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Comparing combination therapy with antimicrobial dry cow therapy alone

A. J. Bates, G. Chambers, R. A. Laven

THE dry period is an ideal time to cure intramammary infections in dairy cows but it is also a high-risk period for new infections to become established. Combination therapy involving long-acting cephalonium and an internal teat sealant (ITS) lowers the risk of new intramammary infections over the dry period in housed year-round calving herds and reduces the risk of clinical mastitis after calving in pasture-based systems. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of combination therapy with cephalonium alone under seasonal calving and pastoral conditions in New Zealand.

Cows from a spring-calving, pasture-based dairy farm in the South Canterbury region of New Zealand were randomly allocated to receive cephalonium (289 cows) or combination therapy (304 cows) at the end of lactation. Outcomes were measured in terms of diagnosis of clinical mastitis by farm staff through abnormalities in the milk and the prevalence of cows with a somatic cell count (SCC) of more than 150,000 cells/ml 60 to 80 days after calving. The cows were inspected twice daily during the dry period and following calving for signs of …

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