To pinpoint the source of mastitis on your dairy, analyze present and past management practices to spot weaknesses, says Joe Hogan, dairy scientist at Ohio State University. As you troubleshoot problems, look for these management deficiencies:
- Acute management deficiencies create an immediate response based on a change to your management program, such as a contaminated source of bedding or the purchase of infected animals.
- Additive or cyclic deficiencies result when several factors combine to produce an additive effect. For example, coliform bacteria increases in sawdust bedding during the summer. Although you did not change your management practice — the use of sawdust bedding — combined with an external factor — increased temperature — can create a mastitis problem.
- Chronic deficiencies result from a single change that occurred in the past. An example of this is a change in post-dip application which reduced the teat dip’s effectiveness. While this change may have occurred several months ago, you may not associate it with a current mastitis problem.