Coming soon to a farm near you
Mastitis remains a major - if not the major - animal health concern for many dairy farms.
You will have had discussions with your veterinarian about this issue on your farm. How do we minimise environmental contamination around calving? What is the role of plant and rubberware? How often do these need to be replaced/serviced? Are milking times appropriate such that cows are not getting over or under milked? The list goes on but you get the idea.
Part of this conversation would have touched on which bacteria are the culprits on your farm (some will have even cultured milk samples to better understand this) and what products are the most appropriate to maximise the chances of cure. Often however these decisions are made on reasonably limited data so we have decided to do something about that.
In conjunction with a number of other veterinary clinics across New Zealand we are undertaking a mastitis trial. The trial is aimed at identifying which bugs are the culprits and what treatment regime is most effective at curing these infections. The aim is to culture around four hundred clinical mastitis cases. This will give us some really useful data to better understand mastitis not only on these farms but also across the region.
One of the trials intentions is to modify treatment (i.e. the antibiotic used) based on the bug responsible for that specific mastitis case. All of you will have heard about the growing concerns in and around antibiotic resistance.Information that allows us to give better and more judicious advice on which antibiotic goes into which cow is going to achieve better outcomes on farm and better meet our responsibilities of ensuring antibiotics are being used in the most appropriate manner. We will let you know what we find.