How To Use a California Mastitis Test

The California Mastitis Test (CMT) is very useful tool in detecting mastitis in dairy cattle and goats. It is inexpensive and easy to use. I will walk you through the process of using a CMT test kit in this post.

The CMT test kit has 2 basic elements, the test paddle and the test solution. The test solution comes in a concentrated form and must be diluted with water. Follow the directions on the bottle and dilute the solution. The solution is then put in a dispensing bottle. The paddle has 4 compartments, one for a sample of each quarter.

First, strip and discard several squirts of milk from each quarter. The first squirts of milk are higher in somatic cell count and will throw off your results. You can now squirt milk from each quarter into the four separate compartments on the paddle. Tilt the paddle and drain off the excess so you have equal amounts of milk in each compartment. Now squirt the test solution into each sample, making sure that you add an amount of test solution equal to the amount of milk. You then swirl the samples in a circular motion. An infected quarter will be visibly thicker than the other quarters. See the video clip for an example…

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