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4 Steps to Managing Mastitis in Dairy Cows

4 Steps to Managing Mastitis

Depending on the source of infection and method of transfer, several steps can be taken to reduce the opportunity for mastitis transfer within the environment and housing, during milking, at drying off and in the diet.

1. Housing  

  • Clean and dry bedding  
  • Heat stress mitigation 
  • Well drained and scraped yards 
  • Cubicles that promote proper lying-in 

2. Milking 

  • Use quality and effective dip and disinfect treatment, ensuring full teat coverage  
  • Wear nitrate or latex gloves to minimise the spread of bacteria 
  • Wash hands thoroughly after handling cows with suspected mastitis 
  • Wash manure off milking deck regularly, avoiding splashback on cows 
  • Ensure clusters are free of debris and ideally flushed between cows 
  • Service parlour every 12 months and change liners every 2,000 milkings   
  • Check for liner twists and cluster slippages 

3. Drying-off 

  • Use a long-acting, oil-based antibiotic dry cow tube on cows with high SCC 
  • Use internal teat sealers to reduce the risk of new infection entering the teat canal 

4. Nutrition 

  • Prevent cows from becoming too fat in late lactation or during the dry period 
  • Prevent a large decrease in feed intake during the pre-fresh period 
  • Promote a rapid increase in energy intake during the immediate post-fresh period 
  • Keep supplemental fat in the diet low for the two weeks after calving  
  • Give fresh cows lots of room and plenty of access to the feed face   
  • Meet the transition cow requirements for trace minerals and vitamins in the correct form 
  • Carefully manage potassium and sodium intake pre-calving to reduce udder oedema 
  • Check your mineral specifications for Bioplex® and Sel-Plex® organic minerals

To counter mastitis effectively, it should be detected as early as possible. Read up on how you can help stop mastitis before it starts here.


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