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What is mastitis?Mastitis is inflammation of the Mammary gland. In cows it is usually caused by bacteria which have entered the teat canal and moved up into the udder. The bacteria multiply and cause a mastitis infection which can result in an inflamed udder. Teatspraying is done to kill bacteria before they enter the udder causing infection. Bacteria do increase in numbers after the milk has left the cow especially in the right conditions. This can cause Bacto grades.
What are Somatic Cells?When bacteria enter the udder, the cow responds by sending large numbers of white blood cells to the mammary gland and into the milk. The white blood cells surround and destroy the bacteria. They are one of the most important defence mechanisms the cow has to fight udder infection. All these cells are from the cow’s body – they are not bacterial cells. Teatspraying has no short term effect on Somatic Cells. Teatspraying is an important part of a long term strategy in reducing Bulk Somatic Cell Counts.
How can we get the best from our teatspray?
Teat ConditionBacteria control on teats has a lot to do with the teat condition. If your cow’s teats are in good condition then there are not the nooks and cracks for the bacteria to hide in and evade the contact with the teatspray.The addition of emollient especially in the spring at the right levels will enhance teat condition right from when a cow starts to be milked. You should be aiming for at least 17% emollient level in the mix until calving has finished. The emmolient also adds a cling factor to the teatspray which enables it to form a drip over the teat end, sealing the teat canal until it closes naturally after milking.
Tips to help control the spread of mastitis and manage bulk Somatic Cell counts
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