Mastitis is the term for a bacterial infection of the udder of ewes and it is the inflammation of the mammary gland. The cause of mastitis is bacteria that are already living within the sheep. The bacteria are resistant already to a bunch of commonly used antibiotics and that is why sheep need to be treated for mastitis with other medications. Ewes are more susceptible to mastitis if they have suckling lambs and poor milk production, if they have been cut or injured in any way, or if they are living in a crowded and wet environment. (Department of Agriculture and Food 2015) The most common forms of mastitis in sheep are known as clinical or subclinical mastitis. Clinical mastitis is defined by abnormalities that are easy to see in the milk or udder like clotting of milk, a watery appearance or flaking. The udder will also become firm and hot to the touch. Subclinical mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland and it does not create changes to the milk or the udder that are visible. Sheep with subclinical mastitis will produce less milk and the quality of the milk will also decrease. Subclinical mastitis requires a special test to be done on the ewe for diagnosing since there are no clear attributes that are defined when a sheep has subclinical mastitis. The lambs from these ewes will have a significantly poor growth rate and there is always the possibility of the lambs dying.
In Nepal, sheep are important to the economy. They provide wool which is a primary source for clothing as well as being a very good meat source.
The demand for sheep meat is great and the country cannot keep up with its demand. It is important to increase the amount of sheep that are in Nepal but it is also very important to keep the ones that they do have as healthy as possible. Sheep in Nepal receive very little care and they are mostly made to fend for themselves. They have to compete for food with larger ruminants and lack of pasture management means that the nutrient rich grasses that they need are being replace with thorny weeds. Climate, diet and animal health are also factors that can lead to the stresses of mastitis.
One possible method for treating mastitis in sheep in Nepal would be an injection called Micotil. This is for some farmers, the drug of choice because it is known to be highly effective. (Elanco Canada 2015). It fights against the bad bacteria within the udder cells as well as the inflammatory cells. Micotil is distributed from a company called Elanco. This company has more than 2,500 employees and delivers its products to over 80 countries worldwide. Currently Elanco ships their products to China, India, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam to name a few. (Elanco Canada, 2015). Elanco could ship the medication to vet clinics in Nepal like the Nepal Veterinary Association, where it then can be bought and distributed to farmers who need it. The one minor downfall would be the price. Right now one 100ml bottle is $191.51. However the problem of mastitis is very prevalent so farmers could split the cost of the actual bottles and share the medication. There are no competitors in this market so Elanco Canada would benefit from this as well as their vets and scientist in Canada.
One way of marketing this product for farmers in Nepal would be going around to their actual farms and talking about the product. Being informative and helping the farmers in Nepal to understand that this product can have a positive contribution to their livestock is very important. Setting up classes that the farmers could go to, too further educate them on things like mastitis, the different forms of it and the signs that contribute sheep having mastitis gives them further knowledge about their f lock, all while promoting Elanco Canada and Micotil.
This product would be extremely beneficial to farmers in Nepal since there is an ongoing problem with mastitis in their sheep flocks. It is easy to use and easy to learn about when it comes to dosage for treatment. Elanco Canada would also benefit from this trade because it would add another company to their export list as well as increasing their profit. It would also benefit veterinarians in Nepal by bringing them more business, since it is recommended that they be the ones to maintain this product for farmers.
Image taken from Shropshirehillsfarms.ca