staph aureus - cure?

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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staph aureus - cure?

Postby milkmaid » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:46 pm

OK dairy folks. I'm looking for some comments here. I haven't been able to come up with a CURE for a staph cow. Cure as based on culture results and clinical signs. I'm having them come back after being dried off, entering the next lactation and still being infected. We've treated lactating cows and dry cows. Lactating ones will be temporarily cleared and then return a few days to a few weeks after coming off antibiotics. Several different treatments (I'll get to that in a minute) and no success.

Anyone know of any cures for staph infections?

So, I've treated lactating cows with Pirsue as suggested by my vet. His thoughts are Pirsue is the best for staph. We've treated with heavy doses (2 tubes/quarter/milking or per day) for short periods of time, we've treated for long stretches (8 days on 1 tube/quarter/day), and every single lactating cow we've treated has come back with staph within a few weeks after coming off antibiotics. Same quarter.

This is based on culture results prior to treatment and/or after coming off treatment or after the infection surfaces again as clinical mastitis.

There was ONE cow that had an infection in one quarter that we promptly caught and treated at one tube/quarter/day for 3 consecutive days and the infection has not come back...I suspect staph based on the culture result in a different quarter on the same cow, but we did not run a culture on the cured quarter prior to treatment.

Most lactating cows had had (clinical) infections for short periods of time (a week? maybe two) before beginning treatment, but not long enough that I would call them chronic. Most were following a cold snap which left several cows with frostbitten teats.

We've dry treated cows with heavy doses of cephipirin benazthine (Tomorrow/Cefa-Dri), dry treated with Nolvasan (chlorhexidine hydrochloride) suspension which my vet claimed works wonders - it hasn't yet.

The dry cows are getting 25-70 days dry. Former was an accident.

We have not tried Quartermaster as it's not exactly labeled for staph. Haven't tried Driclox yet. (Anyone used that?)

Teats are sealed with Stronghold following administration of dry treatment.

We've tried throwing up our hands in despair over cows that are evaluated mid-dry time and have one quarter swollen big as a grapefruit. We've taken those cows, stripped the quarter, and said "you've had your chance". We've tried killing the quarter with chlorhexidine disinfectant.

Shucks, I can't seem to get the quarter to DIE on cow #120! She's been hit 3 times with 60cc's at 24 hour intervals. 3 weeks later the quarter is still heavily infected and shows no signs of shrinkage.

It doesn't help that she's bagging up and getting ready to begin her 3rd lactation. :roll:

I've loaded one cow up systemically with LA200 at dry off in conjunction with everything else. No such luck - she's still infected.

I had one cow calve this morning that was cultured as having staph prior to dry off. We gave her Nolvasan + cephipirin and I'm anxiously waiting to see if she's clean or not. She went down with milk fever today and I didn't milk her this morning or this afternoon.

Hopefully she's at least clinically clean when I milk her tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

Anyone have any thoughts...comments...advice? :help:
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Postby rkm » Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:36 pm

Milkmaid, Staph is why I'm in the beef business today! Drove me crazy! Had samples cultured. Vets would reccomend one product then another. Treat, dump milk, lose a quarter, cows go dry, Dry treat, cull, and still spread like wild fire. Talk about a nightmare.
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Postby milkmaid » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:16 pm

lol. I know it. We've taken to banding every last cow that we've seen with clinical mastitis of any sort at any time during the current lactation as well as some "suspects". Black bands on the legs of those cows and we dip their milkers in an iodine/water solution after the cow has been milked to help prevent new cases.

Only had one new one (no culture result on it) in 2-3 months and I put that cow on antibiotics the other day...she's still being treated. Wait, let me rephrase that; we've only had one new case - the other cases that have showed up in the last few months have been fresh cows that had mastitis at dry off and calved with it. If I could just CURE a cow during her dry time and deal with all new cases immediately then I think we could almost eliminate it from the herd.

The mild cases don't affect their production significantly but they sure affect the bulk tank SCC!

Any thoughts?
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Postby J and L » Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:59 pm

Staph aureus is extremely difficult because if it's biology-- unlike other bacteria that usually "floats around' in the udder and is easily exposed to intermammary antibiotics, staph aureus scars in and mastitis tubes don't get to all of it. This means that at any time live bacteria can "escape" back into the udder. That is also why a non-clinical cow with a 150 SCC can test postive for staph-- it just lives in her and escapes in levels she can deal with on her own.

The best results I've seen are with about 5 days of penicillin combined with massaging the quarter at each milking to try to break up any scarring that might be there. This seems to work best in the days just before dryoff. We don't have to worry about the penicillin withdrawel if we dry them off right away. We use 35cc 2x/day.

We mark staph cows (we have 4-5 identified today) with yellow duct tape. Units from those cows are thoroughly flushed with a hose. This seems to work better than sanitizer water did-- I think it is because sanitizer water is only clean for the first unit. Every unit after that as more exposure to the bugs from the previous units.
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Postby milkmaid » Sat Apr 22, 2006 9:35 pm

Which penicillin do you use? Twin Pen (procaine - benzathine) or the shorter acting procaine? SubQ? or IMM? (I'm assuming SQ, but I just want to double check.) And do you use it alone or in conjunction with a dry treatment...and if so, which one?

I know what you mean about pen withdrawals. LOL. We had one cow with a urinary tract infection and per the Merck Vet Manual and my vet's advice, put her on over 60cc's of Twin Pen per day. She was on antibiotics for a little over a week and took 2 1/2 weeks after coming off treatment before the antibiotic test came back OK. :lol:

Right now I have...a significant portion...of cows with black bands of Gorilla tape. Black is, as mentioned before, our cows with clinical or subclinical mastitis. Ones that are not being treated due to length of infection or some other reason (like they've been treated before and it came back. Cow gets one chance.). Most are staph cows, some are ecoli, had one come back as strep the other day, and then some random number are unknown. I haven't run a culture on every cow.

Red duct taped cows are of course on antibiotics. Green are 3 quartered.

Food for thought for you- is it possible to have a herd clean of staph? Boss was telling me he didn't use to have problems with staph. It started about 10-15 years ago when he picked up a few lactating cows from someone else's dairy that were carrying it. Ever since then he's always had a few cows in the herd with staph.

I would think if it were possible to treat new cases before staph had a chance to become established, and clean up old cases at dry off, that the few that didn't respond would eventually cull themselves and you'd be almost free of it. What do you think? So far I just haven't been able to cure these cows. I have one new case on Pirsue at the moment and another new case that I'll treat in the morning and have my vet run a culture on Monday to make sure I'm using the right stuff. (I figured out why we've had two new-new cases in the last week and we hadn't had any for 2-3 months before that - and it'll suffice to say it isn't my fault.)

What antibiotics do you usually treat lactating cows with? What have you found to work best?

We have one cow here that I'd like to kill the R/F on. Bad case of staph (cultured), treated once and it came back...right now boss is out of town and I'm just waiting for his permission. Have you ever killed quarters? Boss hadn't ever done it in the past so we've been experimenting lately. I know folks that use chlorhexidine and ones that use formaldahyde. I've read about use of povidone iodide but never met anyone that used it.

I've used chlorhexidine a few times but so far I've ended up with some swollen hot quarters and it doesn't always kill the infection off, either. The cows I've seen "treated" with formaldahyde had quarters deader'n a doornail. It certainly works but my vet pointed out it can be "a little" hard on the cow. Any thoughts along those lines?

You mentioned you thought flushing the units with a hose worked better than dipping in sanitizer water did...I'd wondered about that a little myself, but at the same time figured using the recommended concentration of 2% iodine and hot water would kill any bugs that end up in the water. :?: How about a chlorine-water mix?

I heard someone use the quote I have in my signature now and I really liked it - sure applies to a lot of things that go on with cows. Your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on. I try to learn as much as I can so I'll be making good solid decisions! :)
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Postby J and L » Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:12 pm

The penn. type doesn't seem to matter if you are not concerned about withdrawal. We do drytreat all cows with tomorrow and will retreat if there is a problem. I do not have the milkers give penn. SQ-- we had a cow that had an abcess and a vet suggested giving SQ because she was a bit uppity and then would need to give it only once a day.... well, we tested her every day for 21 days--- after the typical 5 day hold. Found out he hadn't told anyone else to do that and had no idea that it could take that long. I was not pleased lol. SQ may have some real benefit for aureus cases because it would stay in the system longer.

We too brought staph in with purchased cows. At one point we housed and milked staph cows in their own group after culturing the whole herd-- about 12 out of 200-- and managed to cull out the problem over the course of a year. It was gone for 3 years then we bought another herd-- the tank cultured neg but there were a couple in it. I've resigned myself to managing the issue, believing that most herds have some-- the term "almost free" means have some. I do not think it is possible to totally eradicate it without culturing every cow several times a year. With the scarring in she might shed today and be clean tomorrow when you sample and then shed again next week. Our goal is to minimize the problem so the shedding isn't enough to make the cow sick or the quarter clinical and to prevent spreading. The bacteria will be there but hopefully periodically at a level the cow can handle on her own.

Our best luck in drying off quarters has been by using a quarter milker and skipping milkings until the flow is low enough to stop milking it. (skip one, then two, then three milkings etc-- always milking the quarter often enough to keep it from leaking.) The quarters that are high SCC from e-coli or some streps can come back next lactation clean if you dry them off slowly. We had no luck with using chemicals to dry off quarter-- it created more problems for us too. We also lactating treat damaged teat quarters (like frozen teats) and stop milking them before they get mastitis-- and they always come back next lactation. We've learned the hard way that it is better to let the quarter rest than risk a sick cow.

The ones that are severely damaged with staph quarters are tougher. Also, the more you handle staph quarters the more likely that you will infect other cows. When we had the staph group, they were the last cows milked. With the flatbarn, the last cows from one group are scattered in the parlor while the next group starts. One milker finished the regular cows and the "staph milker" didn't touch a regular cow after he/she touched a staph cow. We haven't forestripped cows for years and I believe it is one of the reasons for our minimal problems with staph spreading.

It is definitely better to make the changes needed to stop the spread than aiming to treat early. While culturing is a hassle it can be a real eye opener about what is causing problems. I've seen high staph herds with low but creeping upward cell counts and high scc herds with no staph. We tank sample every prospective purchase. Oh, when you do sample, always freeze the sample before having it plated. Staph grows better after being frozen-- it has something to do with breaking up the cells.

Is there any way to create a group for these girls? Be sure everyone is dipping their gloves in sanatizer after handling these cows because staph lives on the skin too and milkers & units are #1 & #2 for spreading it. Marking too many cows just seems to make milkers less careful. It works better here to only mark the contagious ones.

Our marking system is a combination of plastic bands and a little tape with the goal of having any milker know the details about the cow without needing to remember individual cows. Staph cows get yellow tape. All quarters are treated like they are infected-- handle very carefully, and rinse the unit.

One yellow band means a dry front quarter. Two means a dry rear quarter on the same side as the legband-- this way milkers don't need to strip to figure out which one it is. Blue bands mean quarter milk-- again one band front on that side, two rear on that side. A single green plastic band means double check udder for complete milkout. Bands stay on the cow from one lactation to another. The herdsman decides when a blue becomes a yellow or if a fresh lactation means removing bands.

Red or pink-- always on both legs-- means antibiotic cow. We put one red plastic band on every drytreated cow and add a pink velcrow when she freshens. Treated cows usually have two pink velcros. Rules are the bands go on before the drugs come out. And we throw out the pink bands that fade to light pink. We want these cows to be obvious even though they are in their own group.

Personally, I do not like pirsue for clinical cases. I don't think it keeps a high enough level of antibiotic in the udder. We milk 3x and treating only once means having a high level of antibiotic for 8 hours. We treat twice with amoximast, gallamycin, or today--in order of usage. We tend to use penn or penn combined with LS50 (lincomycin/spectinomycin) if we need Im assistance. For e-coli, we lean towards polyflex (ampicillin) or LS50, and banimine. I have occasionally used dexamethesone to slow milk production in mastitis cows-- we store this in a separate drawer in the fridge and milkers must have approval from the herdsman or myself to use this because of the abortion risk.
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Postby born2run » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:10 am

J and L...

Have you used Spectramast for E. Coli? From what I've seen that has excellent results as well. There was a cow about 2 months ago that was "hot" from every standpoint. I was beginning to be skeptical about her very survival, let alone saving the quarter and returning her to full production. Herdsman treated her with Spectramast after the rest of us had repeatadly shot her up with Pirsue and Banamine. She's did a total 180 and is back to what she was. Needless to say I'm impressed.

Interesting about your marking system. Here on my end it is:

Blue-treated
Green-three quartered
Yellow-oxytocin
Red-manual cow
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Postby J and L » Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:24 am

We haven't used spectramast but I'll add it to our inventory-- it would be worth a try. The pits about e-coli is the toxins the dying bacteria give off-- they are worse than the live bug-- you can kill the bug and still use lose the cow to the toxins because the compromise the heart, etc.

Calves are particularly suseptable totxins. once we figured that out we stopped using products-- like deliver- that are designed to slow the loss of fluids. The loss of fluids is actually the system trying to flush out the bacteria. We use IV and SQ lactated ringers to keep up with fluid loss.
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Postby milkmaid » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:35 pm

I've used Spectramast twice in the last two months on my #311 cow. Two different quarters. Cultures came back as ecoli and it cleared it up pretty quick. :)

I do know there's several different strains of ecoli that can cause mastitis...some will kill the cow...others won't. I haven't seen it actually kill a cow yet but of course I've been told it will. The strains I've dealt with so far just cause a few clumps at first stripping.

Speaking of forestripping - you said you don't forestrip. While I can see the point in that as to not transferring bacteria from one cow to the next, how do you know if there's a new case of mastitis? The two I went and treated in the last week were only obvious when I stripped the cow. Udder and cow otherwise normal. And what about milk letdown? I'd always felt they letdown best with stripping.

Penicillin...my vet quoted me a 7-day withdrawal on a one-time treatment of Twin Pen. We have one cow with a uterine infection on Twin Pen at the moment and she's been on it for about a week and a half, maybe 2 weeks. Finally looking better and starting to come back on feed. We'll give her about 2 weeks before even pulling a sample on her milk. LOL.

I didn't quite understand...when you're treating a staph cow prior to dry off, are you giving the penicillin systemically or intramammary?

Frozen teats...what do you do with a fresh cow or heifer that shows up with frostbite? Obviously the best solution would be to dry up the cow, I'd agree, but at the same time it's hard to contemplate that sort of thing when she's one of the better cows in the herd and she's only just entered her first or second lactation. ...Or, did you mean just dry off that quarter?

Pirsue...I haven't been overly impressed with it either but I only have that, Today, and Spectramast on hand. Started one cow on Today with no result, moved to Pirsue and she's clearing up. I like to treat one milking past disappearance of clinical signs...what do you folks do? So she was clean last night and I treated again this morning. No matter what doses we've put the cows on, they seem to be good to go in the tank within 48 hours after coming off Pirsue based on the tests that have come back.

I use gloves, standard one towel per cow (or more per cow if needed), strip infected quarter on a cow last so I don't transfer it to her other quarters, wipe hands before moving from an infected cow to the next one, dip milkers after coming off cows...etc. Standard pre and post dip in iodine. Twice a day milking as I think I mentioned once before.

Staph cow that I'd mentioned before as having gone down with milk fever was milked yesterday morning. Still infected based on clinical signs. I could be optimistic and say it might be ecoli as she was down for some time and of course down cows never pick the cleanest places to go down in. :roll: I've seen a few ecoli cases on heavy producers that cleared up on their own.

Your setup sounds ideal with the staph cows in their own group being milked at the end. We're running about 80 milking cows and 15 drys at the moment, and aren't set up for separate pens. Milking cows all run together, eat the same feed, etc.

I've decided staph spreads pretty easily from quarter to quarter on an individual cow, which is why I'm currently of the "treat it or kill it" mentality. One quarter on a cow is one thing, but when you have three infected quarters that's just ridiculous. lol.

Don't you find that when drying off an individual quarter by missing milkings, that it causes the infection to get worse? Seeing as mastitis is usually helped by frequent milkings. (??)

Your leg band system is certainly precise - no need to guess which quarter is the dry one. We're running few enough cows that even boss's sons can remember which quarter is dry 99% of the time. (And of course a lot of cows are very obvious as to which quarter is bad.) Running 400 cows though, I can see the point in a more complex system.

I personally like to remember each cow. I know who they are as they step in the barn and I know on at least 95% of them their calving/breed back history.

More later...I need lunch before I head off to work again. Boss will be back tomorrow morning and then I'm back to the usual schedule and not this 2x a day, 7 days a week schedule. LOL. :)
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Postby J and L » Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:52 pm

Lets see if I can answer all of these lol.
For staph we use penicilin IM and Tomorrow for dryoff.

Cows do let down a bit better with stripping but to a great extent they handle what ever they get used to. With the flatbarn we have a tough time leaving the predip on for good killdown so it is safer to skip stripping. We typecally run a 180 scc w/ a 24% cull rate. Right now we're at 200 scc because we are holdong and breeding some older cows for the expansion.

We stop milking just the damaged teat-- if it is just the teat end we tend to try to keep milking them but anything above the teat end makes us think hard about what is best long term. Luckily we might get one quarter out of the 370 cows each year. Always a heifer.... For frostbite we use creams, etc. We use frost dip for 30-15 degrees and stop post dipping at about 15 degrees F. Below this temp we have had trouble even with frostdip. I figure that the bugs will freeze at those temps and can't say we've ever noticed a SCC change when we've stopped winter dipping.

For drying off the quarter-- if it is a quarter that we do not want to milk next lactation, having the infection worsen isn't an issue if the cow stays healthy. The infection helps to kill the quarter. For the others, e-coli and strep seem to kill off with drugs. I think the high SCC is residual damage, so drying othe quarter off slowly does not seem to create clinical problems.

We have lost cows to e-coli-- it seems that the worst ones have no swelling and only slightly browned milk. These have always been fresh cows (our post-fresh is stripped every milking.). When they get sick the milkers have thought the coloration was just from being fresh and the sickness from other issues. I think the ones that don't have swelling are not fighting the infection and that seems to makes them more likely to become fatally toxic.

We use the same prep and paper towels. My concern has always been consistency over all milkers and all milkings times, so we've developed systems to help that. Managing larger numbers with hired labor forces a change in mindset. At 370 our herdsman and a couple of the fulltimers can still tell me where almost any cow is because the flatbarn lets us see tags when the cows walk in. I anticipate that this will change with the new parlor and am starting to relook at current systems and how they will do in the new setup.

Try putting on a few more legbands to identify the quarter and side... go for 100% recognition without needing to touch the quarter. A few years ago we had a milker on the night shift that got it into her head that she should strip that couple of squirts from some of the don't milk quarters. We figured out what had happened when half a dozen cows flared with within days and had the same culture results.... she had carried it to them on her gloves. Needless to say we put a QUICK halt to that nonsense.

If you are drying off quarters with staph, one milking with stripping to figure out which quarter can easily mean mysterious flare-ups. After all, everyone is being very careful with the cows that are labeled staph, so the spread "just happens..."

Remember that any system should be built for the weakest link in the chain (or should I say least attentive milker?)
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Postby born2run » Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:58 pm

Interesting! I've never seen a flat parlor...could you maybe post some pics?

As far as prepping, I like to start predipping at the center because it's closest to the towels :D. Reverse stripping, wash using one towel/cow...then go back to the end that I started spraying on and put on milkers. To my knowledge everyone else...for the most part anyway, uses the exact same procedures. I've expiermented a little bit as far as speed, and unless I find a cow that has masitits and get sidetracked, this is about perfect as far as letdown time.

Thanks for saying "why" you stop milking a damaged teat. It makes sense now why the herdsman does what he does...identical.

Late last fall two cows died from E. Coli at work. There was literally no warning for them, which scared me at the time. They were down and dead within 24 hours. Now this last round apparently was another strain and not so potentially fatal. What it did though was strike a bit of nervousness into me whenever I hear that the herd has an E. Coli positive cow.
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Postby milkmaid » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:00 pm

Thanks again Linda. :)

Are you culturing every case of mastitis that shows up? I'll be taking a sample over to the vet clinic in the morning for a culture just to see what we're dealing with. I treated the heifer (well, first lactation cow) this morning, she looked really good this evening with just a few flakes I could barely see...I just want to know if it's staph or not. Staph and I think we'll keep her on drugs for several more days regardless of how she looks tomorrow morning or how quickly she appears clinically clean. I don't like seeing cows reappear with mastitis a few weeks later. How long do you usually treat staph cows? My vet suggested an 8 day regimine, which I'm not sure would be necessary on a really fresh case...don't know. What do you think?

Culturing every cow in the herd, or how do you find these few staph cows? have a culturing....whatever you call it...there at the farm? I take all our samples to the vet clinic and we'll have results back in about 18 hours. (BTW, thanks for the tip on freezing the staph samples! :) I didn't know that.) Runs $2 for staph, $2.50 for ecoli/coliforms, and staph + strep + ecoli is $5/sample.

Out of curiousity, I can't remember at the moment... Do you find that ecoli cases tend to leave scar tissue in the quarter like staph does? The few cultured ones I've seen/felt didn't. My 311 cow came back clean per culture for ecoli, but that L/R quarter still has scar tissue that I can feel and she has a few flakes that show up about every other milking. I wonder if she has something else now, and not ecoli - although that's what she had a positive culture for a month ago when I treated her.

Right now I'm just waiting on a few cows to calve, and the next set of calves I get will go on 311. Once she comes back home I can treat her quarter with some heavy duty stuff...right now she's at the dairy and I don't want to hit her with anything that will cause too long of a withdrawal.

>>A few years ago we had a milker on the night shift that got it into her head that she should strip that couple of squirts from some of the don't milk quarters. We figured out what had happened when half a dozen cows flared with within days and had the same culture results.... she had carried it to them on her gloves.<<

My vet asked me something like that once. Asked if any of these staph cows were 3 quarter cows, and if there was any chance someone had put a milker on all four quarters. Hmmm...that was certainly food for thought! I know I wouldn't have, but I'm not the only one milking cows. That's why I started bringing out green bands...most of these bands are new. Actually all of this is since January when we had a really bad flareup. Since then, and with the bands, things have been good.

Makes sense about managing things so you don't have infected cows - it's just that we have a lot we need to deal with in some way and then manage the rest so the clean ones stay clean.

How about pre and post dipping cows- you use dip cups or spray-on? We use dip cups and I was just thinking that one over this evening while milking. I do a lot of thinking when I'm working alone, LOL. Could we be spreading bacteria from one cow to the next through use of the iodine dip - or is a straight 1.75% iodine (I think that's what it is) teat dip strong enough to kill bacteria...instantly?

While I'm thinking of penicillin, ever tried giving it IMM? Last time I did that was with Twin Pen on 311 last summer; she showed up with a really bad case of "something" - I don't know what. It was before I knew you could culture milk samples (boy have I come a long way, LOL). Treated for about 4 days with ToDAY at 2 tubes morning and night with calves nursing her dry twice a day, no effect with that, went to 20cc's Twin Pen IMM morning and night for two days and at that point she did start to recover; finished up treatment with 3 days on Pirsue per vet's suggestion. Don't know what she had but it was bad and it was certainly GONE by the time I finished treating. :lol:

Later...
MM
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Postby J and L » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:18 pm

By IMM do you mean inter-mammary? I have used penn with some success-- BE VERY CAREFUL to use a fresh bottle and clean the rubber well--- the bad thing about using anything not in a sterile tube is that you can start a yeast problem without even knowing it... then she will flare periodically, antibiotics will seem to help but sometime later she will flare again. Eventually it will seem like "the bug" is immune to drugs-- and in reality the drugs are the problem because yeast is a "competetive" bug- other bacteria actually help keep it in check and when the other bugs are gone it can go wild, but usually it just causes the frustrating "few flakes." Yeast can be dealt with but it is a tough one to diagnose (who would think of it?) and needs a different culture medium. (Been there, caused that, learned from it lol ) :lol:

We sample and freeze every cow that is treated and culture those that do not "cure".
When we did the whole herd itwas through a program at our dairy plant. At the time it was about $1.50 for a full culture (staph, strep, ecoli). We sampled all the cows over 24 hours by doing a group at each milking. It's not too bad if you know how to set up for it. I am sure it would be more challenging to ID the cows in a regular parlor. We then followed up be culturing all fresh animals that reacted on the CMT for the next year. We had a few heifers show up with it. The vet though they got it from skin contact or flies, though I can't say I saw any evidence of those.

We are currently on a program through our plant that cultures two tanks a month and reports back on levels of strep, staph, staph aureus and e-coli. All of our counts, except aureus are high, I believe mostly because we cannot leave the dip on long enough for a good kill. This this theory will be tested when we get into the new parlor.

I believe that e-coli could do enough damage to cause scarring but it isn't typically a bacteria that lives in the cow. I suspect that cows that have repeat cultures for e-coli actually have weak sphincters and are being re-exposed.

Maybe a different color of bands and the one or two band system would help with keeping all hands off the staph no milk quarters? It all comes down to a system that ipeovides exacting communication to every milker at every milking.

We use only dip cups and use the same .5% dip for pre and post for most of then year.
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staph infections

Postby GMN » Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:01 pm

Wow, that is alot of info on one topic, interesting to see how other dairy people do things for sure.

Does anyone find that the older the cow with staph the less likely any drug will work, maybe work for a short time, then come back, wheras a younger animal has a much better chance, especially with using Pirsue. Frankly I haven't had any luck using Pirsue in older infected animals.

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Postby milkmaid » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:45 pm

Younger animal's probably been infected for a shorter period of time. :lol2: ;-)

I had a culture ran on one of my nurse cows yesterday, and -no surprise to me- it came back as staph aureus. I thought it was going to. I'd treated her before for a culture result of ecoli, and the culture I ran two weeks ago showed her clean of ecoli but she still had flakes and a lot of scar tissue. I didn't think ecoli resulted that kind of scarring since it doesn't feed on blood and destroy tissue like staph does.

Guess we'll see if I can come up with a cure for a lactating cow, eh? lol. :? Right now I'm waiting on a test to see what her staph infection is succeptible to before I start treatment.

J and L - how do you dry your cows off? some folks just completely cease milking them, others milk once a day for a few days to slow them down first, we've done it both ways. Not sure if I prefer one over the other. If the cow has a subclinical case of mastitis, once a day milking sure seems to make it flare up in a hurry. LOL. Maybe that's not a bad thing, because then you know it's there??

Yep I did mean intramammary by IMM...sorry if that wasn't clear. Yeast infections are something I'm aware can occur, but haven't encountered before. How do you treat them?

I swapped a few bands around yesterday and then explained to boss what I was up to. Green band is now on the leg that's the same side as the quarter we don't milk. So if the band's on the right side...it's a right quarter. So far I don't have an identification for which quarter (rear or front), but we'll get there. But then on the other hand, what if you have a two quarter cow. And then let's say she's chronic in one quarter, and later there's an infection in the other quarter that we decide to treat. Well now, this cow might have two green bands on each leg, one black band (chronic), one red on each leg (treated)...we might as well pull out a piece of white tape and just start writing on it. :lol2:

Also, J and L, when you use Polyflex, how do you mix it? We ordered in a bottle of Polyflex and I didn't realize it had to be reconstituted/rehydrated, whatever you call it. Looks like it can be mixed so as to provide 200, 250, or 400mg/mL. Any thoughts on what concentration works best?
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Basics needed to answer questions: age, weight, breed, sex. # affected vs # in group, feed type/amount, prior vaccinations, deworming, antibiotics, any recent changes....

More info = better answers.


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