A combination treatment involving antibiotics and an internal teat sealant can be effective in reducing new mastitis infections during the dry period.

According to results from the University of Minnesota, quarters treated with the combined treatment were 31 percent less likely to acquire a new intramammary infection during the dry period. And these quarters were 33 percent less likely to experience a case of clinical mastitis between dry- off and 60 days in milk than those treated with a stand-alone antibiotic.

The therapy includes an internal teat sealant product that helps prevent bacteria from entering the udder. It is infused into the teat canal after intramammary treatment of a long-acting antibiotic at dry-off to form an immediate physical barrier that supplements the keratin plug. The product is not yet commercially available, but is expected to be released in the U.S. market soon.

Meanwhile, the researchers say the internal teat sealant, in conjunction with antibiotic treatment, is very promising as a dry cow mastitis management and prevention tool. However, keep in mind that this tool is an addition to, not a replacement for, current successful mastitis prevention practices. This research was reported at the National Mastitis Council’s annual meeting in late January.