A lack of expertise at farmer and vet level is a “limiting factor” in successful dry cow therapy was the consensus from the recent UK mastitis panel meeting.

Training in the correct procedures around drying off and in teat sealant administration will be critically important as the number of UK dairy farms adopting selective dry cow therapy protocols increases, the panel heard.

Momentum building

A knowledge gap on farms around dry cow therapy protocols presents an opportunity for vet practices. Image taken from Veterinary Times article Reducing mastitis in cows during post-calving period by James Breen.

Sponsored by MSD Animal Health and representing practising dairy vets, research and Government, the panel agreed while use of selective dry cow therapy was at a relatively low level in UK dairy herds, a momentum was building that could see as many as half of the nation’s herds adopting the practice within a few years.

Martin Behr, technical manager at MSD and chairman of the UK mastitis panel meeting, said: “There is growing pressure from the milk processors and some supermarkets to see a reduction in antibiotic use on dairy farms, and dry cow therapy is one area under the spotlight.

“We know, from our own training workshops with vets and farmers, the level of expertise in administering teat sealants, for example, is relatively low.

“Only about 30% of vets attending these workshops had any experience at all in administering a teat sealant.”

Opportunity for vets

The view, from many on the mastitis panel, was there was a knowledge gap on farms when it came to dry cow therapy protocols and this presented a significant opportunity for veterinary practices.

Dr Behr said: “Mastitis control in general offers vets an opportunity for proactive engagement with farmers, but it is a notoriously difficult area to establish routine work.

“With the pressure on farms to adopt selective dry cow therapy and the need for training, there is, perhaps, a new opportunity for practices with a real interest in mastitis control to build stronger and more preventive strategies with dairy farmers.”

Veterinary practices with an interest in training on dry cow therapy and teat sealant use are advised to contact an MSD account manager for details of future workshops.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

Owen Atkinson discusses various approaches towards managing this common pernicious disease affecting the bovine foot.

22 mins

Shropshire farmer Roger Evans questions the transmission of bTB on working farms and the precautions in place to prevent outbreaks.

14 mins

To mark the launch of the 2017 BVA In Practice CPD programme, the association has teamed up with programme sponsor Subaru to find a vet to give one of its Outback models the most intense test drive possible.

3 mins

The announcement of a regionalised approach to eliminating bTB in Wales has been welcomed by the British Veterinary Association.

4 mins

While on the farm rotation at university, Jordan's inexperience lead her to discuss when things go wrong and examine the "safety net" provided by the Veterinary Defence Society.

10 mins

A joint letter has been sent to the Prime Minister by the RCVS and the BVA highlighting concerns about how Brexit is impacting the veterinary profession.

3 mins