I can do everything right!.


    1. Spirited Rose Dairy

      Hope things go well for you! Edema looks scary and may last a while, but as long as you milk her out twice (or three!) times a day, she will keep improving her whole lactation. 🙂 Good luck!


Please comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s