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J Dairy Sci. 2010 Apr;93(4):1566-77. doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2725.

The use of a cephalonium containing dry cow therapy and an internal teat sealant, both alone and in combination.

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Quality Milk Management Services Ltd., Unit 1, Lodge Hill Industrial Park, Station Road, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Nr Wells, Somerset, BA5 1EY, United Kingdom.


The dry period is a critical time in the lactation cycle, being the optimum time to cure existing intramammary infection (IMI) as well as encompassing the periods of highest susceptibility to new infection. Currently, IMI in the dry period is controlled with antibiotic dry cow therapy. The aim of this randomized control trial was to investigate different dry cow therapy regimens by stratifying cows by likely infection status at drying off in herds with low somatic cell count (SCC; bulk milk SCC <250,000 cells/mL) in southwest England. All quarters in 890 cows were recruited. The recruited cows were categorized as either infected or uninfected on the basis of SCC and clinical mastitis history. Ipsilateral quarters within each cow were randomly allocated to receive 1 of 4 different treatment regimens according to their infection category. Quarters in high-SCC infected cows were allocated to receive antibiotic dry cow therapy either alone or in combination with an internal teat sealant; quarters in low-SCC uninfected cows were allocated to receive teat sealant either alone or in combination with antibiotic dry cow therapy. All quarters were sampled for bacteriology at drying off and again within 10 d post-calving. Quarters were subsequently monitored for clinical mastitis for the first 100 d of lactation. The mass of residual sealant was assessed immediately post-calving to allow assessment of the association of sealant retention with treatment efficacy. Models were constructed to assess the efficacy of the different regimens in preventing IMI. Apparent cure rates of existing IMI with major pathogens were consistently >90% in quarters receiving antibiotic. Combination treatment of high-SCC infected cows resulted in an increased likelihood of being pathogen free post-calving (odds ratio=1.40; 95% credibility interval=1.03-1.90). The benefits of combination treatment of low-SCC uninfected cows were less clear. With respect to clinical mastitis, combination treatment of high-SCC infected cows resulted in a decreased likelihood of developing clinical mastitis in the first 100 d of the subsequent lactation (odds ratio=0.68; 95% credibility interval=0.48-0.98). The retention of the internal sealant was adversely affected by its use in combination with antibiotic dry cow therapy.

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