• "Just the person I wanted to talk to!"

    Clinical case of mastitis marked with paint

    Coffee and a slice on a Saturday morning is a bit of ritual for us these days, and my coffee had just arrived when John entered the café.

    I have never been to John’s farm, but I had met him a few times over the years at various industry seminars and meetings.

    “Just the person I wanted to talk to! You’ll be able to tell me what to do”, John announced.

    As I stood up to greet John, our chocolate brownie slice arrived at the table and my wife started to cut it in half (there is way too much sugar in a whole brownie!), whilst John’s wife made her way to a vacant table.

    “I’ve been using [Product X] for years to treat my mastitis, and it’s not working any more – what should I be using?”

  • A plan plus attention to detail makes a difference

    Craig Gallpen decided that it was time to do something about the hassle and cost of dealing with mastitis in their 450 cow herd that milks three-times-a-day in the Riverina.

    craig gallpen webCraig was not only disappointed with the cost of treating clinical cases, but culling due to mastitis was affecting their ability to achieve and maintain herd numbers.

    Dairy Focus always applies the Countdown principles and guidelines over five key areas of mastitis risk – drying-off, calving, lactation, environment and culling.

    We started by getting milk cultures from high cell count cows and clinical cases. These showed a mixed bag of contagious and environmental bacteria (especially Strep uberis and E. coli).

  • An assumption is just an assumption

    We regularly find that our milking time and farm visits are quite illuminating.

    Not only do they allow us to demonstrate and reinforce procedures that have been discussed both at training courses and on the farm, they also allow us to see firsthand what is actually happening on the farm and in the dairy.

    Sometimes things aren’t what you think they are going to be, and I was reminded of this at a recent milking time visit.

  • 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.

  • Handy spray can holster

    Belt mounted spray can holster

    This spray can holster is a really great idea when you are marking lots of cows in busy times of the year like at calving.

    Except if you need it for a hospital herd full of mastitis cases, you probably need to look at more than just a spray can holder.........

    It is also very handy for your spray bottle of 70% alcohol disinfectant whilst doing a herd strip. (Because you do sterilise your gloves regularly whilst strip testing the herd, don't you?)

  • To treat or not to treat?

    It is now October, most of the spring herd has calved, you've done silage, and you may have done one, or maybe two herd tests since the start of calving.

    So, is there anything to worry about?Udder web

    Well, maybe there is a group of freshly calved cows that you've seen on your herd test with high cell counts! Or even worse, it could be some first calf heifers with high cell counts!! All that work rearing these heifers, and now they are infected!

    What can be done? Should these cows & heifers be treated?

  • Two mastitis treatments out of stock

    Two intra-mammary mastitis treatments are currently either in very short supply or out of stock at both the manufacturers and wholesalers in Australia, and are expected to be for some time - some months at least, and experience tells us that these predicted dates are often very optimistic!

    As is commonly the case, this happened with very little warning, which means that whatever stock is currently at your vet is likely to be all that is available and may not last long.

    Once these stocks at your vet are exhausted, there will only be one once-a-day intra-mammary treatment available, so if your management revolves around once-a-day intra-mammary treatments, this would then become your only option.

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