Zoetis has a new, Food and Drug Administration approved label claim for Spectramast LC (ceftiofur hydrochloride) Sterile Suspension for treatment of diagnosed subclinical mastitis infections.

Already approved for the treatment of clinical mastitis infections caused by a broad spectrum of pathogens, this product now can help treat diagnosed subclinical mastitis infections before lactating cows exhibit physical symptoms of the disease.

Subclinical infections compromise milk quality, rob profits

Left untreated, subclinical mastitis infections can be extremely costly to a herd, in terms of:

  • Lost milk production throughout lactation
  • Increased risk of clinical mastitis
  • Lost milk-quality premiums
  • Increased treatment costs
  • Risk of mastitis recurrence
  • Cost of early culls from the herds
  • Reduced reproductive efficiency

New data compiled by Mark Kirkpatrick, managing veterinarian of dairy technical services for the company, demonstrates the high cost of subclinical mastitis. Kirkpatrick examined 164,423 individual Holstein cow lactation records for the presence of high first-test somatic cell counts or recorded clinical mastitis cases in the first 60 days of lactation. These records, based on 22 herds in the western U.S., revealed that cases of subclinical mastitis translated into:

  • 1,583 pounds of lost milk production per cow through 210 days of lactation, for a cost of $285 in lost milk yield per cow (based on $18 per hundredweight)
  • Two and a half times greater likelihood that the infected animal would develop a case of clinical mastitis by 60 days in milk
  • Three times greater likelihood that cows with subclinical mastitis infections would be culled in the first 60 days of lactation
  • 17 additional days open (not pregnant)

“Add to these factors the additional cost of milk production losses and treatment of cases that become clinical, and it is clear that subclinical infections are a silent but significant threat to a dairy’s profitability,” Kirkpatrick says.


Early treatment preempts mastitis infections

Cows with a high somatic cell count – in excess of 200,000 cells per ml – may indicate a subclinical mastitis infection. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) and streptococci are two major bacteria responsible for subclinical infections. This product is approved for the treatment of diagnosed subclinical mastitis caused by both of these organisms. It also offers a convenient once-per-day dosing.

Treating mastitis cases at the subclinical level improves the likelihood that infections will resolve before they become clinical, thus minimizing milk production losses and quality premium reductions, Kirkpatrick says. This product has a unique, flexible label that allows for treatment for two days or up to eight days to achieve a full bacteriological cure.

In Zoetis field studies involving more than 700 cows, those with subclinical mastitis infections treated with this product achieved bacteriological and clinical cure rates of 44 percent, compared with 4 percent for untreated controls. The results also showed reduced somatic cell counts at 15 days after treatment.

Learn more about the product at the Zoetis website. PD

—From Zoetis news release

References omitted but are available upon request. Click here to email an editor.

PHOTO: Spectramast LC (ceftiofur hydrochloride) Sterile Suspension. Photo provided by Zoetis.