Nutritional management of the dry (transition) cow should also be considered in the mastitis prevention program. For example, a negative energy balance or deficiencies in vitamin (i.e., vitamins A, D, E) or trace mineral (i.e., selenium, copper, zinc) status during the transition period can result in impaired immune function. Producers should work with a qualified nutritionist to provide a dry (transition) cow diet balanced to meet current recommended nutrient intake guidelines.
- Research indicates that most herds will benefit from properly treating all quarters of all cows at drying off with an antimicrobial infusion.
- Take special care in cleaning and sanitizing teats prior to infusing antibiotics into a quarter.
- Use only approved commercial antibiotic products that have been formulated specifically for dry cow therapy and that are available in single-dose containers for intramammary infusion.
- A teat sealant may be appropriate for some cows and some herds.
- Reduce nutrient intake of cows one to two weeks prior to drying off.
- Place dry cows in a clean and dry environment.
- Observe dry cows periodically for swollen quarters, which may indicate intramammary infection.
The NMC is a not-for-profit educational organization that provides a forum for global exchange of information about milk quality, mastitis, and relevant research. The NMC strives to communicate that information to all segments of the dairy industry. For additional information contact: