Clinical cases

  • 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.

  • Has your dry-off increased the risk of mastitis at calving?

    Most of the spring calving cows have now been dried-off and will be enjoying their “annual holiday”.

    This is an ideal time to pause briefly, reflect on the dry-off and consider whether any adjustment to the calving management strategy might be beneficial.

    Given the difficulties of this season, all costs have been closely scrutinised and treatment cost at drying-off has been no exception.

    As a result, some farms have needed to compromise at dry-off in terms of cost.

  • High clinical case rate

    clinical caseWhilst every dairy farm would like to have no mastitis at all, that is not really possible yet!

    So, how many clinical cases is too many clinical cases?

  • How much mastitis is too much mastitis at calving?

    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.

    The trigger point for clinical cases of mastitis at calving is 5%.

    For this purpose, the calving period for each cow (or heifer) is defined as two weeks before calving until two weeks after calving.

    For every 100 cows that calve, if you have 5 or more cows that develop a clinical case in the first 2 weeks after they have calved, it is likely that there is a problem.

    For an earlier indication, you can think of the trigger as 3 cases in every 50 cows that calve.

    What if you find that you are exceeding that trigger? What should you do?

  • How much mastitis is too much mastitis?

    Wouldn't it be fantastic to think that mastitis could be a thing of the past!

    clinical-caseUnfortunately 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?

  • Is your "Plan B" ready?

    springing cows in paddock

    It really shouldn’t have been this dry - after all, it was the last week in June and it was Gippsland!

    In fact, the only problem we had as we walked across the designated calving paddock on that day was the icy wind which was intent on going through anything in its path rather than around it!

    The paddock was a great choice for calving - it was close to the house as well as to the dairy yards and facilities, plus it was well drained, with a clean pick of pasture.

  • Low cost effective mastitis control at calving

    Freshly calved cow and calf

    Wet weather and mud has returned with a vengeance, and many farms will now be calving cows in these conditions.

    The most common cause of mastitis around calving, both clinical cases and new subclinical infections, is Streptococcus uberis (Strep uberis). This is an environmental organism passed in the faeces of cattle, so the major source of these mastitis infections on the farm is from contamination of teats with faeces and mud.

  • Must we accept more mastitis in wet weather?

    Clinical case of mastitis

    Some of our dairy regions have experienced a wet winter for the first time in a number of years, and many farms have found it a test of their patience as well as a test of their infrastructure and systems.

    One of the issues associated with the wet weather has been an increase in milk quality problems in terms of both mastitis and Bactoscan results on some farms.

    As the spring calving winds down, it is an ideal opportunity for each farm to consider that calving period in terms of milk quality outcomes.

    How many cases of mastitis occurred during that calving period? How many is too many?

Subscribe to our newsletter

Go to top