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What Mastitis?

Read up on how you can help stop mastitis before it starts



  • What is the scale of the mastitis problem?
  • What causes mastitis in dairy cows?
  • How to detect mastitis in dairy cows?
  • How to prevent mastitis in dairy cows?
  • Choosing the right mineral management
  • What is Total Replacement Technology™ (TRT)?
  • What happens when you use TRT?


What is the scale of the mastitis problem?

Mastitis is quite commonly the costliest disease found on dairy farms. In fact, it is estimated to cost the UK dairy farming industry £170 million per year.

Beyond the treatment costs, there are long-term effects on milk yield. There is also the added pressure of antibiotic reduction requirements as part of the ‘One Health’ approach to mitigating antibiotic resistance among both farmed animals and humans. For more information on the latest antibiotic targets for UK farm animals visit

According to recent Alltech® Navigate™ feed waste surveys of 31 UK dairy farms with a herd size of 267 cows, the average loss caused by mastitis was a hard-hitting £7,275!

So…what if you could reduce the risk factors that can lead to this problem in the first place?!

What causes mastitis in dairy cows?

In the UK, mastitis is usually caused by the bacterial pathogens Streptococcus uberis, Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli (E. coli), either through contagious (cow-to-cow) or environmental (present in the herd’s surroundings) transfer.

Contagious pathogens tend to live on the cow's udder and skin, colonising the area and migrating up the teat canal. Infection occurs as they are transferred from cow-to-cow during milking. Contagious mastitis cases will cause an increase in somatic cell count (SCC), but Bactoscan results will not change significantly.

Environmental pathogens live in bedding material and the environment, with transfer and infection typically occurring during feeding, lying or loafing. They can also be transferred during milking when liner slippage occurs. High levels of environmental pathogens often cause an above-average Bactoscan, but SCC remains normal.

Infection can also occur during the dry period. It is important to identify the source of infections in order to choose the right approach to control, prevention and treatment.

For more information, visit:

How to detect mastitis in dairy cows?

To prevent and treat mastitis cases effectively, they must be detected as early as possible. Mastitis can cause a combination of acute physical symptoms which you may see and subclinical signs that you may not.

Download your guide to detecting mastitis here.

How to prevent mastitis in dairy cows?

Depending on the source of infection and method of transfer, several steps can be taken to prevent mastitis threat in the environment or housing, during milking, at drying off and in the diet.

Find out more here: 4 Steps to Managing Mastitis in Dairy Cows


Choosing the right mineral management


What minerals do cows need?

Healthy herds and healthy profits start with choosing the right minerals.

Mineral management is more than just preventing deficiencies. Incorrect mineral supplementation can have major consequences on herd health and productivity.

Traditional methods of supplementation have used inorganic minerals. However, inorganic minerals are poorly absorbed by the animal. This has caused a shift to organic mineral supplementation in many markets.

Organic minerals vs inorganic minerals

  • Inorganic minerals can cause oxidation and reduce the efficacy of antioxidants.
  • Inorganic minerals can inhibit the activity of enzymes, such as phytase, due to the reactivity of inorganic minerals at an acidic pH.
  • Weakly bonded organic trace minerals can have the same adverse effects as inorganics.

What is Total Replacement Technology™ (TRT)?

Alltech has proven that organic trace minerals in the form of Bioplex® and Sel-Plex® can be included at significantly lower levels while improving animal performance. This optimises animal mineral requirements and reduces negative environmental impacts. We call this innovation Alltech’s Total Replacement Technology™ (TRT). It is the most researched enhanced nature-equivalent mineral source on the market.

Features & Benefits



Naturally protected

Greater bioavailability

Optimised chelation process combines chemically with amino acids and peptides

Avoids dissociation and reduces reactivity in the GI tract

Enhanced stability at acidic pH due to the proprietary hydrolysis process in which we optimise the mineral binding potential of the peptides

No negative interference with essential dietary components or cellular processes

Peptides can form strong bonds with minerals such as Cu, Fe, Zn and Mn

This ensures their delivery to the absorption sites in the small intestine

*Alltech is the only company to have two fully documented published assays to demonstrate quantitative chelation. The first assay uses a form of infra-red spectroscopy to measure the amount of bound mineral, whereas the second assay uses a form of crystallography to measure unbound mineral. Read more here.

What happens when you use TRT?

Organic minerals are proven to support dairy cows' natural immune function.

A recent trial demonstrated a 35% reduction in risk factors that can lead to incidences of mastitis, or dropping the total number of mastitis cases by 15 in every 100 milking cows, where the incidence rate is an average of 21%.

Learn more here.