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  • Author or Editor: D. A. Todhunter x
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Summary:

The association of abnormal uterine discharge with the development of intramammary infection (imi) was studied in 62 multiparous Holstein cows during the nonlactating period and from lactation days 3 through 30. Duplicate milk samples were obtained from each mammary gland at approximately day 30 of the nonlactating period. Milk samples for bacteriologic culture also were obtained from each gland from all cows at the end of the previous lactation, at parturition, and on a minimum of 7 additional dates during the first 30 days of lactation. Beginning after parturition and continuing once weekly for 4 weeks, each cow was examined, using a vaginal speculum to visually estimate the quantity of abnormal uterine discharge in the vagina. Additionally, uterine swab specimens were obtained for aerobic bacteriologic culture. Cows were allotted to groups on the basis of the maximal amount of abnormal uterine discharge observed at any 1 of the 4 examinations. Cows in group 1 had normal discharge or < 30 ml of abnormal discharge; in group 2, ≥ 30 ml of abnormal discharge, observed only on examination by vaginal speculum; and in group 3, ≥ 30 ml of abnormal discharge visible externally. A difference was not detected in the development of new imi in the nonlactating period between cows that subsequently developed uterine discharge and those that did not. Although significant differences were not found, a tendency for lactating cows with abnormal uterine discharge to be at increased risk for developing new imi was observed. Direct associations were not found between aerobic bacterial species isolated from the uterus and species isolated from glands with newly developed imi during lactation. This lack of association indicated that development of imi in lactation was not likely a direct result of teat-end exposure to bacteria originating from the uterus.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Nine dairy herds (mean size, 149 cows) with bulk-tank milk somatic cell counts of < 300,000 cells/ml and > 80% of cows with Dairy Herd Improvement Association linear somatic cell counts ≤ 4 were selected for study. Each herd was monitored for 12 consecutive months. Duplicate quarter-milk specimens were collected from each cow for bacteriologic culturing at beginning of lactation, cessation of lactation, and at the time of each clinical episode of mastitis. Streptococcus agalactiae was never isolated and Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from < 1% of all quarters. There were 554 episodes of clinical mastitis. During the year of study, the incidence rate of clinical mastitis varied from 15.6 to 63.7% of cows among the 9 herds. Mean costs per cow per year in herd for mastitis prevention were: $10 for paper towels, $3 for nonlactating cow treatment, and $10 for teat disinfectants. Mean cost associated with clinical mastitis was $107/episode. Approximately 84% ($90) of the costs attributed to a clinical episode were associated with decreased milk production and nonsalable milk. Costs of medication and professional veterinary fees per clinical episode varied Significantly among the 9 herds. Three of the herds did not have a veterinarian treat a clinical episode of mastitis during the year of study even though 2 of these herds had the first and third highest incidence rates of clinical mastitis. When calculated on a per cow in herd basis, mean costs of $40/cow/year were attributed to clinical mastitis. Our findings suggest that herds that have effectively controlled mastitis caused by contagious pathogens may still have substantial economic losses as a result of clinical mastitis and that losses and even rates of clinical mastitis may vary considerably among such herds.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association