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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Mastitis Tip of the Month

Dairy Pipeline: December 2001

Gerald M. (Jerry) Jones
Extension Dairy Scientist,
Milk Quality & Milking Management

Mastitis Tip of the Month-- Ten Steps to Controlling Staph aureus Mastitis.
(1) Use proper milking procedures using gloves, adequate coverage with pre- and post-teat dipping, forestripping, and 45-60 second milk let-down interval until teatcups applied to clean, dry teats. (2) Avoid milking cows and heifers with the same teatcup/claw unit used to milk mastitis-problem cows. Use automatic backflush or manually backflush or sanitize teatcup liners after milking infected cows. Another option is to segregate S. aureus infected cows into one group and milk last or sort-out infected cows before each milking and restrain them in an isolation pen until all other cows have been milked. (3) Segregate any purchased heifers or cows until milk samples can be cultured and their mastitis pathogen status can be determined. (4) Cull infected cows, especially those with other problems. (5) Keep mastitis records, including cows and quarters treated and treatment used, withholding times and results of antibiotic residue screening tests. (6) Place S. aureus infected cows on a do-not-breed list. (7) Maintain a fly control program that emphasizes elimination of fly breeding sites. (8) Avoid feeding waste milk to calves from S. aureus-infected cows. (9) Dry treat every cow and house/pasture them in a clean, dry environment, while offering them a suitable dry cow ration. (10) Maintain an efficient milking system that receives scheduled maintenance at appropriate intervals (e.g., every 6 months).

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