THE skin of the udder plays an important role in protecting the highly vascular and vulnerable mammary tissue. It is quite thin and in young animals is closely applied to the udder. The skin may reflect events - physiological and pathological - taking place in the body, especially those occurring within the udder. The teats are covered in specialised flexible and elastic skin, the epidermis of which is thicker than in other areas of the body. The epidermis is tightly attached to the underlying dermis and the teat is normally capable of withstanding minor trauma including sucking by the calf and milking by hand or machine. The skin of the teat is nonetheless quite delicate and vascular. It is readily susceptible to physical and other damage both within and outside the milking parlour.
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