Research

  • Cost of a clinical case

    We recently had a final year veterinary student, Emma Liersch from Charles Sturt University, doing some of her practical placement work with us at Dairy Focus.

    clinical-caseIt's been about 6 years since Countdown's last estimate of the cost of a clinical case of mastitis, so to give Emma a project as part of her work with us, we gave her the task to research and recalculate this cost.

    Emma enthusiastically worked her way through the various cost elements, researching each using the available science and also industry contacts such as factory field officers, vets, etc.

    The end result is that, not surprisingly, the cost of a typical clinical case of mastitis has risen in the last 6 years – up from $230 in 2007, to about $270 now in 2013.

  • Does stage of lactation or age affect the cause of mastitis?

    We previously described the first results of the large mastitis survey in Australia conducted by Dairy Focus and funded by Pfizer Animal Health, which found that 90% of clinical mastitis was due to four major bacteria - Strep uberis, Staph aureus, E. coli & Strep dysgalactiae.

    But are any particular bacteria more common at different stages of lactation? Does the age of the cow make any difference?

  • Major mastitis survey in Australia - first results

    Surveys of mastitis are relatively rare in Australia, so the opportunity to do a major survey across a number of farms and regions for a whole year is something not to be missed.

    Earlier this year Dairy Focus completed a major mastitis survey that offers a unique insight into mastitis in the Australian dairy industry.

    The survey will have significant benefits for the industry as a whole, as well as for individual farms.

    Instigated and funded by Pfizer Animal Health, the survey included 66 farms across South Eastern Australia and resulted in over 4000 milk samples from both clinical cases of mastitis, and subclinical mastitis cows, being sent for culture and sensitivity over a twelve month period.

  • Survey of Mastitis Pathogens in SE Australia

    A Survey of Mastitis Pathogens in the South Eastern Australian Dairy Industry

     Neil Charman1, Rodney Dyson2 , Andrew Hodge1,Natalie Robertson1and Sarah Chaplin2

     1Pfizer Animal Health Australia, Parkville, Vic; 2 Dairy Focus, Tongala, Vic

    (This is an edited version of the presentation given at the Countdown Mastitis Symposium in Melbourne in July 2012)

    Introduction

    Knowing which bacteria are causing mastitis and high cell counts, gives an understanding of the source of the infection, how it is spreading, and helps to suggest treatment options.

    To assist our dairy industry, Pfizer Animal Health asked Dairy Focus to co-ordinate a survey of mastitis pathogens affecting the South Eastern Australian dairy industry.

    Thirteen veterinary practices enrolled 65 farms for the purpose of conducting this survey, and samples have been collected from 2986 cases of clinical mastitis and 1038 cases of subclinical mastitis between February 2011 and March 2012.

    All farms enrolled in the survey had a herd size of over 250 cows, herd tested on a regular basis, and maintained an electronic herd recording system.

    From the start of each calendar month, enrolled farms collected a milk sample from the first ten cases of clinical mastitis for that month.

    In addition, on a single occasion, many of the farms collected a further 20-30 samples from a selected group of cows that displayed a high somatic cell count in their milk in mid-to-late lactation.

  • Very high milk flow rates

    milking_time_testing_2At a recent milking time visit to a particularly high producing herd, we noticed mean claw vacuums during our milking time testing often getting as low as 30 – 32 kPa during peak milk flow, despite the system vacuum being 44.5 kPa.

    Countdown Downunder recommends mean claw vacuums between 36 and 42 kPa during peak milk flow, so we were keen to understand better what was happening at this herd.

    This was an ideal opportunity to use “Daisy”, our artificial udder, to do some true “wet testing” of the machines.

  • Very high milk flow rates

    milking time testing

    At a recent milking time visit to a particularly high producing herd, we noticed mean claw vacuums during our milking time testing often getting as low as 30 – 32 kPa during peak milk flow, despite the system vacuum being 44.5 kPa.

    Countdown recommends mean claw vacuums between 36 kPa and 42 kPa during peak milk flow, so we were keen to understand better what was happening at this herd.

    This was an ideal opportunity to use “Daisy”, our artificial udder, to do some true “wet testing” of the machines.

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