Selective Dry Cow Therapy

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Milk Quality

What is Selective Dry Cow Therapy?

Selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is now widely practiced in many dairy herds. 

SDCT moves away from blanket use of antibiotics in all cows at drying off to targeted treatment of only those cows with evidence of udder infection. 

Individual cow cell count results provide an essential part of the evidence to select cows for treatment.

What Are The Benefits

  • Cows with healthy udders don’t need antibiotic treatment.
  • Selecting only those cows that have high cell counts or a history of mastitis for treatment will reduce overall antibiotic use.
  • Not treating cows with healthy udders can also reduce their risk of mastitis in the next lactation.

What's Involved?

The easiest way to get individual cow cell count data is with monthly milk recording. This gives a complete lactation record for each cow. This provides the best evidence about the health status of the udder to use for making decisions on which cows to treat.

Herds should record all mastitis cases – which cows and which quarters are affected and the treatment dates. This can be done on most farm software packages, or they can be recorded in the NMR herd diary.

The cell count and mastitis records should be reviewed with your vet to stay on top of herd health and milk quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Milk Quality

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