Prepartum intramammary treatment with antibiotics has frequently been proposed and evaluated as a practice to reduce the prevalence of intramammary infections in heifers at calving. The objectives of this study were (1) to test whether systemic therapy with penethamate hydriodide of preterm heifers on 10 Flemish commercial dairy herds resulted in long-term positive effects (on milk production, udder health, culling risk) and (2) whether some herds benefited more from prepartum treatment than others. In all herds, quarters from treated heifers were less likely to be infected when all pathogens were considered. They were also less likely to be infected at calving with coagulase-negative staphylococci. However the difference was not significant when only major pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus uberis were considered. Treated heifers belonging to herds classified as having low yielding heifers out-produced the control heifers on those farms. But no other long-term effects of the prepartum treatment were observed.
Source: Passchyn et al. – National Mastitis Council Annual Meeting Proceedings (2012) pp. 147-148 Complete abstract: www.m2-magazine.org > 011-28.02.2012