Choose the right cows for mastitis treatment – do not treat without testing

Traditions for treating mastitis in cows varies but statistics show that most of the antibiotics used in milk-producing herds are used in mastitis treatments.

Many mastitis treatments are without effect. By critically selecting cows for treatment, the efficacy of treatment improves, and antibiotic useage is lowered. Good udder health in the herd requires careful and efficient mastitis management. Classifying cases of mastitis according to severity makes it possible to select the correct cows for antibiotic treatment.

Grade all mastitis incidents by their severity and follow a simple decision tree for each case. The cases can be divided into three categories: mild, moderate and severe cases.

MILD CASES: Visible changes in milk. The udder is soft, the cow generally seems unaffected and has a normal appetite.

MODERATE CASES: Visible changes in milk. The udder is swollen but the cow generally seems unaffected. The appetite and milk yield might be slightly decreased.

SEVERE CASES: Visible changes in milk and a swollen gland. The cow is systemically affected and sick with fever, loss of appetite and severely reduced milk yield. The cow needs intensive care.

Confirm with the vet how to manage the different categories of mastitis, how to treat the individual case and how to follow up by using a simple decision tree.