How to chose the best option when drying off cows on your farm
Antibiotic dry-cow therapy undoubtedly has an important role to play at treating infections that persist at the end of lactation and maximising cure rates.
However, it has also traditionally been used to prevent new infections occurring during the dry period. This is no longer acceptable by the consumer, whom is becoming more intolerant of using antibiotics on a ‘just in case’ basis, according to vet Willie Buckley.
Selective dry-cow therapy is an option for farmers to reduce their antibiotic usage when drying-off cows.
This is when only selected cows are treated with antibiotic when drying off, normally cows with a high cell count or with a previous mastitis incidence.
“Make a plan with your vet that works for you and monitor the results next spring. Farmers can do something now, but they need to have the information first to bae their decisions on,” explained Willie Buckley, a vet who is heavily involved in the CellCheck programme, speaking at the recent CellCheck event in Clonakilty Agricultural College.
According to Willie, there are four options that farmers can take when drying off cows;
1. Use a sealant only
2. Use an antibiotic and a sealant