There are two things that we are trying to achieve at dry off.
- Cure current infections
- Prevent new infections
There are two types of product that we have available to achieve these goals
- Intra-mammary Antibiotics
- Teat sealants
Intra mammary antibiotics will cure approximately 80% of infections within the udder. There are however longer and shorter acting dry cow products available.
It is important to remember that there is NO DIFFERENCE in the cure rates between the medium acting dry cow products like Elaclox (35 day minimum dry period), and the long acting dry cow products like Cepravin (49 day minimum dry period).
The short acting dry cow products (minimum 30 day dry period) do not have cure rates as high as 80% and are therefore not recommended.
Cepravin does have some advantages over Elaclox. It is present in the udder at the point of calving, and therefore will have SOME effect in preventing new infections at this time.
Teat sealants are designed to create a physical barrier within the teat, and prevent bacteria from entering the udder at the time of calving. They have NO effect whatsoever in curing current infections; however they provide the best defence to the prevention of new infections.
Cows should be producing a minimum of 6L (Jerseys 5L) for the antibiotics to be effective, production less than this will reduce the efficacy of the treatments, and increase the risk of antibiotic residues despite adhering to the minimum dry periods.
Correct administration of the products is essential to allow cows to calve with good quality, low cell count milk. Poor techniques can lead to reduced efficacy and cases of fatal mastitis at the time of calving.
Careful management at the time of calving can also reduce the incidence of new infections. Cows should calve down in a sheltered, clean and well drained area. They should be milked out fully once calved, and should NOT be allowed to run milk.
If you would like to have a chat with one of our vets about your particular requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic.
Correct Dry Off Technique - Courtesy of Dairy Australia