Targeted measures against udder illnesses

Prevent increasing cell numbers for healthy cows and the best milk

Udder illnesses weaken dairy cows, lower the milk production and cause financial losses for farmers. That is why targeted preventive measures and immediate treatment in case of diseases are crucial. Products from Desintec have proven reliable in dairy farming, for animals with healthy udders and a well-functioning operation.

Desintec MH Double Sprint D is a two-component dip with biocide registration on a chlorine dioxide base.

The teat dipping medium, Desintec MH Double Sprint D with a chlorine dioxide basis, has an outstanding effect against bacterial agents, such as S. aureus, S. agalactiae, S. dysgalaactiae, S. uberis and E. Coli.

Problem of increased cell counts

High levels of somatic cells in milk cause significant problems for dairy farms. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the average cell numbers for milk delivered in previous years sat between 220,000 and 240,000. In most federal states, only about 15 per cent of all the businesses fall below the target value of 100,000 cells.

Financial losses

Increased cell counts of 225,000 cells are the cause of one kg of milk loss per cow per day. Every year, udder illnesses are the cause of milk loss, reduction in quality, high wastage rates and increased veterinary costs, adding to the financial losses of the farmers. Higher workloads caused by longer milking times also have to be factored in. Udder illnesses are still the main reason for premature withdrawal of cows from the herd.

Overview of cell contents

The total milk's cell count provides a significant overview of an individual cow's udder health. As is known, the cell count for udder-healthy animals amounts to about 100,000 cells per millilitre of milk. The cell count is a standard checked at every milk yield control. This is already a reason why no farmer should forego the monthly milk yield control.

Causes for pathogens

Mastitis pathogens can, above all, get into the udder and cause an infection if the adverse environmental influences, such as poor milking hygiene, a defective milking facility, insufficient feeding or defective keeping play a role. For mastitis pathogens, we differentiate between cow-associated (S. aureus, S. dysgalactiae, S. galactiae) and environmental-associated (E. coli, S. uberis).

Intensive milking hygiene

The infected udder quarter acts as a considerable source of infection in the transfer of cow-associated pathogens. These mastitis pathogens can spread quickly via hands, udder towels and milking equipment from cow to cow. You can only interrupt the spreading with intense milking hygiene. Required hygiene measures include wearing milking gloves, correct pre-milking, the use of pre-dipping substances (e.g. Alcide Pregold), disposable towels for pre-cleaning of udders, carrying out a milking equipment interval disinfection (particularly for problem cows), formation of a mastitis group who are milked last and dipping the teats after milking.

Udder: Strengthen defence mechanisms

For environmental-associated pathogens, it is applicable to strengthen the defence mechanism of the udder and eliminate the source of infection. Environmental factors, such as keeping conditions, feeding and milking hygiene must be optimised. Bacteria multiply more easily in warm and damp conditions. A poor, damp, warm stable climate and unhygienic stalls management increase the germ pressure and over-strain the natural defence system of the udder. From experience, environmental pathogens are easier to get under control if you add a high-alkaline bedding powder such as Desintec Floorcal pH 12 to the bedding (straw or sawdust).

Lime-straw mixture for clean udders

In comparison to conventional lime-washes, particularly characteristic are the high pH value of 12 and the very quick drying out of the bedding. Scientific investigations show that infectious environmental pathogens cannot multiply or develop easily with a long-sustained high pH value over 9 in the bedding. Further advantages are the good skin tolerance and easy handling. The hygiene chalk can either be used in conjunction with other bedding materials such as straw or sawdust in stalls or just sprinkled on in pure form. Additional advantages of the lime-straw mixture are cleaner udders, alongside better comfort.

Two-component dipping medium

After milking, the risk of pathogen entry is at its greatest as the teat canal is open for approx. 30 to 60 minutes. In this timeframe, pathogens can enter the udder unhindered with a high pathogen pressure and can then cause infection. To prevent the transfer of udder pathogens, the implementation of the new two-component dipping medium Desintec MH Double Sprint with a chlorine dioxide base is recommended. The active ingredient chlorine dioxide has been used for some years with success in the high-performance operation in the USA and Canada.

The two components are mixed with the same ratio of 1:1 in a dipping bucket. Due to the high oxidation strength, the active ingredient chlorine dioxide guarantees a very quick effectiveness. The quick effect of Desintec MH Double Sprint has been proven against a number of germs, including E. coli and S. aureus. Skin-nurturing components from the human domain also ensure a high teat compatibility. The two-component product is registered as a biocidal product and can be dipped or sprayed. All criteria of the QM check are fulfilled.

Interim disinfection of milking equipment

A further measure for problematic operations with cow-associated pathogens (S. aureus, S. dysgalactiae and S. galactiae) is the interim disinfection of the milking equipment. It is becoming ever more important, since the number of milked cows per milking equipment is increasing in growing operational units. The risk of germ transfer from cow to cow via the milking equipment increases correspondingly. Rinsing out the milking equipment with only water does not provide a sufficient reduction in germs, according to numerous investigation results. The active ingredient peracetic acid has been used in recent years for interim disinfection of milking equipment. Peracetic acid distinguishes itself through its quick and broad effect, particularly against cow-associated pathogens. Since peracetic acid disintegrates when used in water, vinegar and oxygen, it also grants good biological degradability. A high effectiveness for interval disinfection of milking equipment is ensured with the product Desintec MelkDes 15 with a peracetic acid base.

Use biocides carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.