With increasing pressure to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming, blanket dry cow therapy (where all cows receive intramammary antibiotics at dry off) is increasingly coming under the spot light. In many countries, selective dry cow therapy is now being encouraged and even legislated for. Selective dry cow therapy means only cows with intramammary infections at dry off receive antibiotics. This should only be introduced on suitable farms, and upon the recommendation of your herd veterinarian.
Bimeda have produced a short booklet which you can download to get a top-line view of what selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is, and to help you understand whether your cows might be suitable candidates for SDCT. If you feel that your farm could be suitable for SDCT, speak to your vet before making any changes to your on-farm protocol.
Where it is appropriate to do so, reducing antibiotic use is not only the ethical thing to do but can also help increase your profit margin, as your bill for intramammary antibiotics will of course decrease.
Whether a blanket dry cow therapy approach or a selective dry cow therapy approach is recommended for your farm, we recommend that all cows receive Boviseal teat sealant. Boviseal forms a physical barrier in the teat end and physically prevents any bacteria from entering the teat during the dry cow period. Ig bacteria can’t get in, they can’t cause mastitis. Impeccable hygiene and correct technique are essential when using any intramammary product. See Boviseal.ie or Bovioseal.co.uk for more advice.