Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc (BIVI) says visible abnormalities in the milk are often the first sign of mastitis. However, asks the question, “Should they also determine length of treatment?”
“Bacteria signal the immune system to produce inflammation, and her immune system goes to work eliminating the bacteria,” said Dr. Linda Tikofsky, Professional Services Veterinarian with BIVI. “Milk may look abnormal but when we culture, we may sometimes get a negative result, which means no bacteria are present. The cow’s immune system has already eliminated the bacteria.”
The standard practice on dairies is to treat until the inflammation is gone, which is why some five-day treatment regimens have become common. However, this may be leading producers to over-treat with antibiotics.
“We may effectively kill the bacteria within the first 24 to 48 hours of treatment, but the inflammation will go on another three or four days while the body eliminates the dead bacteria and white blood cells,” explained Tikofsky. “BIVI offers a tube with a two-treatment regimen that is effective at killing mastitis bacteria. However, the milk may still look abnormal at the time of the second treatment.”
Get the complete explanation for BIVI experts here.