Ark Veterinary Centre

summer Mastitis

Aug 3, 2019
summer Mastitis

Summer Mastitis Summer mastitis is usually a disease of non-lactating cows and heifers during the summer months. It also occurs occasionally in the rudimentary udders of young heifers, bulls and steers. In beef cows, summer mastitis is often seen when barren spring calving cows are kept for later breedings (e.g. transferred from the spring herd to the autumn-calving herd).

Bacterial causes include:   Arcanobacterium pyogenes  Peptostreptococcus indolicus  Streptococcus dysgalactiae These bacteria act synergistically to cause summer mastits.      Transmission is thought to be by the head fly (hydrotea irritans). These flies live in bushes and trees, and can only fly during mild, damp, humid conditions and low wind speeds thus cases tend to be associated with ‘problem fields’ next to woods and high hedges. 

Obvious swelling of the affected quarter is associated with            development of more generalised signs of illness including isolation from the group, stiffness and reluctance to walk, lack of grazing   giving a gaunt appearance, joint distension of the fetlock and hock joints and rapid loss of body condition. 

Affected animals may abort and may die if prompt treatment is not administered. Even after prompt treatment, the affected quarter is permanently damaged. Illness leads to the birth of weak calves which may have a high mortality rate. Colostrum from another cow is recommended for these calves. 

Reduce exposure by grazing cattle away from susceptible fields. Higher, more exposed pastures are preferred. Fly control measures (usually synthetic pyrethroids) include methods such as impregnated fly tags, pour on and sprays. 

Dry cow therapy remains the most effective means of preventing summer mastitis both in cows at drying off and in susceptible     pregnant heifers during summer months. Consult your vet to discuss the most appropriate tube.  
Preparation and time is crucial for good pretupping nutrition!
It takes 6-8 weeks for ewes to gain one BCS in preparation for tupping. Research suggests that ewes eating a diet high in protein and energy in the weeks leading up to tupping (known as flushing), will achieve higher scanning percentages. However, there is a limit to the positive effect of doing this, depending on the ewes current body condition. Flushing ewes at BCS 4 or above did not improve conception rate and flushing ewes at or below BCS 2 had no effect on scanning results. Flushing has the biggest impact on ewes between BCS 2 and 4. Ensure at least 90% of the flock is at target BCS at tupping to optimise flock performance. Thin ewes ovulate fewer eggs and are likely to have less lambs. Fat ewes will ovulate more than thin ewes. However, higher embryonic death may result in lower scanning for ewes that are in too good     condition. Deficiencies in trace elements can have negative impact on production. Ask your vet about pre tupping bloods to ensure correct supplementation