Good news! The bacterial count and the coliform count are great! The somatic cell count is high, but still passing. I have been watching the CMT results carefully on her left hind quarter, and slowly but surely, the somatic cell count is receding. I called my veterinarian and explained that this was the same quarter that was injured almost two months ago, and he assured me that since there was no bacterial growth on the private lab results (the state test results concur with the private lab), and because the quarter isn't giving abnormal milk, Ruby doesn't have mastitis. She is shedding leukocytes (white blood cells) because the tissue in that quarter is still healing. Makes sense. The last CMT I did was two days ago and the results were negative, so I'm feeling assured that the quarter is getting better.
And with that preamble, here are the results from October's state milk quality test:
Standard Plate Count (total bacteria, benign and otherwise) <2500/mL (passing is <15,000, and the state test doesn't go lower than 2500/mL)
Coliform (bacteria from environmental contamination) <1/mL (passing is <25/mL)
Somatic Cell Count (can indicate mastitis) 470,000/mL (passing is <500,000/mL)
I just want to take a moment to reiterate my personal goals in regards to the milk quality tests. I want to have a standard plate count of <2500/mL, a coliform count of <1/mL, and a somatic cell count of <200,000/mL. While I didn't make my own personal goals, I still passed the state's standards for raw milk quality. I am pleased with these results, especially since I have a likely explanation for the high somatic cell count, and I am seeing gradual and steady improvement on the CMT results.
With all of this pleasing news about the quality of Ruby's milk, I feel an ice cream making session coming on... YUM!