Dry off is no time to waffle about treatment options and efficacy.
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Cut the confusion on dry cow treatment

July 14, 2014
POSTED BY: Ken Learmont | DVM | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

Dry off is no time to waffle about treatment options and efficacy. While your dry cows are resting, your dry cow program should be hard at work, clearing up any lingering subclinical infections, preventing bacterial invasion of the teat ends and helping boost immunity to help improve milk quality for the next lactation. You got her bred on time and you’ve invested in a vaccination program to help keep her healthy. Now protect your investment by protecting her during the dry period.

Ask your veterinarian some basic questions to help ensure your dry cow program can effectively treat the mastitis-causing pathogens on your dairy.

1) How can I provide broad-spectrum coverage against the most common mastitis-causing pathogens during the dry period?
Know your pathogen profile to help ensure you are using a mastitis tube labeled for treatment of the most common mastitis pathogens on your dairy operation. The dry period has its own set of challenges and, thus, you should focus treatment efforts where it counts. Environmental pathogens are the common challenge during the dry period – when cows are resting in the dry lot. But, environmental pathogens can be both Gram-positive and Gram-negative. If you don’t know the pathogens you’re fighting on your dairy, talk to your veterinarian about using a broad-spectrum dry cow tube that treats the most common pathogens of the dry period – Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus dysgalactiae, and Strep. Uberis.  

According to research:
• 51% of all new environmental streptococci intramammary infections occurred while dry.1
• 56% of clinical mastitis cases due to Strep. uberis originated in the dry period.2
• 33% of clinical mastitis cases due to Strep. dysgalactiae originated in the dry period.3

2) How can I help protect my cows from new mastitis infections during the dry period?
According to recent research, up to 52% of clinical coliform mastitis, through the first 100 days of lactation, stem from a dry cow infection.2 ORBESEAL®, which acts as a physical barrier between mastitis-causing bacteria and the udder, is the only internal teat sealant on the market that helps block the new infections that dry cows are susceptible to in their environment.
Recent dry cow treatment studies show that a dry cow treatment of SPECTRAMAST® DC (ceftiofur hydrochloride) Sterile Suspension and ORBESEAL is economically advantageous, providing excellent mastitis protection with no milk discard.4-7

Don’t forget to vaccinate. Help boost your cows’ immunity by vaccinating against Escherichia coli (E. coli) mastitis to help limit severity of coliform infections. When selecting the best vaccine for your operation, review product labels, administration information, available research and efficacy data.

3) What other factors should I consider when making product decisions for dry cow treatment?  
Milk and meat withholding times for dry cow treatment are important features to consider when making product choices. Products with short withdrawal times and flexible management options offer an advantage to producers who wish to limit their residue risk. Work with your veterinarian to find a dry cow treatment that is not only effective but offers you the peace of mind of limited residue risk.

Finally, consider a comprehensive approach in order to help provide the best protection against mastitis during the dry period. Using a complete dry cow program with SPECTRAMAST DC, ENVIRACOR J-5 and ORBESEAL can help protect your dry cows against the most-common pathogens during the dry period and help set your cows up for success in the next lactation.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR SPECTRAMAST DC: 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.

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

1 Todhunter DK, Smith KL, Hogan JS. Environmental streptococcal intramammary infections of the bovine mammary gland. J.Dairy Sci 1995:78(11):2366-2374.
2 Bradley AJ, Green MJ. A study of the incidence and significance of intramammary enterobacterial infections acquired during the dry period. J Dairy Sci 2000;83(9):1957-1965.
3 Bradley AJ, Green MJ. A study of the incidence and significance of Gram-positive infections acquired during the dry period under UK field conditions, in Proceedings. National Mastitis Council 40th Annual Meeting 2001;185-186.
4 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC01, Zoetis Inc.
5 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC03, Zoetis Inc.
6 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC04, Zoetis Inc.
7 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC02, Zoetis Inc.

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