A zero-grazed herd of approximately 400 cows had a significant mastitis problem associated with Escherichia coli and Streptococcus uberis during a study over three and a half years. Dry cow therapy and post-milk teat dipping effectively controlled staphylococci and the bulk milk cell count averaged less than 400 X 10(3) cells/ml, but over 1800 clinical cases of mastitis occurred over this period, 32 per cent of which were associated with E coli and 25 per cent with Str uberis. Only 8 per cent of the cases associated with E coli showed obvious systemic disturbance and 75 per cent were cured following penicillin and streptomycin treatment. The incidence was highest during spring and summer when the housed cows were dirtiest. Gross teat-end contamination came mainly from sources other than cubicle bedding, and changing the bedding from sawdust to sand did not alter the incidence of clinical mastitis. It was not possible to maintain adequate cleanliness either inside or outside the parlour, nor maintain a trouble-free milking apparatus. The costs of mastitis in this herd during one year are calculated.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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