Mastitis is such a frustrating and costly disease. When you are already busy the last thing you want to do is treat a whole lot of cows at the end of milking. It can also be frustrating as there are so many causes.
It is a costly disease with treatment cost only being a part of the whole cost. Lost production, labour, wasted milk, culling for example are all factors taken into consideration when we say the average cost of a clinical case is $200. When you multiply that by the number of cases you had over a season it might worry you.
Like most diseases on farm, prevention is always better than cure. There are ways we can try to prevent mastitis. Environmental conditions are obviously out of our control but mastitis like repro and lameness is multi factorial and you can get the factors right- or mostly right!
We offer mastitis investigations at any time of the year. We look at the whole picture with the cow being the focus. The cow is the ultimate indicator and will tell you if she is not happy. We look at all aspects of the milking routine from how you mix up teat spray and apply it, to hygiene of staff and cow flow to machine measurements to make sure cows are comfortable and you are getting good milking efficiency from your plant. We can also look at historical data to assess if there are areas to work on.
If you are having cell count issues or seem to be treating a lot of mastitis in spring or you just want to know you are doing all you can to minimise mastitis on your farm we can visit during milking to assess the whole process. We have several vets who have done further training in this area to give you advice and recommendations to minimise mastitis. If you would like to book in a visit, talk to your KeyVet and they can arrange this.
- Sunita McGrath