News & Advice

Simple and effective – RMT paddles

Jul 30, 2019 | Dairy, Dairy Animal Health & Welfare, Milk Quality

Katrina Roberts, Herd Health Veterinarian, Anexa Vets

The Rapid Mastitis Test (RMT) paddle is very simple and has been around a long time, but it is still the easiest way to screen cows leaving the colostrum mob or mastitis mob before they enter the main milking herd. Once a cow is in the milking herd, if she has mastitis she is difficult to find. Therefore, ensuring that only ‘clean’ cows enter the milking herd will save you time later!

The RMT is a detergent that reacts with the cells in the milk to form a clump (slime-ball); quarters that clump have a high Somatic Cell Count (SCC). Ensure that the person doing the RMTing is trained in their job and is taking a standardised approach to the task – the test is only as good as the operator!

Using the RMT paddle to screen cows at the end of their colostrum period, gives you confidence those cows don’t have an active mastitis infection when they enter the main herd. It is also a good idea to use it to screen cows leaving the mastitis mobs, you are confident those cows are well on the way to recovering from their infection (less likely to relapse and also less likely to infect other cows).

If you find cows that are clumping there are different options depending on your farm’s milk quality situation; 

  • collect a milk sample and get it tested to see if there is a bug still there, 
  • treat them (or continue treatment), 
  • mark them and leave them in the colostrum mob/mastitis mob one more day and re-RMT them tomorrow,

If you don’t have a consistent approach on your farm regarding use of the RMT paddle as a screening tool please have a chat to your vet.

View Our Step-by-step Guide: 

How to RMT.pdf 


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