Toxic mastitis controls

7 February 1997

Toxic mastitis controls

MASTITIC cows with high temperatures or that have gone down may be affected by the toxic environmental bug staph aureus, harboured in damp bedding.

Independent vet consultant Tony Andrews says that, unlike E coli mastitis, the udder will be painful and swollen and the fluid stripped off mucky. Cows may also suffer swollen hocks, causing lameness.

Staph aureus mastitis, which often occurs around calving, is difficult to treat successfully and the cow may need culling. So when a mastitis cow has a high temperature it may have toxic mastitis and should be treated by a vet, says Dr Andrews.

"Once the cow is up she will usually live. But the udder is more difficult to save because the bugs get into the white blood cells and this reduces the success of antibiotics."

To prevent infections keep bedding and straw dry, ensure the ventilation and drainage of buildings is good, and follow a good mastitis control programme, he advises.

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