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Managing Mastitis in Bred Heifers


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This information was presented for DAIReXNET and released as a webinar on June 20th, 2016. In this webinar, Dr. Nickerson discusses the prevalence and treatment of mastitis in bred heifers, as well as several strategies for prevention. Learn about using teat seals, controlling horn fly populations, vaccinations, and feed additives that might help reduce the incidence of new infections.

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Managing Mastitis in Bred Heifers

  1. 1. Managing Mastitis in Bred Heifers S.C. Nickerson, UGA, Goal: Improve milk quantity & qualityMastitis management in heifers is part of this goalHeifers: Calve with maximum yield and low SCC Mastitis! diminishes yield/quality Supported by USDA-NIFA Grant no. 2013-68004-20424
  2. 2. • Prevalence of intramammary infection • Treatment with antibiotics • Use of teat seals to prevent new cases • Horn fly control to ↓ spread • Vaccination ↑ immunity • Feed additives: improve animal health Mastitis in Heifers: Outline Prevention:
  3. 3. Mastitis is not noticed until freshening or at the first clinical flare-up during lactation. Young dairy heifers are regarded as uninfected Future milking herd! (Also need an udder health program)
  4. 4. ~20-30% of heifers: S. aureus SCC >10 million/ml (Few clinical symptoms) Breeding age: 12-15 mo and older >75% of heifers: subclinical mastitis Clinical Subclinical
  5. 5. Neonatal Prepubertal Breeding age Pregnant 2 - 2.5 yr (¼ - ½ lifetime!) NO MASTITIS CONTROL ↓ MILK YIELD ↑ SCC!!!!!!! Future milking herd! (Also need an udder health program) Heifers exposed to mastitis bacteria at a young age ←Colonize teats
  6. 6. Keratin plug Intramammary infection Bacteria How do heifers get mastitis? Teat Staph. aureus
  7. 7. 75% of heifers may be infected in 60% of quarters; Staph. aureus is a major problem. Mammary quarter infection rate: 60% All infections associated with elevated somatic cell counts (SCC). Staph. aureus 40% uninfected 60% infected ↓ Yield!
  8. 8. Reduced secretory potential Infected rear quarter Uninfected front quarter Scar tissue formation in response to Staph. aureus Lower yield during 1st lactation and spread to the lactating herd Cross-section of a heifer’s udder infused w/ green dye 10% less milk 20,000 lb vs. 22,000 lb What happens inside an infected quarter? FrontRear
  9. 9. Greatest development of milk-producing tissues is during 1st pregnancy Protection from mastitis bacteria Insure maximum milk production Infected quarters should be treated If mastitis is suspected in heifers… Lactating and dry cow intramammary infusion products
  10. 10. Dry cow product use in heifers • Cefa-Dri • Tomorrow • Dry-clox • Albadry Plus • Biodry • Quartermaster • Orbenin-DC • Spectramast DC Treat prior to 30 days prepartum (avoid residues)
  11. 11. **Sanitize teat orifice, use partial insertion technique, dip teats *Cure rate is 90 - 100% when treated during pregnancy. *SCC significantly reduced 50% at calving vs. controls. *Milk production increased by ~10% over the controls. *Reduced spread of Staph. aureus to the lactating herd. Dry cow therapy in heifers:
  12. 12. When is best time to treat? Pregnancy checks Hoof trimming Moving to close-up lot; run through chute/treat Extra-label: Valid CPR
  13. 13. Lactating Cow Products • Cefa-Lak • Today • Hetacin-K • Albacillin • Pirsue • Amoxi-Mast • Dariclox • Spectramast LC ~14 days prepartum Any sooner results in antibiotic residues
  14. 14. 73% Holstein heifers infected 2 wk prepartum Treated with: Penicillin/novobiocin or Pirlimycin Determined cures at calving: Oliver et al., 2004 Albacillin: 76% cure rate; Pirsue: 59% cure rate
  15. 15. 96% of Jersey heifers infected 2 wk prepartum Treated with: Penicillin/novobiocin or Pirlimycin Determined cures at calving: Albacillin: 75% cure rate; Pirsue: 87% cure rateTreated heifers produced 10% more milkWhether dry / lactating products are used, follow proper infusion method:
  16. 16. Full Insertion: Stretches sphincter Dilates teat canal Removes keratin Introduces bacteria Partial Insertion: Maintains integrity Minimizes bacterial entry into the gland Environ. bacteria E. coli Prototheca Nocardia T. pyogenes Yeast Partial insertion (2-3 mm) Full insertion Bacteria Prevention…
  17. 17. Use of Internal Teat Sealants Prepartum: Physical barrier to Bacteria • Bismuth/paraffin based • Infused 30 d prepartum • Removed at 1st milking Orbeseal™ Bismuth subnitrate/mineral oil Teatseal® Bismuth subnitrate/paraffin oil 4-fold reduction in clinical S. uberis infections within 14 days of calving.
  18. 18. What about teat seal AND antibiotic? Does the combination work better than either alone in dairy heifers? 1.Untreated 2.Antibiotic DCT 3.Teat seal 4.DCT + teat seal 1 2 3 4 Results (n=38) at calving demonstrated…. 30-60 d prepartum:
  19. 19. Cure rates and prevention rates for untreated qtrs & qtrs treated with DCT and/or teat seal in 38 heifers 58.3 100 75 100 96.2 92.8 96.2 93.1 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Cure rate Prevention rate a b ab b a aaa SCC: 1,488,000 Ave SCC: 464,000 No differences among tmt Why bother treating at all?
  20. 20. 3 out of 4 quarters (75%) may be infected w/ bacteria Infected Treat all quarters with 1) DCT to cure existing IMI & 2) Teat seal to prevent the establishment of new IMI. Successful treatment will lower SCC at calving time.
  21. 21. Proper teat seal infusion: 1. Compress area at base of teat with hand. 2. Insert cannula using the partial insertion method 3. Slowly infuse contents so seal remains in teat 1. 2. If teat cistern is open to gland cistern, and seal is jetted into teat, it may be placed high in the quarter and milk out for days or weeks after calving. ←Teat cistern ←Gland cistern
  22. 22. Horn flies not only pester heifers by feasting on blood drawn from animals’ backs… Role of fly control
  23. 23. Horn fly Haematobia irritans 3-month-old heiferS. aureus-infected quarter Bred heifer Front teats Flies also attack heifers’ teats, causing mastitis
  24. 24. Bacteria Horn flies live solely on blood from cows. Lifespan: 3-4 weeks Irritation and scab formation Mastitis
  25. 25. Score 2 Mastitis Score 3 Mastitis Score 1 Healthy If heifers’ teat scores are not healthy (Score 1), then a fly problem exists, and teat lesions (Scores 2 and 3) are associated with mastitis. Teat condition: a good barometer for fly control Herds with fly control programs have healthier teats and less mastitis
  26. 26. Percentages of heifers with mastitis in herds with and without fly control (Foggers, bait, pour-ons, dust, sprays, ear tags) % of heifers 10-fold
  27. 27. • Use of pour-ons reduces fly populations • (Every 2 wk – intensive) Horn Fly Control?
  28. 28. Insecticidal pour-on (Eprinex) + ear tag (Patriot) reduced flies and ↓ Staph. aureus mastitis by 83% over a 6-month period Pour-on
  29. 29. IGR Fly lays its eggs Insect Growth Regulators (IGR; ClariFly® Larvacide) Insect Growth Regulators
  30. 30. Horn Fly Life Cycle Larvae consume IGR Pupae Larvacide (IGR) Maggots Eggs in manure Fly control: - Pour-on - Ear tags - IGR Very effective Reduction in fly population
  31. 31. Increasing antibody titers to prevent new S. aureus infections Lysigin, AKA Somatostaph Preventing mastitis by immunization Can heifers be vaccinated against Staph. aureus mastitis?
  32. 32. James River Correctional Center • 120-cow Holstein herd • 22,000 lb milk • Average SCC: 200,000/ml • ~20% S. aureus infection rate in heifers • Prevention of mastitis via vaccination? • 106 heifers 6-12 mo allotted to vaccinated and control groups (53 heifers/group)
  33. 33. Immunization Schedule At 6-12 mo 14 days later At 6-mo intervals Pre-calving Monitored level of S. aureus mastitis after freshening Semimembranosus
  34. 34. Percentages of heifers freshening with Staph. aureus infections. 13.3 34 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Vaccinated Control 60.9% Reduction (P<0.001) Percentageofheiferswithmastitis 50% reduction in SCC 8.6% increase in prod. Minimize spread to milking herd Immunization: heifers Other options to boost immunity....Diet/ration?
  35. 35. Boosting Immune System: Dietary Supplementation Selenium Vitamin E Beta carotene Vitamin A Copper Zinc Promote leukocyte antibacterial activity Reduced staphylococcal and coliform mastitis at calving & lowered SCC Se & Vitamin E in heifers: Supplementation 60 days prepartum Weiss, 2002 ←Periparturient
  36. 36. Rate of new infection LactationCalving Periparturient period Period of Immunosuppression (Cortisol) 2-4 wk prepartum to 2 wk postpartum (Innate immunity suppressed) Reduced neutrophil activity Mastitis increases around time of calving Innate immunity: most important defense of the mammary gland Relies heavily on the bactericidal function of WBC migrating from the blood WBC function is compromised during the periods of immunosuppression: Cortisol If WBC function could be enhanced, cows could better resist mammary infection Enhancing WBC? - Diet: Se + Vit E - Diet: OmniGen? P A R T U R I T I O N
  37. 37. OmniGen-AF® enhanced immune status & reduced mastitis at calving Daily supplementation for 60 d prepartum; at calving: Enhanced L-Selectin receptor activity on PMN and Monocytes Increased phagocytosis of S. aureus and E. coli by leukocytes Decreased free radical generation by PMN (Antioxidant?) Fewer health events (RP, DA, ketosis, udder edema, death) Fewer new intramammary infections: no reduction in SCC At calving: 1st calf heifers 4g/100lb/day Concluded: Supplemented heifers calved healthier vs controls Dietary supplements to boost immunity at calving: Beneficial
  38. 38. Young calves Pregnant Close-ups All susceptible to mastitis! • Need a prevention program • Need a treatment program • Freshen free of mastitis • Low somatic cell counts • Maximum milk production $$ Goal Fly control Vaccination Teat seal +/or Dietary suppl. Dry cow tmt/ Lact. cow tmt Future milking herd: Prevention not 100% SUMMARY $Huge Investment$