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Overview of Selective Dry Cow Therapy

Overview of Selective Dry Cow Therapy

Willie Buckley, Veterinary Practitioner and member of the technical working group of Animal Health Ireland (AHI) provides an overview of selective dry cow therapy and the helps that are there for farmers in order that they can do this successfully.

Farmers can get a free dry cow consult with their Vet by visiting the Animal Health Ireland (AHI) and have the required criteria to qualify for the consult. Cows will be selected for teat sealer only and then cows with an evidence of infection during their previous lactation will get antibiotics. When the Vet is on farm, they will observe the drying off process - an observation of the drying off of 2 or 3 cows and if there's anything that needs to be perfected they will discuss it with you. The drying off process is a surgical procedure - need to be clean when doing it, do it right, not do many cows at a time and make sure that it is done correctly. It is essential that farmers have adequate dry cow housing due to the majority of the cows having being dried off without antibiotics so they could be more prone to infection.

Housing Checklist for Mastitis Control

How clean are your cows and their housing?

  • Hygiene scoring of cows
  • Examining housing and management practices

Dry Cow Consult

Eligibility Criteria

  • Average bulk milk tank somatic cell count for the previous 12 months was <200,000 cells/mL
  • At least 4 whole herd milk recordings in the previous 12 months

What does the consult involve?

  • Analysis of milk recording data
  • Observing the current drying off routine or process
  • Discussing the dry cow management
  • Discussing the ICBF and farm records, and overall udder health
  • Drawing up an 'Agreed Treatment Plan' for cows suitable for SDCT