Georgia trial shows six treatments cure more cows, lower SCC
A University of Georgia mastitis trial suggests extended therapy with mastitis tubes cures more cows faster and results in lower somatic cell counts (SCC).
The approach costs about $30 per cow more because of higher drug costs and longer milk withhold times.
“The improved cure rate and lower SCC at the end of the treatment may justify using this therapy regimen when treating subclinical mastitis in attempts to lower herd SCC, depending on market conditions,” say Felicia Kautz and Steve Nickerson, authors of the study.
Keep in mind the study was fairly small, involving 49 Holsteins and 88 infected quarters. A fourth of the
infected quarters showed clinical signs of mastitis; three-fourths were subclinically infected.
Note that all the infected quarters were cultured prior to treatment. Cows were only treated if they were positive for Staphaureus, environmental streps or coagulase-negative staphylococci. In the trial, cows were then treated with one of five mastitis tubes either according to the tube’s label instructions or for six consecutive milkings.
The tubes were: Amoximast, Hetacin-K, Pirsue, ToDAY and Spectramast LC. Thirty-seven of the cases were treated according to label; 54 were treated with extended therapy. Of the cows treated following label instructions, 50% were cured; 68.5% were cured with extended treatments. Extended therapy cured 100% of the CNS-infected cows, 74% of environmental strep cows and 59% of the Staph.aureus cows.
In addition, by 15 days after treatment, the extended therapy cows already had lower SCCs than label-treated cows. And by 36 days after treatment, the extended therapy cows had SCCs less than half of the label-treated cows (261,000 cell/ml versus 564,000 cells/ml).
The extended therapy cows had an average of $20.20 in drug costs versus $7.87 of the label-treated cows. The total cost, with milk withhold included at $25/cwt, was $107.20 for the extended therapy cows and $73.87 for the label-treated cows.