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Crunch time for dry cow treatments

May 18, 2015
POSTED BY: Ken Learmont | DVM | Dairy Technical Services | Zoetis

How well is your dry treatment setting up each cow for success in her next lactation? Consider these three easy measurements.

Does it target a broad range of today’s toughest pathogens?
Your dairy has its own unique pathogen profile and is likely populated by an array of bugs. Environmental pathogens that are so prevalent in the dry period can be both Gram-positive and Gram-negative, so you’ll want a product that addresses both types. Research results on the most common pathogens of the dry period tell us that:

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

Choose a dry cow tube that protects your “off-duty” milkers best by covering all the serious pathogen challenges.

Does its efficacy boost your return on investment? 
Protect your profit margin and cows’ udder health with a dry treatment that significantly reduces the risk of both clinical and subclinical mastitis in early lactation (30 and 60 days post-calving). New research shows dry cows treated with SPECTRAMAST® DC (ceftiofur hydrochloride) Sterile Suspension were less likely to suffer from clinical or subclinical mastitis early in the next lactation compared with cows treated with a competing product. Here’s the full research report. 

Paying close attention to dry cow health can have other benefits: It can lower somatic cell counts for the start of a new lactation, reduce mastitis outbreaks during lactation and minimize treatment costs and associated labor costs. It’s all about boosting production of more quality milk — the kind that puts premiums in your milk check.

Does it have a low residue risk profile? 
Nothing keeps you awake at night like the economic threat of potential residues in meat or milk. Reduce this risk and maximize your management options by using a dry cow mastitis treatment with the shortest meat withdrawal (just 16 days*) and zero milk discard.** Only one product on the market, SPECTRAMAST DC, effectively clears up subclinical mastitis infections while reducing risk with these safety numbers. To provide further peace of mind, the Residue Free Guarantee from Zoetis assures you won’t experience a violative residue when SPECTRAMAST DC is used according to label. For more information, visit

Spectramast DC Comparison Chart

Once you have your answers, think “big picture” and consider the added protection and benefit of a comprehensive approach to your dry cow program: Treat underlying infections with SPECTRAMAST DC, seal out environmental pathogens with ORBESEAL®, and provide bonus protection against Escherichia coli mastitis with ENVIRACOR J-5. Research shows that ORBESEAL teat sealant, when used as part of a comprehensive dry cow program, can reduce new infection incidence at freshening by 20%, reduce clinical mastitis between dry off and 60 days in milk by 26% and reduce somatic cell counts at six to eight days in milk by 19%.***,4 Another study found that using ORBESEAL with SPECTRAMAST DC can also boost your profits by up to $21 per cow over using another dry cow tube.5-8

While margins remain tight, you’ll weigh the value of each investment on your dairy with a critical eye. Choose quality dry cow treatments, and make those expenses pay off by using a comprehensive dry cow program for improved herd health and milk production.

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 here.

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

*After last administration (or treatment).
**Milk discard times begin at first milking post freshening and require completion of a minimum dry cow period of 30 days.
***Somatic cell count data derived from linear scores.

1 Todhunter DK, Smith KL, Hogan JS. Environmental streptococcal intramammary infections of the bovine mammary gland. J Dairy Sci 1995:78(11):2366-2374.
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 Godden S, Rapnicki P, Stewart S, et al. Effectiveness of an internal teat seal in the prevention of new intramammary infections during the dry and early-lactation periods in dairy cows when used with a dry cow intramammary antibiotic. J Dairy Sci 2003;86(12):3899-3911.
5 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC01, Zoetis Inc.
Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC03, Zoetis Inc.
7 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC04, Zoetis Inc.
8 Data on file, Study Report No. 11PETSDC02, Zoetis Inc.




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