Association of cow and quarter-level factors at drying-off with new intramammary infections during the dry period.

University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada N1G 2W1.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.51). 05/2004; 63(1-2):75-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2004.01.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Our objective was to describe cow and quarter-level factors associated with drying-off, and to evaluate their impacts on new intramammary infections (IMI) during the dry period. Data from 300 cows in five research herds were collected starting 2 weeks prior to scheduled drying-off. Variables of interest included daily milk production, teat-end integrity, formation of the teat-canal keratin plug, and quarter-milk bacteriological culture results. Overall, 11% of quarters developed new IMI in the dry period; this varied by herd, parity and time of the study. Most new IMI were caused by environmental streptococci and coliform organisms (34 and 30%, respectively). Quarters that had a cracked teat-end had higher odds of developing new infections than those without cracks (15 and 10%, respectively). Quarters that formed a keratin plug early in the dry period had a lower odds than those that did not close (10 and 14%, respectively). After 6 dry weeks, 23% of quarters were still open. The hazard of quarters closing if milk production on the day prior to drying-off was >21 kg 1.8-times less.

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