Control of Contagious Mastitis

1. Quarantine infected cows

Keep infected cows in a separate treatment group and milk them last or use a separate claw and bucket.

2. Teat Dipping — Germicidal Dips

Postmilking teat dipping with germicidal dips is recommended. Barrier dips are usefull against environmental infection but their effect against the contagious pathogens appears to be lower than that of germicidal dips.

3. Dry Cow therapy

Treat all quarters with dry cow antibiotics at end of lactation, this is essential.

4. Special treatments at drying off

Some cows with a history of mastitis or raised cell counts require special additional treatment t drying off.

5. ADF (auto dip/flush) – (backflushing)

The cost of these units is coming down all the time; probably the best way of stopping transfer of infection.

6. Flush milk claws (hot water or germicide) after milking infected cows.

If using a germicide ensure that it is licenced for this purpose.

7. Use Individual cloth/paper towels to wash/dry teats


8. Hygiene

Clean hands (wear gloves). good hygiene and teat preparation.

9. Milking Machine Maintenance

Malfunctioning milking machines that result in frequent liner slips and teat impacts can increase cases of environmental mastitis. Ensure your machine is cheched by a technician regularly and any faults rectified as soon as possible. Also make sure your liners are replaced at the correct time – a simple calculation is shown below:

Liner life = 2,500 x number of milking units
Number of cows x 2*
* milked twice daily.
A poorly maintained milking plant will cause teat end lesions which allow infections to enter the teat canal.

10. Avoid buying in infected cows

Always check cell count history of individual cows and the herd of origin as a minimum requirement.

11. Cull persistently infected cows