Prevention of Spring Mastitis

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RMT pic

Cows with a healthy udder

  • Produce more milk
  • Are easier to milk
  • Have less mastitis
  • Suffer less pain
  • A more likely to get in calf
  • Have a longer productive lifetime
  • Provide more profit

Mastitis is caused by bacterial infection of the udder, the only way the bugs can get in is through the teat canal.

One of the key steps to good mastitis control is working with your lead vet to ensure you have good dry off and culling strategies.

Once spring hits we need tools to help reduce the risk of mastitis in the first 7 days of lactation.

Strategies to Reduce Incidence of Spring mastitis

  • Calve on clean, dry pasture or a clean, dry calving pad
  • Apply teat spray 3-4 times a week to the springer herd
  • Can reduce S. uberis infection by 50%
  • Milk heifers (and cows) quickly after calving
  • Milking within 9-12 hours of calving can reduce mastitis by 45%
  • Milking tight cows before calving
  • can reduce mastitis by 42%

Mastitis at calving time

  • Causes
  • Environmental
  • Heifer Mastitis

Important- RMT all cows before going in Vat!

ScoreGellingSCC * 1000 cells/ml
Negativenone100
Traceslight300
1Slight to moderate900
2Moderate2700
3Heavy8100

To Do

  • Strip cows every milking that they are in the colostrum herd
  • RMT test cows/heifers as they leave colostrum herd

Using  an RMT to monitor mastitis from colostrums into the milking herd

When treating clinical mastitis, when do we stop treatment?

Don’t use and RTM of electronic tester to test milk post treatment as the cell count will remain high for 2-3 weeks after the bug has gone.  This means we can be treating for longer than we need to.  Overtreatment is not only expensive but could lead to development of resistant bacteria??

Rule of thumb – treat until clinical cure.  That is when the milk runs clear.

If you have concerns about mastitis in your herd or what to ensure that you’re geared up for prevention mastitis this coming spring, talk to your lead vet. 

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