In the first six weeks of lactation, reductions in clinical mastitis cases and mastitis-related culling have been found after introducing an internal teat sealant to dry cow therapy programmes.
In the first six weeks of lactation, reductions in clinical mastitis cases and mastitis-related culling of 37% and 15% respectively have been found after introducing an internal teat sealant to dry cow therapy programmes, according to a survey of dairy farms with good management records.
Financially, the reduction in clinical incidence alone is estimated to offer a net gain (after the cost of teat sealant) of £4,655 per 100 cows annually, according to a study by the University of Reading.
The survey also found 36% and 31% reductions respectively in labour and veterinary costs associated with a clinical mastitis cases during the first six weeks of lactation.
The research was commissioned by Pfizer Animal Health to gauge the effectiveness of its internal teat sealant OrbeSeal on the 10th anniversary of its launch. Management records on farms in six European countries including the UK were analysed in detail over two consecutive 12 month periods immediately before and after the teat sealant’s introduction.
Without teat sealant, it has been established that up to 60% of clinical mastitis cases during the first 100 days of lactation are due to infections acquired during the preceding dry period, despite the use of antibiotic dry cow treatments, according to Pfizer vet Matt Williams.
“A 3.3% reduction in clinical mastitis incidence is sufficient to cover the cost of internal teat sealant in addition to a conventional antibiotic dry cow tube at drying off,” he said. “So any response above this – a further 34% in this study – may offer a net financial gain to farmers. At the Reading University costing of £245 per case of clinical mastitis, the net financial gain from a typical starting point of 56 cases per 100 cows per year works out to £4,655 per 100 cows annually.”
- OrbeSeal was the most used dry cow intramammary treatment in the UK in 2010, with annual sales worth £4 million. Pfizer estimates that it is used in approximately half of UK dairy cows.