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Leitner G.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | Koren O.,Hachaklait Veterinary Services Ltd. | Jacoby S.,Institute of Animal Science | Merin U.,Institute of Animal Science | Silanikove N.,Institute of Animal Science
Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2012

Subclinical mastitis is the predominant form of mastitis in modern cow herds, and greatly affects dairy economics. The aim of the present study was to exploit available on-line computerized data to suggest a rational procedure that would enable effective treatment of infected udders. The cows were divided into five categories: no intervention, antibiotic treatment, drying-off specific quarter(s) with casein hydrolyzate, drying-off the whole cow and culling. The first step in the analysis was identification of the infected udder and the causative pathogen. The second step was to determine the sensitivity of the pathogen (mostly bacteria) to antibiotic treatment. Of the 62 high somatic cell count (SCC) cows, 40 (64.5%) were cured. The highest cure was achieved in mammary glands infected with Streptococcus dysgalactiae, followed by those with Staphylococcus chromogenes. No differences were found for the cure of cows in their first to third lactations but were significantly lower in lactations 4 and 5. When treatment was applied within a month from the estimated occurrence of the infection, the success rate was over 73%, whereas treatment after 3 months or more achieved significantly lower success. The average SCC towards the time of antibiotic treatment was about 1.5 x 106 cells ml/-1. At first milk testing, aboutl month after treatment, SCC was at a level of aboutl00,000 cells ml/-1 and it remained at that level for the subsequent 3 months. The 17 cows that underwent drying-off of a single infected gland had SCC > 106 cells ml/-1 for at least 3 months. Drying off of the secretion from the infected glands reduced the overall SCC to < 200,000 cells ml/-1. Milk yield from the uninfected three quarters decreased on average by about 9% during 30 days post-treatment. Treatment options of subclinical mastitis according to the results require early detection, identification of the bacterium and calculation of the economic benefit, taking into account the conditions and the value of the animal to the farmer. Source

Galon N.,Hachaklait Veterinary Services Ltd. | Zeron Y.,Sion AI and Breeding Company Israel Ltd
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2010

The objectives of this review are to describe the reproductive parameters monitored in Israeli dairy herds and to evaluate their changes in recent years. Eighty percent of the cows and 70% of the farms use the Israel Cattle Breeders' Association Herdbook and about 50% of them use pedometry systems. Intensive herd medicine is practiced in 80% of the herds by Hachaklait Veterinary Services Ltd. Herd-health reports monitor calving, production and reproduction. Causal analysis explains the effects and interactions of various risk factors involved. The average of 305 days of milk production per cow increased between 2004 and 2008 from 11,200 to 11,903 kg. At the same time the first A.I. conception rate (C.R) dropped from 43.0 to 40.7% and from 35.6 to 30.5% in primiparous cows (PC) and multiparous cows (MC), respectively. The waiting period (WP) was shortened from 106.2 to 93.4 days in PC and from 99.9 to 87.3 days in MC. The undetected heat rate per herd increased from 30.3 to 38.9% and from 33.9 to 43.9% in PC and MC, respectively. The average of days open per herd dropped from 127 to 118.4 and from 127.5 to 120.5 in PC and MC, respectively. The rate of cows open by 150 days in lactation dropped from 42% (± 10.2) to 34.2% (± 8.1) and 47.1% (± 8.8) to 39.5% (± 7.1) in PC and MC, respectively. The ratio between summer inseminations and winter inseminations increased from 0.81 to 1.04 from 2000 to 2008. The calving interval (CI) average fluctuated around 424.5 (± 2.0) days and 417.5 (± 1.7) days in PC and MC, respectively. The average duration of the dry period in 2008 was 60.7 (± 4.7, 47-72) days. From 2004 to 2008, the average herd rate of endometritis increased from 38.1 to 46.0% and from 25.5 to 30.1% in PC and MC, respectively. The milk fat to protein ratio in the first test day of lactation has remained steady during the past 5 years. Genetic trends in the breeding values of fertility and milk showed consistent improvement from 2000 to 2006. Conclusions: In recent years there has been a small decline in some reproductive parameters, while at the same time others have remained unchanged. The farmer's economical viewpoint and management practices have contributed to the changes. Source

Flamenbaum I.,Advanced Cow Cooling Systems Co. | Galon N.,Hachaklait Veterinary Services Ltd.
Journal of Reproduction and Development | Year: 2010

Israel has about 100,000 dairy cows mostly all of Israeli-Holstein-breed, kept in close to 1,000 dairy farms. Most farms are distributed along the Mediterranean Sea coast and in the hot internal valleys. According to the Israeli Herd book the average annual milk production, per cow in 2008 was 11,460 kg, with 3.7% fat and 3.2% protein. Israel's climate is considered "subtropical dry" or Mediterranean, characterized by warm and dry summer with day temperatures above 30 C and relative humidity ranging from 50 to 90%. Climatic limitations brought dairy farmers to develop and implement new technologies and management practices that would enable high milk production and reproduction in summers. In the last three decades the Ministry of Agriculture research units, the extension service and dairy farmers conducted a series of trials and surveys in order to develop an efficient cooling system that will obtain and maintain high milk yield and good reproduction during the hot and humid summer. The cooling system commonly used in Israel is based on a combination of frequent direct watering of the cows, followed by forced ventilation air blowing onto the cows. The system was developed in Israel nearly 30 years ago. A typical cycle is five minutes long and consists of 30 sec of watering followed by 4.5 min of forced ventilation. Providing the cows with 5-7 cooling sessions per day, 30-45 min each, allowed cows, producing 25-30 kg of milk per day to maintain their body temperature below 39.0 C, throughout the day time, on a typical Israeli summer day. At the same time, non-cooled cows had high body temperatures (above 39.5 C), during some part of the daytime and returned to normal body temperatures (below 39.0 C), only for a few hours late at night. In an experiment conducted in 1985-86, conception rate (CR) of cows, cooled as described above, was significantly higher than of non-cooled cows (59 vs. 17% and 57 vs. 17%), for first insemination and for all inseminations, respectively. Pregnancy rate (the amount of pregnant cows out of the eligible cows in the herd) calculated for 90, 120 and 150 days after calving differed significantly between the groups, (44, 59 and 73% vs., 5, 11 and 11%), in cooled and non-cooled cows, respectively. CR and pregnancy rates obtained in intensively cooled herds in this experiment were similar to those obtained during the winter of that year, in commercial dairy farms in Israel. Differently from the results described above, when cows in summer were intensively cooled, only for a period of 2 days before and 8 days after A.I, CR failed to improve (31 and 36%), in cooled and non-cooled cows, respectively. These results offer a conclusion that cows must be intensively cooled and must maintain normal body temperatures during the entire day and during the whole summer. i.e. the entire reproductive process from follicular development until implantation of the embryo in the uterus, in order to express cow's full reproductive potential in Israeli summer conditions. The effect of cooling intensity on cow's productive and reproductive traits was studied in a wide survey, during four consecutive years (1998-2001), on 14 farms, averaging 300 milking cows each, all located in the coastal plain of Israel. Farms were categorized into three different groups according to the intensity of summer cooling. "Intensive" (7.5 cumulative cooling hours per day), "Moderate" (4.5 cumulative hours per day) and "No-cooling" at all. CR was 56, 53 and 54%, and 40, 34 and 15%, for primiparous (P<0.01) and 47, 46 and 43%, and 34, 34 and 17% for multiparous cows (P<0.01), in the "intensive", "moderate", and "no cooling" groups, in winter and summer, respectively. In another survey based on the Israeli Herd Book data from 2005, using elite yielding herds (with average annual milk production per cow of more than 13,000 kg), the average CR of intensive cooled herds was 39 and 19%, in winter and summer respectively, compared to 39 and 12%, respectively, in non-cooled high yielding herds (P<0.01). This indicates that intensive cooling in summer can reduce by half the summer drop in CR, even in very high yielding herds. The Ministry of Agriculture extension service, in cooperation with the Israel Cattle Breeders Association (ICBA), developed a computerized report called "Summer to Winter (S:W) Performance Ratio", based on the "Israeli Herd book" data from more than 300 herds. The higher the ratio is for productive and reproductive traits, the better a farm handles summer negative effects on cow's performance. Based on the S:W ratio of each herd in 2007, we quantified the overall effect of intensive cooling in summer on the cow's whole year performance. Data from 24 farms with the highest S:W ratio were compared with data from 24 farms with the lowest S:W ratio. The comparison showed that well cooled cows in Israeli summer added approximately 700 kg of milk to cow's lactation, an increase of 6.5% in its annual production. Summer CR were significantly higher in the highest S:W ratio farms, compared with the lowest ones (27 vs. 19%), and compared to those obtained in same groups in winter (40 vs. 36%), respectively. High S: W ratio herds reached in summer conception rate of 70% of their winter CR, compared to only 50% in the lowest S:W ratio farms inseminated in same period. Trials conducted in the last 10 years show clearly that intensive cooling of high yielding cows (above 45 kg daily) in summer cannot completely eliminate summer decline in CR (as was achieved two decades ago when daily production was less than 30 kg). These high yielding cows despite being intensively cooled could not maintain normal body temperature all day long. This fact brought Israeli researchers to look for hormonal treatments to improve cow's summer fertility, among them elevating post insemination blood progesterone, GnRH treatment at time of insemination to optimise insemination time, improvement of egg quality by elimination of aged follicles produced during heat stress and the use of timed AI and embryo transfer. Part of these treatments improved summer CR when combined with intensive cooling. Cooling Intensification combined with hormonal therapy, management and nutritional practices are expected to minimize the gap between summer and winter CR obtained in Israel in the future. Source

Amram E.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | Amram E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Freed M.,Laboratory for Udder Health and Milk Quality | Khateb N.,Laboratory for Udder Health and Milk Quality | And 7 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2013

Mycoplasma bovis is an important and emerging pathogen of cattle. In this study, multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis was used to differentiate M. bovis type strain PG45 and 68 M. bovis field isolates, including 34 isolates from calves imported to Israel from Australia, Lithuania and Hungary in the period 2006-2011, 32 isolates from mastitic dairy cows in Israel in the period 2000-2011, one isolate from the pneumonic lungs of a calf in Israel in 2010 and one isolate from frozen bull semen in Israel in 2008. A total of 35 VNTR types were distinguished, including three, eight and 10 different VNTR types among isolates from calves imported from Australia, Hungary and Lithuania, respectively, and 17 VNTR types among isolates from dairy cows in Israel. The VNTR types in isolates from Lithuanian calves were not identified among isolates from Israeli dairy cows. VNTR type XX, present in the Hungarian group, was identified in one Israeli mastitis-associated isolate. A cluster of 16 M. bovis isolates from Israeli dairy cows possessed the same VNTR type III as three Australian isolates from a single shipment of calves in 2006. The other cluster of isolates contained M. bovis strain 883, isolated from a mastitic cow, strain 72236, isolated from a calf with pneumonia, two isolates from calves imported from Australia to the same farm 3. months previously and four isolates from calves in quarantine imported to Israel from Australia in 2009-2010. Multiple locus VNTR analysis is a useful tool for understanding the movement and spread of strains of M. bovis within and across international boundaries. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lysnyansky I.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | Freed M.,Laboratory for Udder Health and Milk Quality | Rosales R.S.,Animal and Plant Health Agency | Mikula I.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2016

The prevalence of Mycoplasma bovis in milk samples submitted to the Israeli National Service for Udder Health and Milk Quality was determined during the period 2004-2014 and the genetic pattern of the obtained isolates was assessed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Mycoplasma spp. were identified in 66 herds including M. bovis (n = 60), M. cottewii (n = 3), M. bovigenitalium (n = 2), M. alkalescens (n = 2) and M. yeatsii (n = 1). The proportion of M. bovis infected herds was relatively low (0-0.68%) in 2004-2007, increased to 3.77% during the 2008 outbreak, and ranged from 0.77 to 2.77% during the 2009-2014 period. Since 2008, about eight M. bovis positive dairy herds have been identified in Israel annually, with six of which on average being newly infected. MLST of 57. M. bovis isolates revealed that sequence type 10 was the dominant genotype identified in 60% of the herds. In conclusion, these data show that M. bovis is the main mycoplasmal mastitic pathogen in Israel. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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