Prevention of Mastitis in Dry Dairy Cows

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 The dry period is a crucial time for all dairy cows. This vital gap makes successful lactation possible, which enables the cow’s udder to regenerate milk-producing tissue. During the dry season, new intramammary infections can easily infect cows.

During lactation, dairy cows are susceptible to infections, including mastitis. Inflammation of the udders or mammary glands is a characteristic of this medical issue. Numerous factors typically contribute to its occurrence, including bacterial infections caused by environmental contact or during milking.

Here, we discuss the prevention of mastitis in dry dairy cows.

Confirm a Diagnosis with a Veterinarian 

 Confirm a diagnosis with a vet specialist to avoid suffering significant losses due to misdiagnosis. Compared to treatment, disease prevention is more efficient and less expensive. Vaccinating against a particular disease if it risks human health or is cost-effective.

After determining the risk associated with a particular animal health concern, you must choose whether to monitor the herd for signs of disease early in the production cycle and take appropriate action or to wait until symptoms appear before taking any action.

 Ways of Worm prevention

An animal with a worm infection will get sick and lose weight. It often has a swollen stomach (sometimes called a pot belly). The risk of gastrointestinal worm infestation from grazing is highest in young animals. Humid and warm environments are ideal for worm development.

There are three ways of worm prevention

  • Stall-feeding rather than grazing will help lower the risk of disease.
  • Regularly clean and maintain a dry, stable floor.
  • Mobile pens in well-kept pasture plots are better than grazing in humid areas.

Housing and Environment for Dry Cows

On your farm, dry cows are just like any other animal. It is essential to give them an environment that will reduce their exposure to dirty conditions. Dry cows must move off of concrete and get some exercise.

One of the main contributors to an environment with lower bacterial populations is housing. Pastures, bedded packs, and dirty, wet, or muddy stalls expose the teat end to many bacteria.

Feeding Program in Dry Dairy Cows

For a dry dairy cow, the feeding schedule doesn’t need to be complicated; feeding is necessary to ensure that the cow produces as much milk as possible during the subsequent lactation and to minimise metabolic diseases, including milk fever, displaced abomasum, and ketosis. Nutrient requirements are lower for dry cows than for lactating cows. Keep the milking herd and dry cows apart at all times.

Treating Dry Cows with Intramammary Antibiotics.

During the early dry period, treating cows with an intramammary antibiotic during dry-off can help treat subclinical infections that are already present and stop new infections from developing. Ensure employees know the teat canal is the only way for germs to enter the mammary gland and induce an intramammary infection.

Describe how important it is to disinfect teat ends in the proper sequence (from farthest to nearest) and to inject antibiotics in the opposite order (from closest to most distant) to prevent contaminating previously treated teats. Additionally, show them how to use an antibiotic tube with a short tip or the partial insertion method, which can cut the risk of new intramammary infections by up to 50%.

Quartermaster Selective dry cow therapy (SDCT):

It involves treating a cow with at least one infected quarter only or treating all of the quarters of the cow only. After lactation, this is done. Intramammary antibiotics are not given to cows or uninfected quarters.

 Quartermaster also lessens and stops reinfection of Staphylococcus aureus infection symptoms. Often known as penicillin-dihydrostreptomycin in oil, this drug is administered carefully to cows during drying-out periods. Administering carefully calibrated doses of quartermaster medicine for cows during drying-out periods proves to be a proactive measure in maintaining the health and well-being of the livestock.

The two main treatments for mastitis are lactation therapy and dry cow therapy. However, due to antibiotic residues discovered in milk, the use of antibiotics in lactation therapy is currently facing harsh criticism. As such, a tendency towards SDCT is now starting to become apparent.