In Control – Dairy Farmer Shares His Experience Tackling Cryptosporidium

We recently caught up with Westmeath dairy farmer, Michael Clarke to see how he got on tackling cryptosporidium on his dairy farm, which had been a problem up to the spring of 2020.

“2021 was the best year we’ve had in terms of calf health, with little or no sick days. Calf housing is still number one, but accurately following a solid vaccination programme against rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli has had a huge impact,” said Michael.

The Clarkes converted to dairying in 2010. They bought 200,000L of quota under the new entrant scheme and started off milking 48 heifers. They have since built the herd up to 270 cows.

The Westmeath dairy farmer had a bad run with cryptosporidium some years ago. “It was a nightmare. It involved shocking work over two to three weeks, keeping calves alive through feeding electrolytes and water – not to mention the cost of treatment and the loss of a few calves,” explained Michael. 

It was after this episode and following the advice of his vet, John Moore, that Michael decided to get on top of cryptosporidiosis and make an oral solution to tackle cryptosporidium a critical component of his prevention programme.

Cryptosporidium
Lynn and Michael Clarke.  All calves are being treated with the oral solution for the treatment and prevention of diarrhoea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum 

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium is one of the main causes of scour in calves less than four weeks of age. As part of its life cycle, Cryptosporidium produces huge numbers of oocysts, which are shed in the faeces of infected calves. Older animals can act as a reservoir of infection.

A contaminated environment can serve as a source of oocsyts for new infections to occur. At peak shedding, there may be as many as 10 million oocysts per gram of faeces and it can take as few as 10 of these to cause disease in young, susceptible calves.

Typically, clinical signs appear in calves from 5 to 14 days old and can vary greatly from mild diarrhoea to severe, watery scours and eventually death. Calves become rapidly dehydrated and suffer loss of appetite.

Late intervention was a big issue on Michael’s farm, with oral solutions only administered after the first calves were diagnosed with cryptosporidium.

“We had the first outbreak in 2018. It didn’t hit until around the 7th of March when most of the cows had calved. In 2019, it came much earlier – around the 22nd of February. This was right in the middle of calving. Intervention came too late,” said Michael.

Oral solution

Michael’s Veterinary Practitioner, John Moore said where cryptosporidium is a problem on a farm the use of the oral solution should be a critical component of the prevention programme.

Cryptosporidium
Veterinary practitioner John Moore.

“As the disease hits so fast, it can get out of control before the farmer has time to take action. Mortality can be high and even when calves survive, thrive can be severely affected.

“All calves should be treated daily from 24 to 48 hours old for seven consecutive days. Dosage levels should correspond to the weight of the calf and when used as a treatment make sure the calf is fully hydrated and bright before use,” he stressed.

“Use of the oral solution as a prevention is a more economical option than the massive labour, stress and cost involved in treating sick calves as well as the potential losses from dead calves and poor thrive in those that survive,” John added.

This oral solution, containing the active ingredient Halofuginone lactate, it is only available on veterinary prescription.

Learning from the past

Michael said: “Since 2020, we don’t wait for the disease to hit. Instead, we start the programme at the beginning of the calving season. Calves receive their first dose the day after birth for seven days.”

Vaccinating the cows prior to calving has also become a critical component of Michael’s vaccination programme.  

“We saw fantastic results in controlling cryptosporidiosis, however in that first year, some calves started to show positive signs of rotavirus at around 10 days old.

“I talked to John and we now vaccinate the cows three weeks pre-calving for rotavirus and then protect the calves against cryptosporidium from the start of calving season. I get great peace of mind with this broad range of cover,” said Michael. 

Calves are also given plenty of colostrum within a few hours of birth and close attention is paid to nutrition levels and to bedding, hygiene and ventilation.

“It’s a must to have your sheds properly power washed and disinfected before calving starts. Three to four weeks into calving, the disease pressure is at its highest, so in more recent years, we clean out the calf shed every 10 days. That, along with accurate treatment and good management has been effective at keeping the disease at bay,” concluded Michael.


It’s back – The Pr€vention for Profit competition

Now we’re looking for the best dairy calf rearer in the country! #MyCalfOurFuture

Competition Details

This year, the Pr€vention for Profit competition is focused on calves. The #MyCalfOurFuture concept highlights the importance of the newborn calf to the sustainability of the farm, the farmer, their family and the rural economy.

Prevention for Profit competition

This competition is aimed at dairy farmers who are maximising their on-farm profitability by focusing on the four key pillars of production – Nutrition, Genetics, Management and Animal Health. We aim to showcase the management of Irish dairy calves by identifying farmers who implement best practice when it comes to calf rearing.

Of those that enter the competition, there will be one dairy farmer selected from each of the four provinces as finalists. The four finalists will be assessed based on the four pillars of production. A panel of four judges will conduct a single half day farm visit to assess their calves’ level of productivity and profitability.

The winning farmer will win an all-expenses paid study tour to mainland Europe to visit some top-performing dairy farms, to see and learn how they operate. For your chance to win, click the link below. Good luck!

Please read the terms and conditions of the competition, here.


Tackling calf scour – Time to think vaccination

The newborn calf will face many infectious diseases in the early stages of life, with calf scour being one of the most common challenges.

Creating a calf health plan now, will help reduce the risk of calf scour occurring in the first place. For Cork dairy farmer, James Murphy, this means making sure colostrum is of the highest quality, in addition to ensuring good environmental hygiene and management on farm.

James highlights the key steps he is taking in preparation for calving 2022 and why vaccination plays such an integral role in his calf health plan to reduce the risk of calf scour occurring on his farm.

Good Colostrum Management – Key to preventing calf scour 

Calves are most at risk of calf scour during the first 4 weeks of life; therefore, rely entirely on good high-quality colostrum for protection.

Paul Ryan, Vet Practitioner with Waterside Vets, Co. Limerick, said that “to achieve adequate protection from calf scour, we recommend vaccinating the cow or heifer with the Bovilis Scour Vaccine 12-3 weeks prior to calving.

“This will allow her to increase the concentration of antibodies produced in colostrum antibodies against the main calf scour causing pathogens,” said Paul.

It is critical that the calf receives three litres of good-quality colostrum as soon as possible after birth. The calf should also be fed within the first two hours of birth, to obtain the necessary antibodies which will kick start the calf’s immune system and protect against disease. 

According to James, “vaccinating the cows prior to calving gives us an extra boost of confidence going into the calving period as we know the colostrum contains the critical antibodies to reduce the risk of calf scour.

“We place a big emphasis on getting the colostrum right and into the calf as soon as possible after birth. We operate the 1,2,3 rule of colostrum, and use a Brix Refractometer to ensure calves receive high-quality colostrum with a reading greater than 22%.”  

Calf health programme to reduce calf scour

The direct cost of treating calf scour can be easily determined from treatment costs and losses, but the overall indirect losses, such as reduced growth rates and labour requirements, are often underestimated.

“We vaccinate against calf scour for two main reasons: Animal welfare and labour. We don’t want the animals getting sick, and from an animal performance point of view, it is important that they reach their target growth rates. Sick calves also add to the workload at an already busy time of year,” explained James. 

He continues, “since vaccinating with the Bovilis Scour Vaccine, we have had no sick calves and there is less pressure on the animals as well as the people working on the farm.”

It is important to remember that calf scour vaccination is not a substitute for good hygiene, housing, and environmental factors. Every attempt should be made to keep housing clean and dry, and reduce draughts, where possible.

All feeding equipment should be disinfected after every milk feeding and calf pens should be cleaned out, power washed and disinfected between batches of calves to reduce the build-up of bugs. 

Bovilis Scour Vaccine – At A Glance

calf scour
  • Single shot primary course.
  • Low dose volume (2ml shot).
  • Intramuscular administration.
  • Broad window of vaccination (Vaccinate pregnant cows 12-3 weeks pre-calving).
  • Reduces the severity of diarrhoea caused by E. coli (K99).
  • Reduces the incidence of scours caused by rotavirus.
  • Reduces the shedding of virus by calves infected with rotavirus and coronavirus.
  • Unique 28 day in-use shelf life.
  • Reduce the risk of breakage with new PET bottles.
  • Available in 5, 20 and now 50 dose packs.

For more information, visit the MSD Animal Health scour page or talk to your vet about the Bovilis Scour Vaccine.


Bovilis Scour Vaccine – The leading calf scour vaccine

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine is a single-shot injectable vaccination, given to pregnant cows to subsequently help protect the calf from diarrhoea caused by rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli (k99), once the calf has been fed sufficient colostrum.

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine is a single 2ml vaccine. It is administered to pregnant cattle 12 – 3 weeks prior to calving. It is given into the muscle of the animal.

scour vaccine

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine will stimulate the dam to produce antibodies which will protect the calf against rotavirus, coronavirus and E.coli (K99). These antibodies will be stored in the dam’s colostrum. The dam will pass these antibodies to the calf through the colostrum at the first milk feeding.

This is why is is crucial that the calf receives adequate colostrum as soon as possible after birth.

Remember the 1,2,3 rule when feeding colostrum. In the 1st 2 hours, ensure the calf gets at least 3 litres of colostrum. Feeding the calf good quality colostrum will enhance the protection of the calf against these scour causing pathogens.

New additions to the Bovilis Scour Vaccine

The Bovilis Scour Vaccine has undergone some recent changes. The following are some of the changes to note:

  • The vaccine pack has changed from blue to purple packaging.
  • A new 50 dose pack size, is now available to complement our current 5 dose and 20 dose presentations and to support use whatever the herd size.
  • All presentations are being transitioned from glass to a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle, instead of glass vials, to reduce the risk of breakage.
scour vaccine

Bovilis Scour Vaccine – How does it work?

  • Single shot primary course
  • Low dose volume (2ml shot)
  • Intramuscular (IM) administration
  • Broad window of vaccination (Vaccinate pregnant cows 12-3 weeks pre-calving)
scour vaccine

Why choose the Bovilis Scour Vaccine?

  • Reduces the severity of diarrhoea caused by E. coli (K99)
  • Reduces the incidence of scours caused by rotavirus
  • Reduces the shedding of virus by calves infected with rotavirus and coronavirus
  • Unique 28 day in-use shelf life
  • Reduces the risk of breakage with new PET bottles
  • Available in 5, 20 and now 50 dose packs

NEW calf scour guide

Want to learn more about calf scour and how you can use the Bovilis Scour Vaccine to protect your calves against scour? Check out our NEW Calf Scour Guide by scrolling through the PDF document below.

Ask your vet about our new Calf Scour Guide and how you can use the Bovilis Scour Vaccine to help reduce the risk of calf scour occurring on your farm.


Announcement: Prevention for Profit competition

MSD Animal Health are delighted to announce the two overall champions of this year’s Prevention for Profit competition.

This year the competition was aimed at progressive sheep farmers who felt they were maximising their profitability by focusing on the four key pillars of production. These four key pillars are nutrition, breeding, animal health and management.

William Clarke was selected as the overall lowland champion of the competition. From just outside Ardrums, Co. Meath, William farms along side his father David.

William is a young farmer, mid-season lambing 570 ewes and ewe lambs. William excelled in the competition and provided a very clear rationale as to why he was taking particular steps on his farm.

William and his father place a strong emphasis on the health of their flock and are vaccinating against enzootic abortion, toxoplasmosis, pasteurella and clostridial diseases.

Check out the video below to hear more on why the judges chose William as the overall lowland champion of the competition.

Martin Hopkins was selected as the overall hill champion of the competition. His farm outside Drummin, Co. Mayo extends to 120 acres (48.6ha) of enclosed hill ground along with enclosed commonage grazing.

He is farming 300 Mayo-Blackface ewes and like William places a strong emphasis on his flock’s health to ensure they perform in the terrain in which they are run.

Listen to Martin, and why the judges selected him as the overall hill champion, by checking out the video below.

Three farmers were selected as champions from each category and the six finalists were judged by a panel of judges on the four pillars of production.

For more information on all six finalists, click here.

The Prevention for Profit concept is part of a global MSD animal health initiative which is called ‘#TimeToVaccinate’.

The ‘Time to Vaccinate’ initiative focuses on the use of preventative practices to ensure the well-being of farm animals and the sustainable production of meat, dairy and lamb.

It supports farmers who have already adopted vaccination, as well as farmers who want to learn more about how vaccination can improve animal health, productivity and subsequently profitability.

For more information on the #TimeToVaccinate initiative please click here.


Do you want to enter our #WinwithBovipast competition?

Are you a beef farmer? Do you want to attend this year’s Balmoral Show? Are you on the look out for a new jacket? If the answer is yes, well then we’ve got the competition just for you!

Over the next three weeks, MSD Animal Health are running a social media competition with a fantastic prize up for grabs.

To be in with the chance to win a pair of brown leather Blundstone boots, a quilted Toggi jacket as well as 5 tickets to this year’s Balmoral Show all you need to do is enter our competition.

For a lucky lady winner, there is a women’s jacket option available too!

How to enter the online competition

To enter the competition there are just 3 simple steps:

  1. Post a photo of your best, or even your favorite beef weanling on Twitter or Facebook;
  2. Use the hashtag: #WinwithBovipast;
  3. Tag @msd_ah if you enter on Twitter, or @MSD Animal Health – Cattle & Sheep if you enter on Facebook.

It’s that easy! Don’t waste time, get snapping and be in with the chance to win this amazing prize!

The competition is running from Thursday the 19th of August to 12am on Sunday, the 12th of September. The winner will be announced on Monday, the 13th of September.

The winner will be picked at random! Lets see those weanling photos!

Bovipast RSP – The number one pneumonia vaccine

Bovipast RSP is the number one pneumonia vaccine used in cattle in Northern Ireland. It protects against two viral causes of pneumonia: RSV and PI3 viruses; and the bacterium Mannheimia haemolytica.

Bovipast RSP is the only cattle vaccine licensed to protect against Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica serotypes A1 and A6. Protection against both strains is vitally important and is unique to Bovipast RSP. 

Calves can be vaccinated from two weeks of age. The vaccination program is two shots four weeks apart. A booster dose should be given before the next period of risk. Bovipast can also be administered at the same time as Bovilis IBR Marker Live.

Vaccinating cattle before they get pneumonia can be a very effective way of controlling disease. The vaccine stimulates the animal’s immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies help the animal to fight infection when they encounter it. 


Sheep lameness – Underlying issue to reduced performance?

Lameness in sheep

Lameness in sheep is a significant issue in flocks in Ireland. Lame sheep are a cost to any farm business due to the costs associated with treatment, control and loss of productivity.

When compared to a normal ewe, lame ewes can have:

  • 15% lower conception rate;
  • 20% decrease in body condition score;
  • 20% lower lambing percentage;
  • Lower ewe survival;
  • Poor lamb survival;
  • Reduced growth rate in lambs born to lame ewes;
  • Fewer lambs sold finished.

For effective treatment it is important that a correct diagnosis is made to identify the cause of lameness affecting each ewe. The three most common causes of lameness in sheep are bacterial infections of the skin and hoof, including: Scald, Footrot and Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD).

Misdiagnosis leads to mistreatment

Causes and symptoms of lameness in sheep

Bacteria that affect the skin and hoof are normally found in the digestive tract of animals. Virulent strains of Dichelobacter nodosus, the primary cause of Footrot in sheep, are maintained in the flock by both lame and recovered carrier sheep.

90% of lameness is caused by Scald and Footrot.

Scald

Scald is the term given to inflamed or reddened skin between the digits. The horn is usually unaffected. A damp environment predisposes sheep to developing scald.

Wet grass or moisture between the toes leads to an impairment of the defence properties of the skin which normally acts as a barrier to infection.

Bacteria which can be found on the surface of normal feet, Fusobacterium necrophorum, invade the skin when wet, resulting in damage. The interdigital skin can appear red and swollen or grey.

Lameness is usually mild and resolves when underfoot conditions improve. In the meantime, however, the damaged skin can allow entry of other potentially harmful bacteria such as the agent causing Footrot, Dichelobacter nodosus.

Footrot

Check out our NEW farmer brochure for all you need to know about Footrot in sheep! Click the arrows below to scroll through the pdf document.

Causes of Footrot in sheep

There are two forms of Footrot in sheep, benign and virulent. Benign Footrot is caused by certain strains of Dichelobacter nodosus that are less damaging than the strains that cause virulent Footrot.

The initial damage done to the skin is by Fusobacterium necrophorum resulting in Scald can allow the entry of bacteria that cause Footrot. This leads to further damage of the soft tissue underlying the hoof resulting in Footrot. Often more than one foot can be affected.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Footrot-article-Bovilis-1-edited.jpg

Virulent Footrot results in severe horn separation and the formation of a foul-smelling discharge.

Dichelobacter nodosus bacteria survives in the feet of lame sheep or recovered carrier animals. They can live in wet, muddy environments for approximately four days. During the grazing season, survival is enhanced by wet lush pastures. At housing, damp underfoot conditions improve transmission from either lame or recovered carrier animals to sound ewes.

Contagious Ovine Digital Dermatitis (CODD)

The exact cause of contagious ovine digital dermatitis is yet to be defined. However, Treponema sp. bacteria are frequently detected along with other microbes in cases of scald and footrot in sheep.

Ulcers are found at the coronary band, at the skin hoof boundary. Ulcers can also be found on the hoof wall. The condition differs from footrot in that there is a sudden onset of more severe lameness.

The majority of affected sheep become severely lame. In a clean flock, free of the bacteria causing CODD, purchasing infected sheep is the main route of entry.

The Five Point Plan Approach

The 5 Point Plan was developed using existing published science on sheep lameness, and practical experience from farmers who had achieved sustained low levels of lameness.

The 5 Point Plan has five action points that support the treatment of the animal in three different ways: Building resilience; reducing disease challenge; and establishing immunity.

Reducing the prevalence of lameness requires a long-term commitment to implementing all five points of the plan.

Talk to your vet for more information on creating an action plan for your flock!


Announcement: MSD Animal Health to acquire assets of LIC Automation Ltd.

MSD Animal Health to acquire the assets of LIC Automation Ltd. (LICA), from New Zealand-based, farmer-owned cooperative Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd. (LIC).

LIC is a farmer-owned co-operative and world leader in pasture based dairy genetics and herd management.

LICA

LICA, a privately held company in New Zealand, manufactures and supplies specialised, integrated herd management systems and milk-testing sensors for the dairy industry.

Farm productivity has become increasingly important on dairy farms. LICA’s automated offerings, including Protrack technology solutions, enabling dairy farmers to gather precise information on the health and milking habits of dairy cows – which supports their efforts in herd management, real-time milk analysis, animal evaluation and reproductive health and wellness.

LICA’s product portfolio joins Allflex Livestock Intelligence, a complementary business unit of MSD Animal Health that specialises in identification and monitoring technology that delivers real-time, actionable data and insights to help improve livestock management.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rick DeLuca, president of MSD Animal Health, said: “We are pleased to take this step forward with the acquisition of LICA technology, as we continue to broaden our portfolio with complementary products and technologies to advance animal well-being and outcomes for our customers,”

“Our portfolio of enhanced dairy farm management and livestock intelligence solutions for the dairy industry helps address the evolving customer needs of dairy farmers and strengthen our leadership in shaping the future of animal health.”

“We are excited to add LICA’s products to our existing veterinary medicines, vaccines and health management solutions and services, as well as Allflex Livestock Intelligence’s digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products to benefit farmers and veterinarians.

“We look forward to continuing to expand our world-class animal health solutions both locally and globally,” said Fergal Morris, general manager, MSD Animal Health Ireland.

LICA is a leader in automation and technology for the dairy industry and its products are available in New Zealand and in selected European markets.

Wayne McNee, LIC chief executive, remarked: “We are pleased that MSD Animal Health has chosen to acquire this technology.

“MSD Animal Health has a reputation for investing heavily in research and development for animal health and welfare. The company has extensive scientific and technological capabilities that can take this technology to the next phase and deliver more value to farmers.”

For more information, visit MSD Animal Health or Allflex Livestock Intelligence.


Do calves need an IBR vaccine?

Turning calves out to grass for the first time is seriously rewarding. Rearing healthy calves in the first place takes great effort and hard work.

Minimising the impact of diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia can be challenging and this year was no exception. Weaning dairy calves, dealing with coccidiosis threats, pneumonia and clostridial vaccination; the calf ‘to do’ list can be comprehensive. What about IBR vaccination?

IBR – Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis

Infection with IBR virus is widespread in the cattle population in Ireland, with evidence of exposure in over 70% of herds (both beef and dairy).  It is capable of causing disease (both clinical and subclinical) resulting in huge economic losses at farm level through lack of production and treatment costs.

The majority of infections are seen in cattle greater than six months of age, however all ages are at risk of IBR.

Clinical infections usually occur when animals are infected for the first time. Signs such as discharge from the eyes and nose, loud laboured breathing, high temperatures, resulting depression and reduced appetite may be experienced. Milk yield may be affected, and abortion may also occur.

Subclinical infections are those without overt clinical signs and for this reason may go unnoticed for some time in a herd. Subclinical IBR can result in losses of 2.6kg of milk/cow/day.

Those infected for the first time shed high levels of the virus for approximately two weeks. At times of stress (e.g. mixing/housing/breeding/calving) the virus can reactivate, and that animal may shed again. Every time an animal sheds the virus it has the potential to infect more herd mates.

Control of IBR

There are 3 components to controlling this endemic disease:

  1. Vaccination
  2. Biosecurity
  3. Culling

Vaccination

For effective control of IBR, vaccination must:

  • Reduce the number of new infections – Main cause of virus spreading in a herd
  • Reduce severity of clinical signs – Limit cost of disease impact

The time to start vaccination depends on the particular epidemiological situation of each farm. In the absence of virus circulation among the young calf group, vaccination is started at the age of three months, revaccination six months later and all subsequent revaccinations within six to 12 month periods.

This will provide protection against IBR virus and minimise the number of animals that become carriers. Herds that have a moderate to high seroprevalence of IBR, are high-risk and/or have clinical signs are best to remain on a six monthly vaccination programme until IBR is under better control in the herd.

If vaccination needs to be carried out before the age of three months (high prevalence/high-risk herds/disease in calves) then intranasal vaccination is the recommended route in order to overcome maternally derived antibodies.

An intramuscular vaccination programme then commences at three-four months of age, as stated above. For the spring calving herd this will mean calves will receive their first dose of a live IBR vaccine in June/July 2021.

Bovilis IBR Marker live

Bovilis IBR marker live provides protection by reducing clinical signs and virus excretion. It is the only single dose IBR marker vaccine for use either intranasally or intramuscularly. It is a 2ml dose with a fast onset of immunity (four days after intranasal administration and 14 days after intramuscular administration).

Biosecurity

Biosecurity can be further divided into bio exclusion and bio-containment.

Bio exclusion (the process of keeping disease out of a herd) is of particular importance in Ireland as many herds purchase cattle (e.g. the stock bull), avail of contract rearing for heifers, attend marts or shows (present Covid-19 restrictions excluded).

IBR can cross distances of up to five metres so neighbouring cattle during the grazing season can also be a source of infection, or vice versa.

Bio containment (the process of reducing the threat of infection within a herd) relies mainly on herd management strategies such as segregating age groups and indeed vaccination.

Culling

Culling of animals which have tested positive for IBR is a quick method to reduce herd prevalence. However, in many herds it is not a practical option as there are simply too many animals which are positive (once infected an animal becomes a life-long carrier) and therefore it would not be economically viable.

In summary, the majority of herds in Ireland are of medium or high seroprevalence so vaccination with a live IBR marker vaccine combined with biosecurity are the most practical and appropriate control methods. Many herds are missing a trick by only vaccinating the cows.

This is controlling clinical signs and the impact of IBR on production but not necessarily reducing the spread (to unvaccinated younger cattle) and therefore the number of new infections each year.

The aim of whole herd vaccination is to reduce the level of IBR in the herd over time. In answer to the opening question – yes; to IBR vaccination of calves.


MSD Animal Health bolsters commitment to udder health with new teat sealant, CepraLock®

CepraLock® – a new teat sealant recently launched by MSD Animal Health highlights the company’s commitment to the future of udder health in Ireland.

Available to vets and farmers from June 2021, this new teat sealant is a significant addition to the current MSD Animal Health dry cow portfolio – complementing its market leading dry cow intramammary product and the wider dairy herd health portfolio.  

With new regulations on veterinary medicines coming into effect in January 2022, MSD Animal Health is dedicated to supporting both vets and farmers, by supplying them with the necessary tools required to safely transition from blanket dry cow therapy practices and the adoption of a more selective approach to dry cow therapy based on individual cow information.

This is known as a more holistic, cow centered approach industry wide.

CepraLock® Launch

Speaking at the recent MSD Animal Health webinar, Udder Health – The Past, The Present and The Future, Peter Edmondson, Veterinary Consultant, stated:

“The veterinary practitioner has a really important role to play in the transition from blanket dry cow therapy to selective dry cow therapy.

“This is an opportunity for veterinary practitioners to engage with and educate clients on best practice protocols such as hygiene, product selection and data driven decisions for a more sustainable approach to dry cow therapy.”

According to Dr. Jantijn Swinkels, DVM, PhD, Ruminants Technical Director Veterinarian at MSD Animal Health, all “farmers should be using internal teat sealants, with studies showing that nearly 25% of teat ends remain open for as long as six weeks after drying off.

“Adding a teat sealant to a dry cow management program helps prevent infection and supports the responsible use of antibiotics.”

CepraLock® is designed for use at drying-off, with or without a dry cow intramammary antibiotic, and provides an important inert barrier in the teat canal to reduce the risk of a bacterial infection of the udder during the dry period.

CepraLock® will be available from June 2021 and can be purchased in single boxes of 24 tubes (6 cows) and buckets of 144 tubes (36 cows). Both include biodegradable disinfectant wipes for udder preparation.

MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them, through comprehensive health management solutions, products, technologies, and services. 

For more information on CepraLock® contact your vet.