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Portishead, United Kingdom

Huntley S.J.,University of Warwick | Cooper S.,University of Warwick | Bradley A.J.,Quality Milk Management Services Ltd | Bradley A.J.,University of Nottingham | Green L.E.,University of Warwick
Journal of Dairy Science

A cohort study of 67 suckler ewes from 1 farm was carried out from January to May 2010 to investigate associations between udder conformation, udder half milk somatic cell count (SCC), and lamb weight. Ewes and lambs were observed at lambing. Ewe health and teat condition and lamb health and weight were recorded on 4 to 5 further occasions at 14-d intervals. At each observation, a milk sample was collected from each udder half for somatic cell counting. Two weeks after lambing, ewe udder conformation and teat placement were scored. Low lamb weight was associated with ewe SCC >400,000 cells/mL (-0.73kg), a new teat lesion 14 d previously (-0.91kg), suboptimal teat position (-1.38kg), rearing in a multiple litter (-1.45kg), presence of diarrhea at the examination (-1.19kg), and rearing by a 9-yr-old ewe compared with a 6-yr-old ewe (-2.36kg). High lamb weight was associated with increasing lamb age (0.21kg/d), increasing birth weight (1.65kg/kg at birth), and increasing number of days the ewe was given supplementary feed before lambing (0.06kg/d). High udder half SCC was associated with pendulous udders (9.6% increase in SCC/cm of drop) and greater total cross-sectional area of the teats (7.2% increase of SCC/cm2). Low SCC were associated with a heavier mean litter weight (6.7% decrease in SCC/kg). Linear, quadratic, and cubic terms for days in lactation were also significant. We conclude that poor udder and teat conformation are associated with high levels of intramammary infection, as indicated by increased SCC and that both physical attributes of the udder and SCC are linked to lamb growth, suggesting that selection of suckler ewes with better udder and teat conformation would reduce intramammary infection and increase lamb growth rate. © 2012 American Dairy Science Association. Source

Swinkels J.M.,GD Animal Health Service | Lam T.J.G.M.,GD Animal Health Service | Lam T.J.G.M.,University Utrecht | Green M.J.,University of Nottingham | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal

The effectiveness of antibiotic treatment of clinical mastitis (CM) is classically evaluated using bacteriological cure, which provides a concise and objective way of assessing efficacy but does not reflect the situation in the field where persistence or recurrence of clinical signs lead to perceived treatment failure. If clinical signs persist or recur, intramammary (IMM) treatment is often extended or supplemented with parenteral therapy in the expectation of a more efficient elimination of clinical signs or a lower probability of recurrence.The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy against clinical persistence or recurrence of three cefquinome treatment regimes, standard 1.5-day intramammary (SIMM), 5-day extended intramammary (EIMM) and combination of EIMM plus 5-day extended parenteral (ECOMBO) treatment. The study was conducted on three dairy farms with a high recurrence rate of environmental mastitis. Efficacy was evaluated using a multi-level model at the quarter and at the cow level, based on the persistence or recurrence of clinical signs at any time during a 105-day period following the end of the initial treatment, independent of pathogen.The most prevalent pathogens were E. coli (16.9%) and S. uberis (11.97%). EIMM and ECOMBO significantly decreased the persistence or recurrence of CM by 8% and 6% at the quarter level and by 9% and 8% at the cow level, respectively. ECOMBO may not reduce the persistence or recurrence of CM beyond EIMM. Whilst extended treatment regimens offered an improved outcome in this study, the producer and practitioner need to carefully consider such regimens from the perspective of prudent antibiotic use. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Henderson A.C.,University of Nottingham | Hudson C.D.,University of Nottingham | Bradley A.J.,University of Nottingham | Bradley A.J.,Quality Milk Management Services Ltd | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Dairy Science

The dry period is very important for mammary gland health, with the aim not only to cure existing intramammary infections (IMI) but also to prevent new IMI. Although it is known that the dry period is an important time for optimizing udder health, the probability that individual cows will succumb to a new IMI or, if infected, will fail to cure an IMI is not well established. The aim of this study was to investigate whether lifetime cow data, available through routine on-farm milk recording, could be used to predict changes in IMI status across the dry period for individual cows that were (1) deemed high somatic cell count (SCC; >199,000 cells/mL) or (2) low SCC (<200,000 cells/mL) at the last test day before drying off. Milk recording data collected between September 1994 and July 2014 from 114 herds in the United Kingdom were used. Two 2-level random effects models were built and both cure and new IMI were used as outcome variables in separate models. Cows with a smaller proportion of test days with a high SCC in the lactation before drying off, a smaller proportion of test days recording a high SCC in the lactation before the current lactation, of lower parity, producing less milk before drying off, of lower days in milk at drying off, and of lower SCC just before drying off were more likely to cure across the dry period. Dry period length had no effect on the likelihood of cure. Individual cows with a smaller proportion of test days recording a high SCC in the lactation before the current, of lower parity, of lower milk production at drying off, and fewer days in milk at drying off were less likely to develop a new IMI. Dry period length was found to have no effect on the probability of new IMI. Model predictions showed that a high level of discrimination was possible between cows with a high and low risk of both cures and new infections across the dry period. © 2016 American Dairy Science Association. Source

Egger-Danner C.,ZuchtData EDV Dienstleistungen GmbH | Cole J.B.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Pryce J.E.,La Trobe University | Gengler N.,University of Liege | And 4 more authors.

For several decades, breeding goals in dairy cattle focussed on increased milk production. However, many functional traits have negative genetic correlations with milk yield, and reductions in genetic merit for health and fitness have been observed. Herd management has been challenged to compensate for these effects and to balance fertility, udder health and metabolic diseases against increased production to maximize profit without compromising welfare. Functional traits, such as direct information on cow health, have also become more important because of growing concern about animal well-being and consumer demands for healthy and natural products. There are major concerns about the impact of drugs used in veterinary medicine on the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that can negatively impact human health. Sustainability and efficiency are also increasingly important because of the growing competition for high-quality, plant-based sources of energy and protein. Disruptions to global environments because of climate change may encourage yet more emphasis on these traits. To be successful, it is vital that there be a balance between the effort required for data recording and subsequent benefits. The motivation of farmers and other stakeholders involved in documentation and recording is essential to ensure good data quality. To keep labour costs reasonable, existing data sources should be used as much as possible. Examples include the use of milk composition data to provide additional information about the metabolic status or energy balance of the animals. Recent advances in the use of mid-infrared spectroscopy to measure milk have shown considerable promise, and may provide cost-effective alternative phenotypes for difficult or expensive-to-measure traits, such as feed efficiency. There are other valuable data sources in countries that have compulsory documentation of veterinary treatments and drug use. Additional sources of data outside of the farm include, for example, slaughter houses (meat composition and quality) and veterinary labs (specific pathogens, viral loads). At the farm level, many data are available from automated and semi-automated milking and management systems. Electronic devices measuring physiological status or activity parameters can be used to predict events such as oestrus, and also behavioural traits. Challenges concerning the predictive biology of indicator traits or standardization need to be solved. To develop effective selection programmes for new traits, the development of large databases is necessary so that high-reliability breeding values can be estimated. For expensive-to-record traits, extensive phenotyping in combination with genotyping of females is a possibility. © 2014 The Animal Consortium. Source

Bradley A.J.,Quality Milk Management Services Ltd | Bradley A.J.,University of Nottingham | Breen J.E.,Quality Milk Management Services Ltd | Breen J.E.,University of Nottingham | Green M.J.,University of Nottingham
Cattle Practice

Coliform mastitis remains a significant cause of clinical mastitis in the modern dairy herd accounting for between one quarter and one third of clinical mastitis in the UK. Our understanding of the epidemiology of coliform mastitis has evolved over the past decade and this is reflected in our current approaches to control. The dry period is now understood to play a pivotal role in many herds and any control program needs to first address the non-lactating period. As well as developments in dry period control, more recently vaccination has become available in the EU. This paper reviews our current understanding of coliform mastitis and options for its control. Source

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