CellCheck_Newsletter_February_2019_FINAL_V3

February Edition 2019

CellCheck ANIMAL HEALTH IRELAND NEWSLETTER Contributing to a profitable and sustainable farming and agri-food sector through improved animal health

www.AnimalHealthIreland.ie

PROGRAMME NEWS | 03

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR | 04 CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH | 07 RESEARCH UPDATE | 08

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41 WN27

AHI gratefully acknowledges the financial and other contributions of our stakeholders.

NATIONAL MASTITIS CONTROL PROGRAMME Animal Health Ireland, 4-5 The Archways, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, N41WN27

CellCheck AnimalHealthIreland.ie

CELLCHECK PROGRAMME

Programme update

Finola McCoy, Programme Manager

W elcome to this months’ edition of the CellCheck newsletter. The Tip of the Month in this issue looks at the importance of having accurate records of clinical cases, and easy ways of recording them. As calving gets underway and this year’s lactation kicks off, this is when the success (or otherwise) of your dry cow strategy will become apparent. Keep good clinical mastitis records, and get started on your milk recording early and you will be able to clearly see the fruits of your ‘drying-off’ labour and help you refine your plan for the future. Our featured research paper looks at using both milk recording results and clinical mastitis records to identify subclinical infections at drying off. This is an important process for identifying the animals that will benefit from antibiotic dry cow therapy. Our guest contributor, Katie Nanne, a veterinary practitioner from Limerick gives us an insight into her experience of working closely with farmers to develop selective dry cow strategies. Katie’s advice is to start small and build up experience and confidence! Last autumn saw the commencement of the TASAH- funded Dry Cow Consult, which facilitated this approach for many eligible farmers.

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

“Although Blanket DCT is still a valid recommendation for many farms, times are changing and concerns like antimicrobial resistance are coming to the fore. With increasing frequency, farmers aresuccessful in keeping their bulk tank somatic cellcounts (SCC) below 200,000 cells/ml throughout the whole lactation.” CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH Recording all cases of clinical mastitis is essential. When it comes to measuring the success of drying off and the dry period, monitoring udder health performance during the year, or investigating a herd problem, details matter! PAGE 4

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | February Edition 2019

GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Developing Selective Dry Cow Strategies

Katie Nanne, Veterinary Practitioner, Mid-West Veterinary Clinic, Limerick

C urrently, Blanket Dry Cow Therapy (DCT) is normal practice on nearly all Irish dairy farms, where at drying off every cow gets an antibiotic dry cow treatment. The practice of also using an internal teat sealant has grown significantly, as it is well documented as a tool to reduce the number of clinical mastitis cases and new infections during the dry period. Although Blanket DCT is still a valid recommendation for many farms, times are changing and concerns like antimicrobial resistance are coming to the fore. With increasing frequency, farmers are successful in keeping their bulk tank somatic cell counts (SCC) below 200,000 cells/ml throughout the whole lactation. This means there are more ‘healthy’ and uninfected udders in our cows, but similarly it raises the question as to whether the routine use of antibiotics in these ‘healthy’ animals at drying off, is justified. Several years ago, Holland looked at the way antibiotics were used on Dutch dairy farms, and a national target was set to reduce the antibiotic use in livestock by 70% between 2009 and 2015. Their motto was: “Use as little as possible and as much as necessary!” The dairy sector managed to reduce antimicrobial usage by 48% between 2009 and 2016 and in this the use of Selective Dry Cow Therapy played a large role. A Selective Dry Cow strategy is an option for farms that have low levels of infection. These are farms with low cell counts throughout the whole lactation period

Several years ago, Holland looked at the

way antibiotics were used on Dutch dairy farms, and a national target was set to reduce the antibiotic use in livestock by 70% between 2009 and 2015. Their motto was: “Use as little as possible and as much as necessary!” The dairy sector managed to reduce antimicrobial usage by 48% between 2009 and 2016 and in this the use of Selective Dry Cow Therapy played a large role.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | February Edition 2019

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DEVELOPING SELECTIVE DRY COW STRATEGIES

• Regular milk recording (with the last recording within a month of drying off). • Willing to engage with their vet in decision- making around their dry-cow treatment programme. I organised meetings with each of the eligible farmers to determine a suitable plan for their farm. In my experience this meeting between the farmer and vet is essential and this is now funded under the CellCheck TASAH programme for eligible herds. Here concerns can be discussed openly. We, as vets have been trained to understand the dynamics of infection, helping to identify threats and coming up with possible solutions or strategies. Some of the worries mentioned at the meetings included: damaging the excellent historical herd SCC performance; a rise in clinical cases of mastitis; concerns of contagious infections not being cured or becoming an issue in the following lactation. These are all legitimate concerns, and reasons why a selective dry cow strategy should be discussed and planned fully. During the meetings the milk records were analysed for many factors; these included the cure rates over the dry period; the proportion of chronically and newly infected cows; the number of clinical cases; the overall SCC trend throughout the lactation. If the farmer was unfamiliar, or if certain parts of the discussion led to further investigation, then a walk through the housing and calving pens was undertaken, as high hygiene standards are vital in a successful dry cow strategy. We often had a practical demonstration on achieving high standards of hygiene at drying off. In all this approach it was important to include any staff working in the parlour.

coupled with low levels of clinical cases. Here both dry cow antibiotic tubes and internal teat sealants are used on cows deemed to be ‘infected’ and the ‘un- infected’ group receives internal teat sealant only. How about doing something similar on Irish farms? Of course, it’s an option, but care must be taken, and decisions need to be based on accurate information. In the Dutch situation, farmers very quickly discovered that hygiene, dry cow housing and management became even more important if the implementation of a Selective Dry Cow Strategy was not to have a negative impact on the udder health of their herds. The approach is not without risk. About 3 years ago a handful of clients, (they know I’m Dutch!), approached me as they were curious to find out more about Selective Dry Cow strategies. Each had their own inspiration, some focussed on reducing costs by using less or cheaper tubes, others wanted a ‘low antibiotic use policy’ coupled with the benefit of a reduced risk of bulk tank antibiotic failures, while a few were preparing for likely future regulations. Even with significant farmer interest in the procedure, we needed to establish if an individual farm was ready. The CellCheck Farm Guidelines provides recommendations to consider whether or not a farm is suitable: • Good evidence of low infection prevalence, for example a herd SCC consistently under 200,000 cells/ml, dry cow new infection rate under 10%, low levels of clinical cases (less than 2% per month), etc. • Good standards of hygiene can be achieved at drying off, during the dry period and around calving.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | February Edition 2019

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DEVELOPING SELECTIVE DRY COW STRATEGIES

Once an overall picture was established, and where hygiene standards where satisfactory, the actual process of deciding the most appropriate for each cow at drying off was started. For this, her individual SCC records throughout the whole lactation period are necessary alongside good records of clinical cases ( you can record all clinical cases with ICBF by text message). The cow’s previous lactation records were also checked along with other issues such as lameness, infertility, and Johnes disease status. Then she was usually put into one of three groups; use internal teat sealant only at drying off, use a sealant as well as a dry cow antibiotic tube or else cull her. In some cases she was put on a different treatment programme altogether. Because the perceived risks were high, I started tentatively in the first year, using a very low SCC threshold for selection and identifying only 10 - 15

animals for treatment with teat seal only. Thankfully, all farms had a positive experience and nearly all have been doing it every year since. All of the farmers involved are actively engaged in herd health planning, where each year we have at least one meeting dedicated to health planning. Now Selective Dry Cow strategies will become the ‘autumn topic’ for my meetings with this group of farmers. In my view the success of these Selective Dry Cow strategies could not have been achieved without the commitment and dedication of the farmer. I feel lucky to deal with progressive clients willing to engage in discussions relating to new developments within the industry. This creates a dynamic atmosphere in which progress is possible and practices like Selective Dry Cow strategies are seen as part of the overall herd health planning.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | February Edition 2019

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CELLCHECK TIP OF THE MONTH Chalk it down! Record your clinical mastitis R ecording all cases of clinical mastitis is essential. When it comes to measuring the success of drying off and the dry period, monitoring udder health performance during the year, or investigating a herd problem, details matter! Very often we rely on memory to provide these details........but trying to recall those details in hindsight, often months later, is not easy. Keeping regular, simple records is the key-the more details you record, the more informed you will be. And remember, recording the mastitis events on the ICBF system is another way to get even more value from your milk recording reports, as the ‘Clinical Mastitis’ graph on the CellCheck Farm Summary report will then provide you with valuable information and direction! [Click here] for previously published tips • For no more than the price of a standard text message, you can record the information, from the parlour, as soon as you see a case. • This service is available to all herds whose mobile is registered on the ICBF database. • To register your mobile number ring 1850-600-900. Recording clinical mastitis events with the ICBF text-in service is quick and easy! TIP

HOW? For example, to record a case of mastitis for cow Freeze Brand 627, text the following message to 089-4577663 Mast 627 The case of mastitis will be recorded as having occurred on the date the text was sent, unless you specify otherwise e.g. Mast 627 18/01.

• Don’t forget to record any treated cows on your whiteboard in milking parlour so you and your milkers know which cows are now out of the tank!

TIP

For further information, check out the CellCheck Farm Guidelines 4 & 24, and Management Note G.

CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | February Edition 2019

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RESEARCH UPDATE Journal of Dairy Research (2008) 75 240–247. © Proprietors of Journal of Dairy Research 2008 240 doi:10.1017/S0022029908003257 Printed in the United Kingdom.

Using dairy herd improvement records and clinical mastitis history to identify subclinical mastitis infections at dry-off Audrey H Torres 1 *, Päivi J Rajala-Schultz 1 †, Fred J DeGraves 1 and Kent H Hoblet 2 KEY POINTS Interest inSelectiveDryCowTherapy (SDCT) hasbeen increasingowing toconcernsoverdevelopment of antimicrobial resistance. Implementation of SDCT, however, requires a quick and cost-effective on-farm method for identifying cows for treatment and cows that can be left without treatment. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the use of clinical mastitis (CM) history and somatic cell counts (SCC) from monthly Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) records in identification of infected and uninfected cows at dry-off. A total of 647 Holstein cows were classified as uninfected or infected at dry-off based on CM history and varying number of monthly SCC records (with three different SCC cut-offs). Cows were considered uninfected based on the following criteria : (1) SCC <100 000 cells/ ml and no CM during the lactation; (2) SCC <200 000 cells/ml and no CM during the lactation; (3) as criterion two, but additionally a cow was also considered uninfected if it experienced a case of CM during the first 3 months of the lactation and the SCC was <100 000 cells/ml for the rest of the lactation; (4) SCC <300 000 cells/ml and no CM during the lactation; otherwise they were considered infected. Infected and uninfected cows at dry-off were most efficiently identified using three months’ SCC records with a threshold of 200 000 cells/ml for cows without CM during the lactation and a threshold of 100 000 cells/ml during the rest of lactation for cows with CM during the first 90 days in milk. Moreover, this criterion also most efficiently identified cows infected with major pathogens only at dry-off. The success of the criteria used for identifying infected and uninfected cows will, however, depend on herd characteristics, such as prevalence of infection and type of pathogens present in the herd. 1 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA 2 College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Starkville 39762, USA Received 3 September 2007; accepted for publication 12 February 2008

Key words: Selective dry cow therapy, intramammary infection, mastitis, dry-off.

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CELLCHECK NEWSLETTER | February Edition 2019

CELLCHECK REGIONAL COORDINATORS

A Resource and Point of Contact for CellCheck Activities in your Area

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Tom Starr 087 6697010

Mícheal Guinan 086 3511852 micheal.guinan@aurivo.ie Mayo/Sligo Aurivo

tstarr@arrabawn.ie Tipperary/Limerick National Co-op

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John Fitzpatrick 086 0426567

John Murphy 066 7163200 john.murphy@kerry.ie Kerry/Clare Kerry Agribusiness

fitzpatrickj@glanbia.ie Kilkenny/Laois/Carlow/ Kildare/Dublin Glanbia

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Sinead Treanor streanor@carbery.com 023 8822369 West Cork Carbery Group

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Andrew O’Neill 086 1836505 aoneill@tipperary-coop.ie Tipperary Tipperary Co-Op

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Tom Downes 087 2564669

Denis Guiry 086 8098639 dguiry@dairygold.ie Cork/Tipperary/Limerick Dairygold

downest@lakeland.ie Longford/Monaghan Lakeland Dairies

Brendan Dillon 087 2626851 BrDillon@glanbia.ie

Cork/Waterford/ Wexford/Wicklow Glanbia

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