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J Dairy Sci. 2008 Feb;91(2):632-40. doi: 10.3168/jds.2007-0174.

Systemic treatment of subclinical mastitis in lactating cows with penethamate hydriodide.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité IASP, 37380 Nouzilly, France.


A randomized controlled field trial was performed to evaluate the efficacy of a 3-d treatment regimen with i.m. penethamate hydriodide compared with no treatment in lactating cows with subclinical mastitis. To be included, a cow had to have 2 somatic cell counts (SCC) 300,000 cells/mL at the last 3 monthly controls, 1 or more quarters with SCC >250,000 cells/mL, and the same bacterial species isolated in 2 consecutive samples 2 to 4 d apart. A total of 151 quarters from 92 cows were monitored for 2 mo following treatment. Quarter milk samples were examined for bacteriological cure (BC) and SCC at 14, 28, and 60 d after treatment. Bacteriological cure was defined as not having the same bacterial species isolated from the quarter milk samples taken at 14 and 28 d posttreatment as in the samples taken before treatment. Systemic treatment with penethamate resulted in BC in 59.5% of quarters and 52.2% of cows, compared with 16.7 and 10.9% in the untreated cows. Somatic cell count decreased significantly in the penethamate-treated cows, steadily in the case of BC and transiently when the infections persisted. This study confirms that systemic treatment of subclinical mastitis with penethamate is effective and that BC of infected quarters has a sustained positive effect on milk SCC during the 2 mo following treatment.

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