Dry cow therapy is designed to treat subclinical infections over the dry period to give cows a fresh start in the next lactation. It can also be used to prevent new infections around dry-off.
Dr. Linda Tikofsky, professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI), offers five quick tips to ensure your dry cow therapy program is effective:
1. Choose a gram-positive tube
When it comes to dry cow mastitis, nearly 95 percent of cases are caused by gram-positive pathogens, so make sure you’re choosing a tube that targets these pathogens.
2. Keep it clean
Be sure to follow your dry-off protocol to ensure you don’t introduce an infection during the process. Milk out the cow; dip the teat; wipe the teat; scrub teat ends with an alcohol-moistened swab or gauze; infuse teat end; and then dip the teat again. If using an internal teat sealant, sanitize the teat end again with the alcohol swab prior to infusion.
3. Train staff to use partial insertion
Inserting the tip just a short way up the teat canal reduces the chance of introducing a new infection. BIVI offers mastitis tubes with a flexible tip and guide to ensure partial insertion.
4. Move cows to clean, dry area
House dry-off cows in a clean, dry, comfortable area to reduce any bacterial challenge toward the teat end.
5. Sanitize between cows
Wear gloves and sanitize in between cows to reduce the chance of introducing an environmental or contagious bacterial infection.
—From Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. news release