Helping dairy producers reduce mastitis losses can improve everyone’s bottom line
The most common and costly disease facing dairy cattle is generally considered to be mastitis. Helping producers avoid mastitis-related production losses and treatment costs is an ever-present concern for veterinarians and distributor sales representatives.
Not only are the immediate costs concerning, but every case of clinical mastitis reduces the cow’s production potential for the rest of her lactation, says Linda Tikofsky, DVM, professional services veterinarian (dairy), with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
Clinical vs. subclinical
Mastitis is typically caused by a bacterial infection of the cow’s mammary gland. The bacteria can enter through the cow’s teat end. Bacteria may be found in the cow’s environment, such as bedding. In addition, contagious bacteria can be spread via milking equipment or vectors such as flies.