Five Factors for Choosing Mastitis Treatment

Juan Rodrigo Pedraza, DVM Managing Veterinarian | Zoetis

Determining the true cost of a mastitis cure requires more than just comparing the price per box of mastitis tubes. Consider these five factors when weighing treatment options:



  1. Treatment efficacy: When looking at treatment efficacy, how can you tell if the product really works? Is it clearing up the infection and eliminating mastitis-causing pathogens in the udder? An incomplete cure can lead to relapses and chronically infected cows. Monitor treatment success to make sure you’re seeing high bacteriological cure rates, lower relapse rates and lower somatic cell counts. It’s the only way to know whether the treatment is working.
  2. Cost of treatment per day: The price per box of mastitis tubes can be misleading. Look at the number of treatments per box and the frequency of treatment (every 12 hours versus every 24 hours).
  3. Cost of milk discard: Read and follow the product label for milk discard. Shorter milk withdrawal periods are often more economical because producers can resume putting milk back in the bulk tank sooner. Extra-label use can only be done under the supervision of a veterinarian. If extra-label use is necessary, the veterinarian must provide specific use recommendations and additional milk withdrawal recommendations.
  4. Potential for residue risk: Managing products with high-residue risk profiles can compromise operational efficiency. It also can increase the potential for shipping contaminated milk. Choose efficacious products with low-residue risk profiles.



A clinical mastitis cure may not equal a bacteriological mastitis cure: A clinical cure, when milk returns to normal, may not be the same as a bacteriological cure and may not equal treatment success. For hard-to-kill mastitis pathogens, flexible mastitis therapy treatment that’s on-label can sometimes be necessary to achieve a bacteriological cure and help reduce the chance of relapse.

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