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01.02.10

Teat canal closure in non-lactating heifers and its association with udder health in consecutive lactation

Prevalence of intramammary infection in 1st calf heifers at calving ranges from 18 to 55%. Animal and teat related risk factors have been indentified. In this study from Northern Germany, six dairy herds with more than 50% of heifer calving in with a cow-level SCC 100,000 cells/ml were enrolled. 84 heifers were examined three times before calving with the first examination beginning ten weeks before the anticipated calving date. Each quarter was examined and secretion samples were obtained for culture if the teat canal was open. Quarter samples were obtained from all four glands after calving and cultured. No open teat canals were found more than 80 days before calving while 60% of teat canals were open at 60 days pre-calving. 66% of secretion samples from open quarters were culture positive and increased to 77% positive at calving. Post calving the number of positive secretion samples dropped to 18%. Infections with coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) and Staphylococcus aureus persisted post-calving. A high proportion of teat canals are open before calving and these open teat canals are an important factor in the etiology of heifer mastitis.

Ressources

Krömker, V. and J. Friedrich. 2009. Teat canal closure in non-lactating heifers and its association with udder health in consecutive lactation. Vet. Micro. 134(1-2):37-44