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Periparturient use of parenteral micronised procaine penicillin to reduce the risk of clinical mastitis in heifers after calving.

Author(s): Bryan M, Taylor K

Affiliation(s): VetSouth Ltd, PO Box 12, Winton, Southland, New Zealand.

Publication date & source: 2009-02-16, Vet Microbiol., 134(1-2):143-9. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

Mastitis in primiparous heifers immediately postpartum can be both a significant welfare concern and a heavy economic loss. Interventions successfully researched include intramammary therapies. This study considered the clinical and practical effects of a parenteral approach to controlling clinical mastitis in heifers immediately postpartum. The objective of this field trial was to determine whether preventative treatment of heifers with a single parenteral treatment of 15 million iu micronised procaine penicillin within 12h after calving would reduce the incidence of clinical mastitis in early lactation as detected by farmers. All heifers (n=609) calving on three commercial dairy farms in New Zealand during the spring of 2006 were randomly allocated to either treatment or no treatment. Treatment (15 million iu micronised procaine penicillin) was given at the first milking following calving. All clinical mastitis was recorded. Treatment reduced the odds of having clinical mastitis within the first 7 days in milk by over half (Mantel-Haenszel adjusted OR=0.456; p=0.044); and reduced the odds of having mastitis within the first 100 days in milk by just under half (Mantel-Haenszel adjusted OR=0.518; p=0.027). Treatment had a significant effect on increasing the median days to clinical mastitis (p=0.019; beta=1.961, LCI 1.117, UCI 3.445). Preventative treatment of heifers immediately following calving with 15 million iu micronised procaine penicillin parenterally could be of benefit as part of a control programme aimed at reducing the incidence of clinical mastitis in heifers in their first lactation.

Page last updated: 2009-02-08

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