How can you tell which bacteria is causing the most mastitis on your farm?

How can you tell which bacteria is causing the most mastitis on your farm?
By Sam Foss, Veterinarian, Anexa Vets Te Aroha

If you have taken a milk sample, and sent it in for a milk culture recently, then you may have noticed that there is now a new table on the results sheet. This displays a summary of your milk culture results from the last twelve months. The results are divided up into the most common environmental bacteria (Strep uberis and E. coli), contagious bacteria (Staph aureus), teat end bacteria (Coagulase Negative Staph) and then the others grouped together into one category. This allows you to very quickly see which bacteria has been the main source of mastitis on your farm this season. This is a very useful piece of information coming into your milk quality consultation as your veterinarian will be able to give you tailored advice with the best strategies to reduce the number of cases of mastitis and the somatic cell count on your farm next season.

Bacteria in last 12 monthsclinicalsub-clinicalunknowntotal
Coagulase Negative Staph0077
Staph aureus0022
Staph uberis1078

When you are dropping milk samples into the clinic it is important to let our team behind the counter know whether the samples are from clinical cases (cows with clots in their milk and inflamed udders) or from subclinical cases (high on herd test but udder and milk looks normal). This will give your vet an indication which bacteria are causing the clinical cases and which are leading to elevated cells counts. Their advice will differ depending on this information.

If you’re not familiar with taking milk samples then we’re more than happy to give you all the information you need. Sterile collection pots are available at every Anexa clinic, as well as, a “How to collect a milk sample” step-by-step guide. Samples can be frozen after collection and then dropped into your local clinic at your convenience. They are then submitted to the Morrinsville Anexa Milk Quality Lab where our highly skilled lab team puts the sample onto a growth medium and 48 hours later are able to identify which bacteria are present. These results are then sent through to your vet who will be able to give you specific advice.

Date Added: Wednesday, 31st March 2021