Evaluation of systemic administration of gentamicin for treatment of coliform mastitis in cows

Gary F. Jones From the Marshfield Veterinary Service, Marshfield, WI. 54449 (Jones); and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota 55108 (Ward).

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G.E. Ward From the Marshfield Veterinary Service, Marshfield, WI. 54449 (Jones); and the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota 55108 (Ward).

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Summary

Recovery of cows (n = 61) with mastitis caused by gram-negative bacteria and treated systemically with an antibiotic (gentamicin) to which the bacteria were susceptible in vitro, was compared with recovery of cows (n = 13) with similar infections treated with a systemically administered antibiotic (erythromycin) to which the bacteria were resistant in vitro or with recovery of cows (n = 12) not given an antibiotic systemically. In the first part of the study, cows were selected for treatment groups by use of a diagnostic scheme designed to predict whether the mastitis was caused by gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria. In the second part of the study, all cows were treated without systemic administration of an antibiotic.

Significant difference was not observed in the outcome of the disease between cows given gentamicin and cows of the other 2 treatment groups at 24 hours or at 4 weeks after treatment. At 24 hours after initial treatment, 71.9% of cows treated with gentamicin, 92.3% of those treated with erythromycin, and 45.5% not treated systemically had improved appetite. At 4 weeks after initial treatment, of the cows treated with gentamicin, 11.5% died; in 32.8%, lactation ceased in the affected mammary gland; in 21.3%, lactation was decreased in the affected gland; and 34.4% returned to normal lactation and health. Of cows treated with erythromycin, none died; in 23%, lactation ceased in the affected mammary gland; in 23%, lactation decreased in the affected gland; and 54% returned to normal lactation and health. Of cows not treated systemically, 8% died; in 50%, lactation ceased in the affected mammary gland; in 8%, lactation decreased in the affected gland; and 33% returned to normal lactation and health. Differences between cows treated with gentamicin and the other 2 groups of cows were not statistically significant.

Summary

Recovery of cows (n = 61) with mastitis caused by gram-negative bacteria and treated systemically with an antibiotic (gentamicin) to which the bacteria were susceptible in vitro, was compared with recovery of cows (n = 13) with similar infections treated with a systemically administered antibiotic (erythromycin) to which the bacteria were resistant in vitro or with recovery of cows (n = 12) not given an antibiotic systemically. In the first part of the study, cows were selected for treatment groups by use of a diagnostic scheme designed to predict whether the mastitis was caused by gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria. In the second part of the study, all cows were treated without systemic administration of an antibiotic.

Significant difference was not observed in the outcome of the disease between cows given gentamicin and cows of the other 2 treatment groups at 24 hours or at 4 weeks after treatment. At 24 hours after initial treatment, 71.9% of cows treated with gentamicin, 92.3% of those treated with erythromycin, and 45.5% not treated systemically had improved appetite. At 4 weeks after initial treatment, of the cows treated with gentamicin, 11.5% died; in 32.8%, lactation ceased in the affected mammary gland; in 21.3%, lactation was decreased in the affected gland; and 34.4% returned to normal lactation and health. Of cows treated with erythromycin, none died; in 23%, lactation ceased in the affected mammary gland; in 23%, lactation decreased in the affected gland; and 54% returned to normal lactation and health. Of cows not treated systemically, 8% died; in 50%, lactation ceased in the affected mammary gland; in 8%, lactation decreased in the affected gland; and 33% returned to normal lactation and health. Differences between cows treated with gentamicin and the other 2 groups of cows were not statistically significant.

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