This article is part of the NOFA Vermont Dairy and Livestock Technical Assistance Program.
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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
- 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.
For more information on organic production, herd health, and other technical assistance available from NOFA Vermont, contact Sam Fuller, Program Coordinator, at 802-434-4122 or [email protected].
Dairy & Livestock at the Winter Conference
Join us for an advanced commercial dairy & livestock track on Saturday, including:
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.