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Use Of Antibiotics Reduces Subclinical Mastitis

18 October 2010

THE NETHERLANDS - Early treatment of dairy cattle with non-visible subclinical mastitis using antibiotics can lead to a reduction in visible clinical mastitis infections in dairy farms, resulting in less antibiotics used and lower costs.

That is the conclusion that Bart van den Borne reached in his doctoral research for the University of Utrecht, on the treatment of subclinical mastitis during dairy cow lactation.

Cows treated for subclinical mastitis using antibiotics are less likely to develop clinical mastitis later in their lactating phase, and are therefore less likely to be removed from the herd. Early treatment of subclinical mastitis also helps prevent the spread of mastitis-causing bacteria within a dairy farm, which in turn prevents other cows in the same barn from becoming infected. This risk of infection can be reduced further if the treatment is combined with other measures, such as disinfecting the milking nozzles.

In a study of 40 farms, Mr Van den Borne treated cattle that had been diagnosed with the mastitis bacteria using bacteriological tests. These tests showed that early treatment with antibiotics results in faster recovery from mastitis than when treatment is delayed. This was especially the case in fighting the stubborn bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.

One condition for early treatment is that the veterinarian must know exactly which bacteria is causing the disease. Only then may an antibiotic be used. In this way, increased but responsible use of antibiotics in the short term can result in decreased use in the long term.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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