It pays to treat clinical mastitis with antibiotics, according to research in the
August Journal of Dairy Science.

Cows with clinical mastitis that were only given supportive therapy lost 507 pounds more milk per lactation — due to production losses and discarded milk — than cows given a combination of antibiotics and supportive therapy. In fact, cows given supportive therapy alone cost $94 more per lactation in lost milk and treatment cost than the antibiotic-treated cows.

In this study, supportive treatments included oxytocin, milking by hand, milk removal between milkings and anti-inflammatory drugs.