News & Advice

Having mastitis issues?

Aug 5, 2017 | Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare

Hamish Clare, Anexa FVC Veterinarian

The rain hasn’t stopped this winter, and with more mud around this increases the risk of mastitis at calving. The period two weeks prior to and after calving is when a cow is at most risk of picking up an infection so it has been a challenging calving.

If you are having more mastitis than usual for your farm, or more than the industry target of 10 cases for every 100 cows calved, you should act.

Options include:

  • It is still important to try and prioritise giving the remaining springers and colostrum cows fresh, clean breaks in your drier paddocks. 
  • Milk heifers and cows quickly after calving. Milking animals within 9-12 hours of calving, achieved through twice daily pick-up of calves can reduce mastitis by almost 50%. 
  • Teat spraying springers two to three times a week until calving can also help. 

If your issue is more a problem of mastitis cases responding poorly to treatment then:

  • Take pre-treatment sterile milk samples.  These samples can be tested at our lab in Morrinsville. Refrigerate the sample if it is going to the lab to be cultured that day, otherwise freeze the sample. If you need more information around taking samples ask your vet or ask for an information sheet from your local clinic. Taking samples from every case and freezing them also gives you the opportunity to focus on the samples from those cows which aren’t responding well. They also assist greatly should an investigation into excess clinical cases be required. The results will help to identify the likely cause and the most appropriate treatment. Holding frozen mastitis milk samples in your freezer, should they be required, is excellent milk quality “insurance”. 
  • The Dairy Antibiogram is a new test available  which looks at the susceptibility of the two most common mastitis causing bacteria to a range of antibiotics. This can provide you with invaluable information for choosing the right treatments for your cows and monitoring the resistance status of your herd. Many clients have already had a Dairy Antibiogram performed prior to dry off or have them booked for spring. Talk to your local Anexa FVC Vet for more information, we’re here to help.
Share This