This article is part of the NOFA Vermont Dairy and Livestock Technical Assistance Program.
We recently shared some resources for mastitis prevention. But what to do when cows do get a clinical or subclinical udder infection?
Subclinical mastitis can show up as an increase in the SCC (somatic cell count) without visual signs of mastitis. Clinical mastitis will include visual changes in the milk or udder swelling.
When a cow has clinical mastitis, treatment suggestions that Dr. Guy Jodarski, staff veterinarian for Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, discussed in a recent webinar include:
- frequent stripping
- vitamin & mineral supplements
- allowed synthetics including fluids, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
- biologics (such as immunoboost) and vaccines
- herbs including antibacterial tinctures
- topicals (essential oils)
- whey products – made from colostrum
Some synthetic medications are allowed for use on organic livestock; for acute mastitis cases these include Banamine (Flunixin) and aspirin. Electrolytes (such as CMPK or hypertonic saline), along with injectable vitamins, are also used by some veterinarians.
Before treating an animal, check the 2014 Organic Livestock Healthcare List or contact the VOF certification office to be sure the treatment is approved for use. It is important to keep records of what treatments are used, and to withhold milk when required by the organic standards.
As there’s no single silver bullet treatment for mastitis, each farm will find a few products from this list that work for their management system.
A good relationship with the veterinarian can make being certified organic easier! Your veterinarian can help you understand what treatments to use, develop a better prevention plan, and keep better records.
Dairy & Livestock at the Winter Conference
- Better Soils are Better Business: Research from Vermont Dairy Farms with Brent Beidler, Guy Choiniere, Heather Darby, and Jack Lazor
- Cow & Calf Health Today for Tomorrow’s Production with Dr. Amy Bartholomew
- Getting the Most from your Harvested Forages with Seth Gardener, Dan Hudson, & Mike Thresher
- Grazing and Pasture Management: Improving Design and Troubleshooting Problems with Sarah Flack and Adam Wilson
- Income Positive Poultry with Jeff Mattock
- Milk Quality & Nutrition: From Glass to Farm with John Barlow, John Cleary, and Jana Kraft
Sunday also offers a diversity of workshop topics, including Efficient Swine Rationing from Piglet to Adult, Farm Labor: Strategies for Success with Your Employees, Market Research: How to Address Opportunities, Winter Lambing Procedure, and many more!
And on Monday, February 17th, join our all-day intensive:
Chicken Soup for the Soil: Building Nutrient-Dense Soil for Nutrient-Dense Crops with Jerry Brunetti,
Jack Lazor, and Heather Darby.