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Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice

Posted By: Lynsie

Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/19/07 11:58 PM

Okay, a little history first. Kair's first joey was a single male, she raised it without any problems at all. Her next set of joeys were twins, she rejected one but not the other. Now she has another set of males that were oop 2.15.07. When they came oop they were healthy at 14gs. Yesterday I checked them and one of the males was very dehydrated and emaciated, so I supplemented him. The other boy was about to burst his tummy was so full. I got up this morning and checked on them and both were looking skinny so I supplemented both of them. A few hours later I got home from work and one male was nursing and the other wasn't hungry, but both bellies were still empty. Almost everytime I check them though they are not nursing. Kair is super tame and will let me do anything to her, so I went in and put the joey onto her nipple. When I did so I realized that her milk glands were full and both were hard.

Is this normal? What could have caused this?

I'm thinking that the joeys are not able to get any milk when they nurse and that I am going to have to completely take over feeding them. Any suggestions??
Posted By: Xglider

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 12:35 AM

Wow.. Lynsie... i have no idea... i have not had joeys... hope you get the answer soon...
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 01:03 AM

Lyns, that sounds like she may have the starts of mastitis. In later stages of mastitis, the nipples may also become hot to the touch and very painful to the mom.

In early stages, the most common syptoms are swollen/hard nipples and neglect of the joeys/joeys failure to thrive.

The vet will likely take a milk sample from each nipple to see what is going on, and in most cases a broad spectrum antibiotic such as Clavamox is prescribed. In some cases, hot packing is also recommended to encourage drainage and ease discomfort.

Advanced cases can also cause the mom to become dehydrated as well as possible development of abcesses in the mammary gland..
Posted By: Lynsie

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 01:10 AM

Oh great! Well the nipples aren't hard, she just looks engourged and it's kind of hard. I don't think they are sore either, she lets them nurse but I just don't think they can get anything. The vet is coming on Wed. and I will have her look at her.
Posted By: BeckiT

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 01:20 AM

that's how mastitis usually starts, the nipples become engorged and later hard because the joeys can't get anything out when they nurse. The fact that she is engorged combined with them not eating well, I'd really suspect that it's the starts of it frown
Posted By: Lynsie

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 01:29 AM

I have some clavamox here, should I go ahead and start giving her some?
Posted By: SugarBlossoms

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 01:47 AM

I can tell you with humans, that really starts to hurt and they can get infected. OUCH

I would take her to a vet. smile
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 03:28 AM

Only a vet can advise you on medications.

Since momma is so tame, I would try warm, moist compresses to try to relieve the congestion and let her milk flow. Apply warm moist compresses for 10 minutes and they put the hungry joeys on the teats to try to drain the milk glands.

You may see milk flow when you remove the compresses. You can very, very gently massage the glands from the abdominal wall towards the nipple to encourage the milk to flow. I can not emphasize enough that this must be done gently. Use the flat pad of your ring finger (as it is the gentlest) and massage in small circular motions, starting at the joining of the milk gland and the abdominal wall.

The trick here is to empty the milk gland, hopefully before infection can set in.

Mom may be in considerable discomfort and should get some pain relief from the warm compresses. She may relax and even fall asleep. If she seems to get some relief from the warm moist compresses you may continue with them. Eventually, if infection has not set in, you may be able to re-establish her milk flow.

It is very important to push fluids on mom and to keep her well hydrated. If mom becomes lethargic, feels warm to the touch as if she had fever, or develops an off color nose, get her to vet, any vet immediately. Mastitis can become a life threatening systemic infection very quickly.

Please keep us posted
Posted By: Lynsie

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 03:36 AM

What can I use to put on her tummy? I tried a warmed peice of fleece but it only stays warm for a few seconds. I don't have much to choose from here right now, I will have to go out tomorrow and get something to use.
Posted By: Cora

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 03:45 AM

Might try placing a wet washcloth in the microwave until very warm, then place in plastic baggie , then wrap that in a small towel ................make sure its not too hot. this will provide the moist heat pack you need for this type of situation (sure helped me when I was nursing and had this type problem).
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 04:11 AM

a washrag or terry cloth should work very well. The preferred fabric is wool felt, as it can be wrung out very dry, but still retains the heat, but it is almost impossible to find these days.

You might be able to cover a heating pad or hot water bottle and just place her hind end, belly down on it if you cannot manage a compress just for her tummy. Put more insulation under her legs and hips so that the heat will focus on her tummy.

After Mr Wiggles, I know you will be really careful with any heat source.
Posted By: Lynsie

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 04:17 AM

I warmed up a wash rag and put it in a baggie and wrapped it in fleece and put it on her tummy. She didn't like it, she kept crabbing. But I kept it on there for about 10min then gently messaged her teats but nothing happend. I put the joey to one and they wouldn't even latch on. She got engourged with her last 2 joeys but was still able to nurse. My vet comes the day after tomorrow and I will have her look at her then.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 04:50 AM

i myself know the pain from mastitis . they had to me in the hospital for it.
Posted By: Lynsie

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 06:44 AM

Well, I think I am going ot have a LONG 8 weeks ahead of me. I just went and checked on the boys because both were crying and I found Luke(wf) at the top of the pouch freezing cold and Josh was in the pouch but he wasn't very warm himself. I am afraid if I leave them alone over night that they will die. So I have set up the incubator. . . .
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 06:53 AM

So glad you are checking on them.

Please keep us posted on their condition, mom and boys.

We will keep you in our prayers.
Posted By: Cora

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/20/07 07:07 AM

Good luck Lyns.................The joys of breeding!!!!!
Do keep us updated...................thinking good thoughts for you and your furkids!!!!!!
..................................Cora
Posted By: Lynsie

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/22/07 07:00 PM

I just wanted to let everyone know that Kair is doing much better. When I got her out to show the vet, she had milk flowing. My vet went ahead and gave me some clavamox to try to prevent it from turning into mastitis.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/22/07 07:14 PM

So glad she is doing better....

Thanks for the update
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Hard Milk Glands- Need Advice - 02/22/07 09:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Lynsie
I just wanted to let everyone know that Kair is doing much better. When I got her out to show the vet, she had milk flowing. My vet went ahead and gave me some clavamox to try to prevent it from turning into mastitis.


It could very well be that the warm washcloth compress helped get the milk flowing. So glad to hear that she's doing better.

Tari
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