Control of dairy cow environmental mastitis in lactation

Environmental mastitis is by far the most common type of mastitis in the UK herd.

Environmental mastitis patterns

An environmental mastitis pattern means most new infections come from the environment, and the majority of new cases originate during lactation, rather than the dry period. The following pages give information for herds with an environmental lactation pattern.

If you are unsure of your herd’s mastitis pattern, the Mastitis Pattern Analysis Tool (MPAT) provides a simple automated way of determining the transmission pattern.

Reducing the risk of environmental mastitis during lactation

Environmental mastitis is caused by bacteria picked up from the environment, rather than bacteria spread from other infected cows. Our checklist will help you identify the key areas for the control of environmental mastitis.

Find out more about reducing the risk of environmental mastitis during lactation

The importance of cow cleanliness to prevent environmental mastitis

The risk of infection from the environment is likely to be lower if the cow and her environment are clean. Our cleanliness checks can help you measure how much muck and dirt is on different body parts.

Read more on cow cleanliness to prevent environmental mastitis

Environmental mastitis: The housed dairy cow

The best way to control environmental mastitis is to minimise the number of bacteria that can cause mastitis at the teat end. It is important to design housing with the cow in mind and provide enough clean and dry bedding with regular maintenance.

Environmental mastitis: The housed dairy cow

Mastitis in dairy cows at pasture

Time at pasture poses a considerable risk for clinical mastitis and increased somatic cell counts for many dairy herds, due to exposure to different bacterial pathogens and variable environmental conditions. Our top tips will help you manage the risk of mastitis in the contamination hotspots.

Controlling environmental mastitis in dairy cows at pasture

Parlour cow flow and milking

Environmental mastitis is usually the result of infections picked up outside the milking parlour, but infections can be spread at milking. Find out how you can reduce the risk of contaminating teat ends and prevent cow-to-cow spread during milking.

Environmental mastitis: Parlour cow flow and milking

Improving dairy cow defences lactation

In addition to minimising the challenge of infection from the environment, improving the cow’s natural defences also plays a part in mastitis control. Our scoring system will help you identify the condition of the teats and improve teat-end defences.

Improving dairy cow defences in environmental mastitis in lactation

Useful links

Mastitis in dairy cows Mastitis Pattern Tool guide Control of environmental mastitis in lactation (PDF)

If you would like a hard copy of the Control of environmental mastitis guide please contact publications@ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 799 0069.

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