The mastitis pathogen, Klebsiella, seems to be on the rise, especially on Northeast dairies. And dealing with this confounding bacterium is a challenge. As with other pathogens, frequent bedding changes and alley-scraping are prevention keys. In addition, the use of inorganic bedding helps to limit Klebsiella growth, says Ruth Zadoks, senior research associate, Quality Milk Production Services at CornellUniversity. “Inorganic bedding is currently one of the best preventive measures available.”

If prevention fails, Zadoks suggests two options. You can move infected cows into a different group, or disinfect milking clusters after milking infected cows. Treatment is dictated by the severity of clinical signs and should be done at the direction of your veterinarian.