Eight cows were challenged by a single quarter intramammary infusion of a relatively low-virulence strain of Staphylococcus aureus on four occasions five weeks apart and, after each challenge, each cow received one of four treatments, according to a duplicated Latin-square design. The treatments were massage alone (negative control), massage with a proprietary liniment, oxytocin, and a single course of a proprietary intramammary antibiotic. The massage treatments were applied at every milking for three weeks, oxytocin was given for one week, and the antibiotic was given after three successive milkings. Milk samples were collected immediately before and for three weeks after each challenge, and a scoring system was used to quantify the presence of bacteria during the whole of the period. None of the treatments completely eliminated bacteria from all the cows. Relative to the negative control, the liniment had no significant effect, but both oxytocin and the antibiotic reduced the numbers of bacteria significantly and did not differ significantly in efficacy.
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