Use monitoring to find SCC problems

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It’s important to know what the culprits are before trying to solve a high somatic cell count problem in the herd, says Angela Daniels, veterinarian with Circle H Headquarters, LLC, Dalhart, Texas. A monitoring program can help you pinpoint the culprits and take steps toward correcting the problem.

Think of a monitoring program as an early alert system that allows you to know where to begin when troubleshooting high SCC problems.

“We advocate a monitoring program that includes regular bulk tank cultures, monitoring fresh cows for contagious mastitis and bacterial monitoring of mastitis cases,” Daniels says.

Several factors can impact SCC, including bedding, cow health, environmental changes, milking equipment, sanitation and more, so it’s difficult to point to one area that makes the difference.

“From my experience, it is dairy-specific and is generally multi-factorial, Daniels adds.

However, monitoring can help you get closer to the source of the problem. That, and continuous access to milk-quality results from your processor, are important tools for troubleshooting SCC problems in the herd.

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Source: Bovine Veterinarian, February 2012

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