Mastitis is a fact of life on every dairy farm, but the consequences of it need not be as great as often seen if improved treatment regimes are implemented, according to Boehringer Ingelheim’s technical manager Kath Aplin.
Reduced milk yields, lower feed intakes and, crucially, poor fertility are all well known consequences of clinical mastitis, with the latter often also resulting in increased culling rates.
Ms Aplin said that recent studies have found that treating clinical mastitis with the NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) Metacam (meloxicam) can greatly reduce the negative impact of mastitis.
“A study undertaken in New Zealand and published in 2009 proved that cows were 42 per cent less likely to be culled when Metacam was included in their mastitis treatment regime, compared with cows only receiving antibiotics,” Ms Aplin said.
“This is a significant improvement in culling rates and, consequently, has a significant impact on financial returns by reducing replacement costs and meaning cows are retained in the herd for longer.”