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A comparative field trial of cephalonium and cloxacillin for dry cow therapy for mastitis in Australian dairy cows.

Author(s): Shephard RW, Burman S, Marcun P

Affiliation(s): Gippsland Herd Improvement Cooperative, 2 Foster Street, Maffra, Victoria 3860.

Publication date & source: 2004-10, Aust Vet J., 82(10):624-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To investigate and compare the therapeutic efficacy of dry cow agents containing either cephalonium or cloxacillin within Australian dairy herds. DESIGN: A treatment-control trial. METHODS: Milk from infected quarters of cows with high somatic cell counts in milk on eight Australian dairy farms was cultured to identify bacterial pathogens. Cows were randomly assigned to treatment groups and one group was treated with cephalonium at drying off and the other group was treated with cloxacillin at drying off. Milk samples from infected quarters were collected immediately after calving and were cultured for pathogens. The effect of treatment on bacteriological cure was examined and somatic cell counts from infected cows from the first two herd tests after calving were examined for a treatment effect. On four farms, milk samples were collected for culture from all cases of clinical mastitis identified within the first 7 days after calving. The effect of treatment upon incidence of clinical mastitis after calving was examined. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between treatments on quarter cure rates for new infections, for chronic infections and for infections with Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus uberis. Infected quarters treated with cephalonium had a significantly higher cure rate than quarters treated with cloxacillin when Corynebacterium bovis and Staphylococcus epidermids were included as pathogens combined (80.3% versus 70.7%). There was no significant difference between the treatments on somatic cell counts of infected cows at the first two herd tests after calving. There was no difference between treatments on the incidence of clinical mastitis in the first 7 days after calving.

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