[LONG READ] Practical use of clinical mastitis records

Mastitis is one of the diseases where a detailed analysis of the data is extremely valuable. It can quantify the level of mastitis and to help identify the cause and source of infection. Most farmers keep records but these are often not analysed and so the incidence of clinical mastitis is underestimated. It is important to make good use of records, otherwise there is little benefit from keeping the data.

DCT entering records

Records can achieve the following

  • Monitoring herd mastitis performance.
  • Compare mastitis incidence with other herds.
  • Help identify the bacterial cause of clinical mastitis.
  • Help identify the source of infection; contagious, environmental, lactation or dry period infections.
  • Identify problem cows with mastitis for culling.
  • Identify cows whose milk needs to be withheld from the bulk milk tank.

 

Record keeping

The results of an analysis will only be as good as the records that are kept. The following should be recorded for each clinical case:

  • Cow number
  • Date
  • Quarter(s) infected
  • Severity of mastitis
  • Treatments administered (products, dosage and when administered)
  • Bacteriology result

Mastitis cases can be recorded in a variety of ways but more and more herds are now computerised. These recording systems allow mastitis analysis to