Experience of dry cow therapy a ‘limiting factor’ in mastitis control

A “knowledge gap” is being blamed for mistakes in dry cow therapy among veterinarians and farmers.

This follows a UK mastitis control meeting at which MSD Animal Health revealed only 30% of cattle veterinarians present at dry cow therapy workshops had any experience at administering teat sealants.

Both farmer and vet ignorance was being blamed as “limiting factors” in mastitis prevention.

See also: Vet Viewpoint: monitor livestock health after wet weather

The MSD Animal Health event warned that correct procedures around drying off and teat sealant administration would be “critically important” as processors ramp up pressure on reducing antimicrobial usage.

Dr Martin Behr of MSD Animal Health said this presented a “significant opportunity” for vets.

“Dry cow therapy is one area under the spotlight,” said Dr Behr, referring to the push to reduce antimicrobials use in dairy farming.

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

“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 preventative strategies with dairy farmers.”