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J Dairy Sci. 1998 Feb;81(2):411-9.

Incidence of clinical mastitis in dairy herds grouped in three categories by bulk milk somatic cell counts.

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1
Animal Health Service, Drachten, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Incidence of clinical mastitis was studied in 274 herds grouped in three categories by bulk milk somatic cell count (SCC). Mean incidence rate of clinical mastitis was 0.278, 0.257, and 0.252 cases per 365 cow-days at risk in herds with low (< or = 150,000), medium (150,000 to 250,000), and high (250,000 to 400,000 cells/ml) bulk milk SCC, respectively. The incidence rate of clinical mastitis was not different among the three categories. Variance in the incidence of clinical mastitis among herds increased as bulk milk SCC decreased. Clinical mastitis caused by Gram-negative pathogens, such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., or Pseudomonas spp., occurred more often in herds with a low bulk milk SCC. Clinical mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, and Streptococcus agalactiae occurred more often in herds with a high bulk milk SCC. Systemic signs of illness caused by clinical mastitis occurred more often in herds with a low bulk milk SCC. Both overall culling rate and culling rate for clinical mastitis were not different among groups catergorized by bulk milk SCC. In herds with a high bulk milk SCC, however, more cows that produced milk with a high SCC were culled. In herds with a low bulk milk SCC, more cows were culled for teat lesions, milkability, udder shape, fertility, and character than were cows in herds with a high bulk milk SCC. In herds with a low bulk milk SCC, cows were also culled more for export and production reasons.

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