Dairy Focus Blog
- Published: 22 August 2015
In most areas, spring calving is well under way, so now is a good time to be very aware of how much mastitis is occurring at calving time, and to be ready to act if necessary.
Countdown has given us a set of "triggers" to indicate when there could be a significant problem which is likely to be worth looking into.
- Published: 07 June 2015
For many Australian herds, dry-off time for the spring calving cows is now upon us.
Drying-off is your single biggest opportunity to change the infection status of cows, and should probably be thought of not just as the end of one lactation, but actually as the start of the next lactation!
Because it is a significant investment of money, as well as time & effort, it is probably worth thinking about what you do and how you do it.
- Published: 07 June 2015
Q. "Do you need teat wipes with your dry cow?"
A. "No, I've got plenty at home."
This conversation always worries us!
- Published: 31 July 2014
Many herds have either just started spring calving or are just about to, and in many cases that will be in wet & muddy conditions.
For each cow, the calving period (2 weeks before calving until 2 weeks after) is the highest risk period for new mastitis infections, and wet conditions significantly increase that risk of mastitis.
Most new mastitis infections in this calving period are likely to be environmental (commonly Strep uberis), and for this infection to occur, the teat must come into contact with contaminated material (generally mud and/or faeces).
- Published: 28 March 2014
Some years ago, Streptococcus agalactiae (Strep ag) was a relatively widespread cause of mastitis in the Australian dairy industry.
It was then commonly known as “Contagious Mastitis”, due to its ability to spread rapidly in a herd.
Because cure rates for treatment of Strep ag are remarkably high, the widespread uptake of antibiotic dry cow therapy into a seasonal milking system nearly eradicated Strep ag from many regions of Australia.
However the trend towards both split and year-round calving, combined with widespread movement of cattle as herds have been sold and disseminated, has seen Strep ag begin to re-appear as a significant cause of mastitis in Australia.
- Published: 01 March 2012
Two core principles behind mastitis control are to minimise the number of bacteria on teat skin and to maximise & maintain teat end health.
Whilst pre-milking teat preparation is not routinely used in most Australian herds, there is good evidence that targeted use can be of significant benefit.
In situations where there is excessive exposure of teats to mud and/or faecal material, the introduction of a pre-milking wash & dry routine can significantly reduce the number of bacteria on the teat surface and hence the risk of mastitis.
Removal of this contamination also allows the teat disinfectant to get to the skin, maximising the chances of both killing bacteria and getting emollient to the skin surface to improve teat skin health.
Remember that "gold" standard is to have cups going onto clean, dry teats after the cow has had a milk let-down.
- Published: 13 January 2014
Summer has arrived and temperatures are soaring, especially in Northern Victoria, and farms expecting these conditions will be making plans to help the cows cope with the heat.
Source: www.eldersweather.com.au - 13/1/2014
Dairy Australia's Cool Cows website (www.coolcows.com.au) has a large amount of information to assist herds in managing heat stress.
However, there is commonly an increase in the risk of mastitis under these conditions – is it possible to reduce or at least manage that risk?
- Published: 28 November 2013
Wouldn't it be fantastic to think that mastitis could be a thing of the past!
Unfortunately that is unlikely to be the case any time soon.
Realistically, while we still milk cows, we are going to have to accept a level of mastitis – both as clinical cases and as high cell count cows (sub-clinical cases).
This means that mastitis is an ever-present risk - that is why at Dairy Focus we think of mastitis as a risk, and our goal is to make a farm "Low Risk" for mastitis.
But how much clinical mastitis is too much?