Unlike the complicated California Mastitis Test (also known as a “paddle test”), which is subjective and requires mixing the milk with a solution, Milk Checker numerically displays results on digital display, with decimal precision, thus saving time and money.
Therefore, Milk Checker is the favored mastitis detector in most countries with high-quality control of milk such as Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.simultaneously.
- It is necessary to rinse the collection cup once daily after use. Do not contact hard or sharp objects with the sensors (electrodes and temperature).
Do not use strong chemicals (solvents, thinner, etc.) to clean the appliance.
- In the event of collection of colostrum or milk with severe mastitis (lump, blood or pus), it is necessary to wash the sampling cup with detergent.
- To remove lumps, use a soft cloth with neutral detergent.
- Do not immerse the appliance in water or any other liquid.
- Do not drop or bump the unit.
- Do not disassemble or attempt to repair the unit yourself. If necessary, contact your dealer.
- When batteries run out, a warning message will appears on the display, and the unit will automatically turn off. Open the battery compartment (located on the back of the device) with a screwdriver and replace the batteries with new ones (2 AA batteries).
1. What is bovine mastitis?
A: Bovine mastitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the mammary gland of dairy cows. The infection is caused by microorganisms, especially bacteria of the genera Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and also coliforms and is easily contagious and can transmitted between cows.
It is the most severe disease to dairy cattle due to the economic losses generated by it, the declining production, discarded milk and animals, and the spending for veterinary treatment and medication and etc.
It has two forms: clinical and subclinical. In the clinical stage symptoms are evident as changes in the secretion of milk in the udder is abnormal (increased temperature, swelling, pain and loss of function, dehydration, and etc.). However, in the subclinical stage, which is the most common, signs of the disease (infection intramammary) are not apparent. Therefore, it is often not detected in time and can progress to clinical mastitis.
2. How do you detect subclinical mastitis?
A: Subclinical mastitis can not be seen with the naked eye, so it can only be detected through laboratory tests, such as somatic cell count (SCC), or in field tests such as CMT (Califormia Mastitis Test) and Milk Checker.
CMT, also known as “paddle test” is the observation of the agglutination and the coloration of the mixture of the milk and a chemical reagent. According to the quantity of somatic cells in milk, it forms a gel of varying thickness. The result of the thickness of the gel, is given in scores, which generally ranges from 1 to 5. The CMT is interpreted subjectively and is therefore is subject to produce false positive or false negative results. Therefore a trained professional should perform the test.
Milk Checker is a device that has electrodes that measure the electrical conductivity of milk in milliSiemens per centimeter (mS/cm). When a given quarter of the udder is infected, the walls of the blood vessels dilate and other substances (other than somatic cells) of the blood, such as sodium and chloride ions, pass into milk increasing its electrical conductivity. The Milk Checker measures the electrical conductivities of the four quarters of the udder, then it compares and shows the numerical results on the digital display. Therefore, the result is exact, leaving no room for subjective interpretations.
3.Does Milk Checker count somatic cells in the milk?
A: No, the method used to detect mastitis by Milk Checker is by measuring the electrical conductivity of the milk. When a quarter is infected, chlorine and sodium ions pass from the blood vessels to the milk, increasing its electrical conductivity.
Normal milk has electrical conductivity up to 6.1 mS/cm. From 6.2 mS/cm and upward, the milk can be considered abnormal (see Question 4). However, the key to detect subclinical mastitis is the comparison between the figures obtained from the four quarters. If the difference between quarters is greater than 0.5 mS/cm (comparing to the quarter with the lowest electrical conductivity), it means that that quarter is infected.
4. What is the difference between “abnormal” and “infected” milk?
A: In accordance with the measurement criteria of Milk Checker, milk that has absolute electrical conductivity (ABS) equal to or greater than 6.2 mS/cm is considered abnormal. However, this does not necessarily mean the milk is infected (mastitis). There are several factors besides mastitis that can increase the electrical conductivity of milk such as lactation, food, hygienic conditions, and stress level etc. For example, a cow in production phase of colostrum may show levels above 6.2 mS/cm.
Milk that is already infected has a difference in conductivity (DIF) equal to or higher than 0.5 mS/cm in relation to the quarter with the lowest electrical conductivity in the same udder. This is due to the fact that subclinical mastitis does not occur simultaneously in all four quarters of the udder. Additionally, while the non-infected quarter with the lowest electrical conductivity shows the value of 0.0 (zero), the infected quarter shows value equal to or greater than 0.5 mS/ cm. If the difference in value is between 0.5 and 1.0 mS/cm, it is a mild infection. Above 1.0 mS/cm, the infection is severe.
5. Can you test the milk of all four quarters of the udder together with Milk Checker?
A: No, although Milk Checker has a single collecting cup to test the 4 quarters, milk samples should be collected and tested separately, in other words a quarter at a time. Do not mix the milk of the four quarters, as the results will be incorrect. The principle of Milk Checker consists of comparing 4 milk samples, each corresponding to a quarter of udder. This is the only possible way to identify the infected quarter (see how to use here).
6. Can you use Milk Checker soon after delivery?
A: Yes, Milk Checker can be used in all stages of lactation, even on the first day after birth. That way, it is possible to detect mastitis during the phase of colostrum.
7. Can you use Milk Checker in conjunction with the teat seal?
A: Yes, using a teat seal does not interfere with the functions of the Milk Checker.
8. Does Milk Checker dispense the need for veterinary diagnosis?
A: No, Milk Checker is a device for the detection of subclinical mastitis. Diagnosis and treatment should be done by a veterinarian or an expert.
9. Why and when to calibrate the Milk Checker?
A: Like any measuring instrument, the Milk Checker should always be calibrated to ensure accurate and reliable results. Milk Checker is carefully calibrated at the factory. However, it may be necessary to recalibrate the device periodically due to falls, misuse or when uncertain of measurement results.
10. How to calibrate Milk Checker?
Milk Checker can be calibrated with a solution of potassium chloride (KCl) in two ways:
A. KCl solution with 3 levels of concentration:
1. Pour 30ml of distilled water in the collection cup, and press the CAL button (located under the picture of the cow). The display will show “CAL” and the value 0.0.
2. Pour 30ml of 0.025M KCl solution in the collection cup and press the CAL button. The value 0.0 is canceled and the display will show “CAL” and 3.4M.
3. Pour 30ml of 0.05M KCl solution in the collection cup and press the CAL button. The value 3.4M will be canceled and the display will show “CAL” and 6.7M.
4. After completing the memorization of data from three KCl solutions, the calibration is complete. Note that the data indicated are within the range of accuracy. Then press the DELETE and make measurements normally.
Attention: If the calibration value is not within the range of accuracy, it may be that the concentration of the standard solution is not correct. If the normal values of the calibration cannot be obtained even using the correct concentration of the solution, turn off the power once and repeat the procedure.
B – 1 KCl solution concentration level:
1. Pour 30ml of 0.05M KCl solution in the collection cup and press the CAL button. The display will show “CAL” and 6.7M.
2. The calibration is complete. Press the RESET button and make measurements normally.
If the calibration value cannot be obtained even using the correct concentration of the solution, turn off the power once and repeat.
Note: Use standard solution in which the concentration of KCl is measured accurately. If the concentration of the standard solution is not exact, the values displayed are not correct. In case of a mistake in the operation, try calibrating it again. If necessary, consult your dealer.
|Method of Measurement||Measurement of electrical conductivity (E.C.)|
|Calculus||Difference of electrical conductivity calculated by computer|
|Statement reading||1. Three-digit digital display
2. Simultaneously indicates the absolute values of all quarters of the udder
3. Indicates the difference in electrical conductivity after calculation
4. Indicates the electrical conductivity calibrated
|Measuring range||0 to 13 mS/cm (milli-Siemens per centimeter)|
|Accuracy||3% +or- 1 digit|
|Automatic temperature compensation||+3 to 40ºC (offset to +25ºC)|
|Power||2 AA batteries|
|Dimensions||91 (width) x 45 (height) x 181mm (length)|