Thumbs-up for DCT…

4 August 2000

Thumbs-up for DCT…

SELECTIVE dry cow therapy is a reliable way to increase bulk somatic cell counts, according to Elizabeth Berry, researcher at the Institute of Animal Health, Compton, Berks.

She told a British Cattle Vet Association meeting that while there were concerns over prophylactic antibiotic use, there are many benefits of dry cow therapy (DCT). This included increased cow yields, reduced cell counts and lower clinical mastitis incidence. DCT has also reduced summer mastitis incidence. "There is no evidence that using DCT is increasing antibiotic resistance risks."

Ms Berrys study using the institutes two herds and two in organic conversion show that cell counts have gone up when therapy was selective. "The institutes low cell count herd still shows a benefit from DCT."

In the study, eight of the 131 IAH cows receiving no DCT suffered clinical mastitis during the dry period compared with no cases in 117 treated cows. During the eight weeks after calving 11 of the treated cows and 22 of the untreated cows showed clinical mastitis.

Cows on the farms in organic conversion showed a similar trend. Of the 39 untreated cows there were six mastitis cases during the dry period and seven within eight weeks of calving, the 34 treated cows suffered no cases.

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