Diseases

All about
Mastitis

Learn the key facts about mastitis in dairy cows and find out how you can detect and treat it up to 4 days earlier with smaXtec.
Mastitis causes great, economic damage through daily milk loss in the current and subsequent lactation and reduces animal welfare.In addition, the disease is often also responsible for the greatest amount of drug use.

The frequency of mastitis also shows its massive impact on animal health and farm performance: according to studies, up to 50% of a herd per year develops mastitis,and on average 25% of the herd suffers from clinical mastitis. Furthermore, the disease is one of the three main reasons why dairy cows leave the farm.

In addition, mastitis negatively affects the reproductive performance of dairy cows. On average, it takes 40 days longer for cows that have had mastitis to become pregnant (compared to cows that have not had mastitis).

It becomes clear that not only animal welfare, but also profitability speaks in favor of taking preventive measures and reacting early in the case of mastitis. Because: The earlier you can react, the less damage there will be.

Economic consequences of mastitis

Depending on the time when mastitis occurs, there can be a loss of milk of up to 2.5 kg per day or up to 550 kg over the entire lactation. In addition, there is increased labor and costs for things like restocking, medications, and extra work. The cost of clinical mastitis is 430-750 euros per case, depending on the study and severity.
Cost composition for clinical mastitis
  • Delivery stop for the duration of the excretion of drugs (waiting period)
  • Delivery ban for milk of clinically ill animals
  • Medication and veterinary costs
  • Increased labor costs
  • Often permanent impairment of the milk yield
  • Cell count increase results in reduced value of the milk
Cost composition for subclinical mastitis
  • Reduced milk yield
  • Cell count increase results in reduced value of the milk

Detect mastitis significantly earlier - thanks to smaXtec.

With smaXtec’s continuous health monitoring, you can detect mastitis at an early stage and thus ensure high animal health. As a result, you reduce your costs considerably.
The increase in inner body temperature is often the first sign of an upcoming disease and, according to scientific studies, occurs in mastitis up to 4 days before clinical signs . This early detection allows for earlier intervention and significantly reduces the number of severe and moderate cases of mastitis on your farm.
Due to the highly precise measurement of inner body temperature (±0.01°C relative accuracy) with the smaXtec Bolus, even the smallest temperature increases are detected immediately. Especially in the case of mastitis, short fever episodes are characteristic. Thanks to the continuous measurement 24/7, you will not miss a single fever episode and you can act as soon as smaXtec notifies you.
How do you detect mastitis with the smaXtec system?
Mastitis is typically indicated by several short fever episodes – according to customer feedback, it can take about 3 to 5 days from the first temperature increase alert to the clinical onset of the disease. In many cases, other parameters such as rumination and milk quantity are normal up to this point – it is therefore all the more important to react quickly to the health messages from the smaXtec system and to perform a CMT whenever a temperature increase is detected.

In this curve example, the fever episodes are clearly visible. In this case, intervention was not made until the third temperature alarm. The treatment is effective, as can be seen from the drop in temperature. Especially in longer fever phases, there is frequently a ‘decrease in temperature’ message when a fever-reducing measure takes effect.

Also, you can see that there has been a change in body temperature only: there has been no change in rumination in this case, as in numerous other mastitis cases.

Legend:
Green curve: rumination
Blue curve: inner body temperature
Black line: average inner body temperature of the animal
Red curve: activity levels
Pink curve: Heat index
Red thermometer: Increased temperature alarm
Blue thermometer: Decreased temperature alarm 

What to do in case of mastitis?

We recommend performing a California Mastitis test whenever there is an increase in temperature. This way you can quickly and reliably determine whether the temperature change has occurred due to a mastitis.
Measures taken by our customers in case of mastitis
Pathogen test: Arrange for milk sample to determine the pathogen.

In the meantime:
  • Milk out well (optionally with Oxytocin)
  • Udder cream
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Garlic bolus
  • Drenching
  • Disinfection of the milking equipment to prevent spreading
  • Separate animal and control environmental conditions
  • Further treatment based on pathogen

With early mastitis treatment, you can avoid antibiotic us, milk loss, loss of one or more udder quarters, secondary diseases and cow losses.

How our customers benefit from early mastitis detection?

When we get a temperature alert, we immediately do CMT and – if necessary – use herbal anti-inflammatories. In this way, we can largely prevent acute mastitis, which saves us labor and costs.
Julia Stehle, Herd manager in Germany
Mastitis usually occurs in combination with fever and with smaXtec we detect the fever before anything is visible on the udder. This way I can do a CMT in time and by early detection I can rely more on alternative treatments like herbal boluses or anti-inflammatories. This also allows me to save one or two visits to the vet.
Josef Bufler, Landwirt in Bayern

You also want to detect and treat mastitis earlier?

With the right technological support from smaXtec, detecting mastitis earlier and improving animal health on the farm is very easy.

The result: profitable AND sustainable dairy farming!
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