JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evaluation of selective dry cow treatment following on-farm culture: risk of postcalving intramammary infection and clinical mastitis in the subsequent lactation

M Cameron, S L McKenna, K A MacDonald, I R Dohoo, J P Roy, G P Keefe
Journal of Dairy Science 2014, 97 (1): 270-84
24183691
The objective of the study was to evaluate the utility of a Petrifilm-based on-farm culture system when used to make selective antimicrobial treatment decisions on low somatic cell count cows (<200,000 cells/mL) at drying off. A total of 729 cows from 16 commercial dairy herds with a low bulk tank somatic cell count (<250,000 cells/mL) were randomly assigned to receive either blanket dry cow therapy (DCT) or Petrifilm-based selective DCT. Cows belonging to the blanket DCT group were infused with a commercial dry cow antimicrobial product and an internal teat sealant (ITS) at drying off. Using composite milk samples collected on the day before drying off, cows in the selective DCT group were treated at drying off based on the results obtained by the Petrifilm on-farm culture system with DCT + ITS (Petrifilm culture positive), or ITS alone (Petrifilm culture negative). Quarters of all cows were sampled for standard laboratory bacteriology on the day before drying off, at 3 to 4d in milk (DIM), at 5 to 18 DIM, and from the first case of clinical mastitis occurring within 120 DIM. Multilevel logistic regression was used to assess the effect of study group (blanket or selective DCT) and resulting dry cow treatment (DCT + ITS, or ITS alone) on the risk of intramammary infection (IMI) at calving and the risk of a first case of clinical mastitis between calving and 120 DIM. According to univariable analysis, no difference was observed between study groups with respect to quarter-level cure risk and new IMI risk over the dry period. Likewise, the risk of IMI at calving and the risk of clinical mastitis in the first 120 DIM was not different between quarters belonging to cows in the blanket DCT group and quarters belonging to cows in the selective DCT group. The results of this study indicate that selective DCT based on results obtained by the Petrifilm on-farm culture system achieved the same level of success with respect to treatment and prevention of IMI over the dry period as blanket DCT and did not affect the risk of clinical mastitis in the first 120 d of the subsequent lactation.

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