Mastitis remains the most expensive disease of dairy cows, and antibiotic dry cow therapy (DCT) at dry-off is an important part of mastitis control. Regardless of the infection status, blanket DCT is administered to all quarters of all cows, which is controversial due to the worldwide problem of antimicrobial resistance. Even though selective DCT of only infected cows is a more sustainable approach, choosing animals for treatment is not always straightforward. Our aim was to evaluate whether the herd-level DCT approach is associated with early lactation udder health problems, taking into account the cow characteristics. The information source was 2015?2017 Dairy Herd Improvement data with 7461 multiparous cows from 241 Finnish dairy herds. Information on the herd-level DCT approach was obtained from farmers? questionnaire responses in 2017, and the three different approaches were selective DCT, blanket DCT, and no DCT. The statistical tool for the data analysis was a generalized linear mixed model with a random herd effect for binary outcomes and a linear mixed model with a random herd effect for a continuous outcome. The two binary outcomes were the odds of having high milk somatic cell count (SCC ? 200 000 cells/mL) on the first test-day within 5?45 days in milk (DIM) and the odds of mastitis treatment in early lactation up to 45 DIM. The third outcome was the mean milk lnSCC (? 1000 cells/ mL) within 120 DIM. Selective DCT was the prevailing treatment practice in our data. Blanket DCT was associated with lower SCC after calving. Cows more likely to have high SCC after calving were older cows, cows with high average SCC during the previous lactation, and cows with high milk yield near dry-off. A mastitis treatment in the early lactation was more likely if, during the previous lactation, the cow had high average SCC, high peak milk production, or high milk yield near dry-off. Our findings indicate that DCT is still effective in mastitis control. Cows with high milk yield, especially near dry-off, and cows with persistently high SCC require attention when considering next lactation udder health.
- 413 Veterinärvetenskap
- 412 Djursvetenskap, mjölkproduktlära