6. Contagious Mastitis
Dr. Keller shows Oliver the chart – pointing out the cow identification numbers in the upper left quadrant that have new infections. These are the cows that had low SCC linear scores last month and high ones this month.
“Are these the cows we are going to treat with antibiotics?” Oliver inquires.
Dr. Keller replies, “You have the right idea, but we only want to treat the cows that have a high likelihood of treatment success. Also, limiting antibiotic use will help prevent antibiotic resistance and thereby preserve the usefulness of antibiotics for the future.
There are some cows in this group that are poor candidates for treatment. Plus, we need to know what types of bacteria are causing these infections before we select an antibiotic. For infections caused by the bacteria that we call ’contagious udder pathogens,’ cows that are cured with an antibiotic treatment will just get infected again unless we make some management changes to prevent cow-to-cow transmission. ”