Minnesota vet team develops Selective Dry Cow Therapy program


Minnesota vet team develops Selective Dry Cow Therapy program

A team at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has developed a program that aims to help dairy farmers decrease antibiotic use and improve animal welfare.

Professor Sandra Godden says Selective Dry Cow Therapy is an alternative to the commonly used blanket approach which treats all cows at dry-off with long-acting antibiotics regardless of whether they have mastitis or not.

“Selective Dry Cow Therapy is making an individual cow or quarter decision, and only infusing with antibiotics if there is a high probability of infection in that cow or quarter.”

The study involving several herds in multiple states found that antibiotic use was reduced by an average of 55 percent at dry-off.

She tells Brownfield the program implements rapid testing to assess the risk of infection.

“If it is infected, then yes we will go ahead and infuse a long-acting antibiotic at dry-off. Plus hopefully an internal teat sealant as well.”

Godden says there are a few early-adopters of Selective Dry Cow Therapy, and farms must meet certain disease control thresholds to be eligible.