Summary of key points regarding the use of antibiotics for subclinical mastitis caused by contagious udder pathogens:
- Remember that treating cows with antibiotics should be a small part of your mastitis control program. Limiting antibiotic use will help prevent antibiotic resistance and thereby preserve the usefulness of antibiotics for the future.
- Culture milk samples from cows with high somatic cell count linear scores to determine the causative agent and its antibiotic resistance pattern.
- Do not waste antibiotics treating lactating cows that will soon be culled or dried off.
- Give strong preference to antibiotic products that are approved for use in lactating dairy cattle.
- It is futile to treat infected cows with antibiotics if you do not take management steps to decrease the rate of transmission of contagious mastitis pathogens among the cattle. Otherwise, the cattle you treat today will be re-infected tomorrow.
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