The power of three in dry cow care
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The power of three in dry cow care

April 03, 2014
POSTED BY: Bradley Mills | DVM | Senior Veterinarian | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Investing in proactive mastitis management at dry off can pay dividends by improving milk quality, herd health and production.

 Research has shown that teats don’t always close completely during the dry period, causing new mastitis infections to nearly double.1 That leaves cows vulnerable to new infections because their teats stay open through most or all of the dry period. Teats of high-producing cows are most likely to remain open when the keratin plug fails to form. That puts your most valuable cows at the greatest risk of new infections.

 Up to 50% of new udder infections occur during the dry period as well as more than 50% of early lactation clinical Escherichia coli (E. coli) mastitis cases.2

 A comprehensive dry cow program can help reduce new infections during the dry period by up to 30% with the power of three: treatment, protection and prevention. According to the National Mastitis Council, dry cow care also offers:2

  • Higher cure rates than can be achieved by treatment during lactation
  • A higher dose of an extended therapy anti-infective that can be used safely
  • Longer retention time of anti-infectives in the udder
  • Reduced incidence of new infections during the dry period
  • Time for damaged tissue to heal before freshening
  • Potential for reduced clinical mastitis at freshening

 New research shows the value of quality dry cow programs:

  • The details: A series of four studies investigated the economic impacts of a dry cow treatment regimen including SPECTRAMAST® DC (ceftiofur hydrochloride) Sterile Suspension and ORBESEAL® internal teat sealant and compared alternative regimens.3-6
  • The right tools: In all four studies, the net financial returns were greater for cows that received SPECTRAMAST DC and ORBESEAL at dry off.
  • Client profits: By using the two products together, producers can save about $21 per cow even after accounting for the cost of the treatments.
  • Another advantage: SPECTRAMAST DC also offers no milk discard upon calving, allowing fresh cows to immediately enter the milking herd.

 Don’t forget to round out your dry cow program with protection. Adding the E. coli mastitis vaccine ENVIRACOR J-5 to a dry off routine could bring up to an additional $57 in income per cow per lactation.7


IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: People with known hypersensitivity to penicillin or cephalosporins should avoid exposure to SPECTRAMAST DC. Product requires a 30-day dry cow period, and has a 16-day pre-slaughter withdrawal period following last treatment. Use of this product in a manner other than indicated on the label, or failure to adhere to the proper milk discard period, will result in violative residues. See full Prescribing Information, here.

Refer to the ORBESEAL label for complete instructions on proper administration at dry off and removal at freshening.

1 Dingwell RT, Timms LL, Sargeant JM, Ketton DF, Schukken YH, Leslie KE. The association of teat canal closure and other risk factors for new dry period intramammary infections, in Proceedings National Mastitis Council 42nd Annu Meet 2003;298-299.

2 National Mastitis Council. NMC Factsheet – Dry Cow Therapy. National Mastitis Council, 2006.

3 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC01, Zoetis Inc.

4 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC03, Zoetis Inc.

5 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC04, Zoetis Inc.

6 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC02, Zoetis Inc.

7 DeGraves FJ, Fetrow J. Partial budget analysis of vaccinating dairy cattle against coliform mastitis with an Escherichia coli J5 vaccine. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1991;199(4):451-455.


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