Effect of treatment with an internal teat sealant at drying-off in cows wintered on forage crops in New Zealand on clinical mastitis and somatic cell counts

2017-11-09T00:40:09Z (GMT) by AJ Bates B Saldias
<p>AIMS: To determine the impact of treatment with internal teat sealant (ITS) compared to no treatment at drying-off on the incidence of clinical mastitis (CM) during the dry period and 84 days after calving, and the prevalence of cows with somatic cell counts (SCC) ≥200,000 cells/mL at the first lactation herd test, for cows wintered on forage crops.</p> <p>METHODS: In four dairy herds in the South Island of New Zealand, cows with no history of CM or individual SCC >100,000 cells/mL during the 2015–16 season were randomly assigned to treatment with ITS in each quarter (ITS group) at drying-off or no treatment (Control group). Cows were otherwise treated similarly, wintered on forage crops and transferred to pasture for calving and lactation. Cows were monitored over the dry period and for 84 days after calving, and any case of CM recorded. Individual SCC were recorded at the first herd test after calving.</p> <p>RESULTS: Between drying-off and 84 days after calving 36/470 (7.7%) cows in the ITS groups and 73/442 (16.5%) cows in the Control group were diagnosed with CM (RR=0.46; 95% CI=0.26–0.73). The final multivariable logistic regression model included an interaction between treatment group and length of dry period. For a Friesian/Jersey cow, aged 4–8 years, with a dry period of 30–80 days, dried off without ITS, the probability of CM in the study period was 0.12 (95% CI=0.09–0.16), and for such a cow treated with ITS the probability was 0.07 (95% CI=0.05–0.10). For an equivalent cow, with a dry period of 81–140 days, which was untreated, the probability was 0.21 (95% CI=0.14–0.29), and for such a cow treated with ITS it was 0.05 (95% CI=0.02–0.11). At the first herd test after calving 77/383 (20.1%) cows in the Control group and 57/425 (13.4%) cows in the ITS group had SCC ≥200,000 cells/mL (RR=1.51; 95% CI=1.10–2.06).</p> <p>CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: For these farms, treatment of cows with no history of elevated SCC or CM with ITS at drying-off halved the incidence of CM between drying-off and 84 days after calving, and reduced by 33% the proportion of cows with SCC≥200,000 at the first herd test after calving, compared with untreated cows. Treatment with ITS reduced the risk of CM proportionally more for cows with a dry period of 81–140 days than for cows with a shorter dry period.</p>