Ultrasonographic Evaluation of Teat Structure and Detection of Prominent Annular Folds in Brazilian Dairy Buffaloes
Udder and teat characteristics differ between buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) and cattle (Bos taurus) and the differences are important in relation machine milk ability. Dairy buffalo milk out more slowly and are more difficult to milk than dairy cows, especially when milking machines are used. The goal of this study was to determine the ultrasonographic characteristics of udder and teat morphology in dairy buffaloes in Brazil, a country with a relatively recent history of buffalo farming. External assessment of the udder type and ultrasonography of the teat were done in 63 purebred Murrah and Mediterranian ´ Murrah dairy buffalo cows on three farms with different management systems. Udder types differed among farms; the rear-heavy udder type was most prevalent on two farms and the ball-shaped type occurred frequently on the third farm. Ultrasonographic measurements of the teat were made on one farm and showed correlations between the width of the teat tip and teat canal length, between the width of the teat tip and teat wall thickness and between the width of the teat tip and teat length. During the ultrasonographic examination of the teat, hyperechogenic membrane-like structures in the region of the annular folds, referred to as prominent annular folds (pAFs), were detected in at least one teat in 98 % of all buffaloes. These folds caused narrowing of the lumen between the teat cistern and gland cistern, but their physiological function and relevance concerning machine milk ability remain unclear. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effect of prominent annular folds on milk flow characteristics during mechanical milking in dairy buffaloes.
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