In the field, mastitis treatments are often the same for all animals — or else there’s no treatment at all.

A better system is to assess each cow individually, using standard operating procedures, says Dave Rhoda, veterinarian in Evansville, Wis. At the NMC annual meeting earlier this year, Rhoda outlined the following steps:

  1. Detect. Pre-strip to detect early cases. Initiate a temporary written record.
  2. Examine. Determine severity, cause, and use your records to determine medical history.
  3. Treat. Work with your veterinarian to design treatment protocols. Keep a record of each treatment.
  4. Assess. Specify a time when the success or failure of a treatment will be evaluated. Record outcome.

Completion. In the cow’s permanent record, include the treatment used, duration, days to clinical cure, and the number of days milk was withheld from the tank.