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An economic justification of "blitz" therapy to eradicate Streptococcus agalactiae from a dairy herd
  1. PW Edmondson
  1. Veterinary Centre, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.


Streptococcus agalactiae was identified as the cause of mastitis in a 240-cow dairy herd. Forty-five per cent of the herd had cell counts over 500,000/ml, and 28 per cent had cell counts over 1,000,000/ml. Dry cow therapy was used regularly but teat dipping had not been used for three years. The procedures at milking were modified, teat dipping was introduced, and the herd was divided into two according to cell count. The 120 cows with higher cell counts were treated with 300 mg erythromycin (Erythrocin intramammary; Sanofi Animal Health) preparation per quarter at two consecutive milkings. Towards the end of lactation, all the 90 lactating cows in the herd were again treated with erythromycin. Milk samples were collected from all the cows in the herd 12 months after the initial treatment, and S agalactiae was isolated from only one replacement heifer which had been purchased after the treatments with erythromycin. The butterfat and protein levels in the milk were compared with those of a similar, but untreated, herd for 12 months before and after therapy. The butterfat levels rose sharply after treatment, and financial assessment showed a 41 per cent return on investment in the 12 months following the treatment.

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