Dry cow therapy is designed to treat subclinical infections over the dry period to give cows a fresh start in the next lactation. It can also be used to prevent new infections around dry-off.
Dr. Linda Tikofsky, professional services veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI), offered five quick tips to ensure that a dry cow therapy program is effective:
1. Choose a Gram-positive tube. When it comes to dry cow mastitis, nearly 95% of cases are caused by Gram-positive pathogens, so make sure to choose a tube that targets these pathogens.
2. Keep it clean. Be sure to follow the dry-off protocol to ensure that an infection is not introduced during the process. Milk out the cow, dip the teat, wipe the teat, scrub teat ends with an alcohol-moistened swab or gauze, infuse teat end, then dip the teat again. If using an internal teat sealant, sanitize the teat end again with the alcohol swab prior to infusion.
3. Train staff to use partial insertion. Inserting the tip just a short way up the teat canal reduces the chance of introducing a new infection.
4. Move cows to clean, dry area. House dry-off cows in a clean, dry, comfortable area to reduce any bacterial challenge toward the teat end.
5. Sanitize between cows. Wear gloves and sanitize in between cows to reduce the chance of introducing an environmental or contagious bacterial infection.