The dry period… opportunities for udder health ! (1)

The dry period is a crucial period for udder health in a cow’s lactation cycle. On the one  hand, the dry period offers opportunities: cows with (an) existing intramammary  infection(s) (= cows with an elevated somatic cell count) can (spontaneously) cure. On the other hand, the dry period is also a threat: 60% of the new intramammary infections occurs during those weeks. In this and the next edition of the M-news, the opportunities and threats of the dry period will be reviewed.

  • … the udder is at rest which allows for spontaneous cure – without antimicrobial treatment – of existing intramammary infections;
  • … antimicrobial treatment can be applied in a rational way without having to discard milk which is beneficial from an economic point of view;
  • … long-acting antimicrobial products can be used in a rational way without having to worry about a milk withholding period;
  • … the response to an antimicrobial treatment during the dry period is much more effective than an antimicrobial treatment during lactation because:
  • much higher doses of antimicrobials can be applied;
  • the bacterial inhibitory substances are released slowly, allowing for high and long lasting concentrations in the udder tissue;
  • the cow does not suffer from a negative energy balance and the associated impaired immune status.

 

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