Effect of pegbovigrastim treatment on the incidence of post-calving antimicrobial treatments in four UK dairy herds

J G Cook
Veterinary Journal 2020, 259-260: 105479
A randomised controlled trial was carried out in four dairy herds located in the UK to evaluate the effect of pegbovigrastim treatment on the incidence of antimicrobial treatments during the first 30 d of lactation (DIM). Medical treatment records were analysed, and treatments identified where an antibiotic product was used. Records were available for 1865 cows, 933 of which received two injections of pegbovigrastim given approximately 14 d prior to expected calving (IMR) and again within 24 h of calving. 932 cows received no treatment (CON). In total, 11.6% (n = 108/933) IMR cows and 13.2% (n = 123/932) CON cows received at least one antibiotic treatment during the first 30 DIM. Of the IMR cows 2.9% (n = 27/933) were treated with antibiotics for the reason of mastitis along with 3.4% (n = 32/932) of cows from the CON group. 8.9% (n = 83/933) of IMR cows and 10.3% (n = 96/932) of CON cows received antibiotic treatment for a condition other than mastitis, 0.2% (n = 2/933) and 0.8% cows (n = 7/932) from the IMR and CON groups, respectively, received an antibiotic treatment for both mastitis and a reason other than mastitis during the first 30 DIM. Data were analysed with the farm where each cow was located as a random effect and with fixed effects of treatment (IMR or CON), parity (categorised as cows in 1st, 2nd and 3rd or subsequent lactations) and season of calving (autumn [AUT], September through November; winter [WIN], December through February; spring [SPR], March through May; and summer [SUM], June through August), and all 2-way interactions with treatment. Treatment was associated with reduced risk of receiving antibiotic therapy in the first 30 DIM (odds ratio [OR], 0.51; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.28 to 0.94), but a treatment × farm interaction was detected. Compared with IMR, CON cows were more likely to receive an antibiotic treatment on 3/4 farms during the first 30 DIM. However, CON cows on Farm 2 were less likely to do so (12.4% [n = 45/364] vs.15.5% [n = 36/232]). Cows in the third or subsequent lactation were also found to be at increased risk of receiving antibiotic therapy (OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.09 to 2.20) than cows in their first lactation. Pegbovigrastim treatment pre-calving may be useful in some herds for reducing the incidence of antimicrobial treatments during early lactation.

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