Bovine mastitis is often detected when cows exhibit symptoms; however, it can only be confirmed through testing such as the California Mastitis Test, according to the University of Missouri. The California Mastitis Test is administered by drawing foremilk and using the CMT reagent to see whether or not the milk changes in any way.
Milk that changes form by becoming too runny or too clumpy, indicates a positive reaction and usually confirms a diagnosis for bovine mastitis. However, it is possible for the test to produce false positives when there are udder injuries or infections such as a uterine infection, notes the University of Missouri.
Another way to detect bovine mastitis is by examining cows and looking for possible bovine mastitis symptoms. Symptoms of bovine mastitis include inflammation around or near the udder, high temperature, greater sensitivity around the cow's quarters, and visible clotting or flakes found in the cow's milk, according to the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin. Dairy cows are usually at a greater risk for contracting bovine mastitis, but beef cows can also contract the disease. Cows exhibiting any symptoms of bovine mastitis should be tested for the disease, according to the University of Missouri.