The use of an internal teat sealant in combination with cloxacillin dry cow therapy for the prevention of clinical and subclinical mastitis in seasonal calving dairy cows.
Cows (n=2,053) from 6 seasonally calving dairy herds were enrolled in a trial to compare the efficacy of 2 dry cow treatments. Cows received either a combination dry cow therapy of 600 mg of cloxacillin (CL) followed by an internal teat sealant (ITS) containing 2.6 g of bismuth subnitrate in all 4 quarters immediately following their final milking for the season, or only an intramammary infusion of 600 mg of CL. All cases of clinical mastitis were recorded and cultured during the first 150 d of lactation in each herd, and cow somatic cell count (SCC) was measured between 7 and 50 d postcalving. A large difference was found between treatment groups in the rate at which cows were diagnosed with clinical mastitis over the first 21 d of lactation, after which time the rate at which cows were diagnosed with clinical mastitis was similar between treatment groups. Analysis of the relative proportions of cows with clinical mastitis was performed at both the gland and cow levels. The relative risk (RR) of clinical mastitis diagnosed within 21, 30, and 100 d of calving in a gland treated with the ITS-CL combination was, respectively, 0.30 [95% confidence interval (CI)=0.21-0.44], 0.39 (0.28-0.53), and 0.58 (0.46-0.75) that of the CL group. An interaction between treatment and previous SCC was found when clinical mastitis was analyzed at the cow level. In a subset of cows that had low SCC in their previous lactation, the RR of mastitis in cows with the ITS-CL combination within 21, 30, and 100 d of calving was, respectively, 0.54 (95% CI=0.33-0.87), 0.57 (0.37-0.88), and 0.69 (0.50-0.99) that of cows that received only CL at drying off. In the subset of cows that had at least 1 high SCC in the previous lactation, the RR of mastitis in the ITS-CL combination group within 21, 30, and 100 d of calving was, respectively, 0.26 (95% CI=0.16-0.44), 0.37 (0.24-0.57), and 0.72 (0.55-0.96) that of the CL-only group. The ITS-CL combination of dry cow treatments was associated with a reduction in subclinical mastitis [SCC ≥250,000 cells/mL; RR=0.80 (95% CI=0.65-0.98)] when compared with treatment with CL alone. The use of an ITS in combination with CL dry cow treatment was associated with significantly lower clinical and subclinical mastitis in the following lactation, with a greater difference found in cows that had a history of subclinical mastitis in the previous lactation.
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