Due to the increase in public health concerns about the use of antimicrobials, blanket dry cow therapy (BDCT) might not be the best method to use. This is why many U.S. dairy herds are considering selective dry cow therapy (SDCT). However, according to Dairy Herd Management, we’re still waiting to hear if it is the best method available.
Dry treating has been a regular practice in the last 40 years. This program both cures new and existing infections. If you don’t know what selective dry cow therapy (SDCT) is, here’s a brief description from University of Minnesota Extension. It is a program where antimicrobial treatment is given during the end of lactation. Treatment is based on infection status assessment of the cow or the quarter.
The National Mastitis Council conducted a half-day symposium in February to tackle selective dry cow therapy. The advice was inconclusive. The Dutch have banned the use of BDCT since 2012. Sadly, Streptococcus agalactiae infections, which was once eliminated in Denmark, has come back with full force, along with an increase in antibiotic usage.
While it might not work in smaller European herds, who’s to say it won’t work for larger U.S. herds. Larry Fox, a mastitis researcher with Washington State University says that some well-managed herds could employ SDCT. He also says that there is no compelling reason to recommend it to every producer.
Presently, the key factor that makes SDCT attractive is its ability to reduce the risk posed by antibiotic resistance and help producers lessen their use of antibiotics. Another potential factor is cost-benefit, as the University of Minnesota’s SDCT pilot project shows savings of $2.62 per cow.
Right now, studies cannot provide a compelling reason to ask producers to switch from BDCT to SDCT. Perhaps in the next few years, we can finally come to a decision as to which therapy option is best for both cows and consumers. Please click here for the full article.
Rick Pascual, CPC/ PRC • Dairy Recruiter
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