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Herd Health

Find information about mastitis, transition cows, vaccination protocols, working with your veterinarian, hoof care and hoof trimming.

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The numbers don’t lie – mastitis infections in dairy herds are one of the most financially detrimental occurrences that a producer can face. With an estimated $2 billion in losses each year in the U.S. and $400 million in Canada, more preventative and sustainable measures to alleviate mastitis infections are sorely needed.

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Winter brings many challenges to a farm operation. One area I receive constant questions about is winter teat health. Many factors can go into what type of dip to use, but we must always remember why we dip in the first place.

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Dairy producers across the country may receive higher premiums for their milk if they work to have a low somatic cell count (SCC), minimal cases of mastitis and minimize unnecessary antibiotic use. There are many ways to monitor these items on farms.

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Everyone is aware that cows with mastitis give less milk, but we usually only consider the milk loss of clinical cows and tend to overlook the losses due to subclinical cases.

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It’s not out of the ordinary for milk production and components to vary by season; in fact, Dr. Kevin Harvatine believes it’s a natural response to seasonal changes.

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Here are some general guidelines for how to handle water in the colder months, particularly in the Midwest, Northeast and Pacific Northwest.

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