31 August 2001

Summer mastitis alert

THIS year has been particularly bad for summer mastitis in cows and preventative treatment must continue for the next few weeks, according to Preston-based vet Andrew White.

"There have been more cases of summer mastitis, particularly in maiden heifers, because of the damp, sticky weather and cattle being forced onto pasture in fly belts – as a result of movement restrictions."

Although affected cattle have been treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, they are being put back out onto the same pastures near woods and streams, which are prime fly areas, says Mr White. "Grazing on many farms is about 40% over-stocked and with nowhere else for cattle to go, it is likely re-infection will occur."

Fly spray and stockholm tar on the udder is providing some barrier against flies, but when possible, cattle must be moved to pasture away from fly belts." &#42