Effects of Precalving Antibiotic Treatment on Mastitis and Individual Somatic Cell Count in Heifers

Bastan A., Cengiz M., Cengiz S., POLAT B., ÇOLAK A., Akan M., ...More

JOURNAL OF ANIMAL AND VETERINARY ADVANCES, vol.9, no.8, pp.1245-1249, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


In this experiment, effectiveness of antibiotic treatment was evaluated by bacteriology and Somatic Cell Count (SCC). Ninety-six heifers were divided randomly into two groups: either to be treated with antibiotics (200 mg cephalexin monohydrate and 250 mg neomycin) 45 days prior to expected calving date (Group 1, n = 41) or not treated (Group 2, n = 55). Bacteriologic tests were used for detection of infected quarters. Of the quarters, 58.3% had infection at least in one quarter before calving. Mastitis pathogens were isolated from 31% of the quarters. In the treatment group, 43 of 52 infected quarters (82.6%) were cured but new infections (n = 43) were detected in the beginning of the lactation. Spontaneous cure rate was 69.3% in the control group and new infection rate (24.2%) was lower than the treated group. The treatment was effective for reducing prepartum Intramammary Infections (IMI) and persistent IMI; it was however inadequate to protect the quarters from new IMI in the beginning of lactation (p>0.05). Precalving antibiotic treatment was however quite effective for reducing individual SCC. There were less quarters (n = 5) with high SCC (>400.000 cells mL(-1)) in the treated group than the control group. In conclusion, antibiotic treatment prepartum may be necessary to reduce incidence of mastitis and improve quality of milk.