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Dry treatment is a must in all quarters of all cows.

Dairy Pipeline: August 1996

by Tom Bailey
Dairy Production Medicine
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech

This subject has been discussed in previous articles, yet many herds don't dry treat at all or selectively dry treat quarters. Dry treating protects the quarter during a time when the cow is the most susceptible to new infections, this being the first few days of the dry period. These new infections can lead to mastitis in the next lactation. Many producers only dry treat quarters which have experienced a case of mastitis during the previous lactation. Dry treating will aid in curing these cases, but will also protect against those new infections. Make sure cows get an ample number of days during the dry period. With milk prices on the increase, the temptation may be to milk cows a little longer. Remember, the dry period is the first day of a cow's next lactation. Second and greater lactation cows need a minimum of 45 to 50 days dry, while first lactation cows need a minimum of 60 to perhaps 65 days in the dry period. The dry period helps the udder regenerate, may be a time when producers add body condition, and is an overall rest period for the cow. Short-changing the dry period may lead to decreased milk production during the next lactation, especially for those cows entering their second lactation. Dry treat all quarters of all cows with an approved and effective dry cow preparation, provide ample number of days in the dry period, and remember the first day of her dry period is the first day of her next lactation.

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