Effect of timing of first clinical mastitis occurrence on lactational and reproductive performance of Holstein dairy cows.

J. E. Santos, R. L. Cerri, M. A. Ballou, G. E. Higginbotham, J. H. Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives of this study were to determine the influence of timing of first clinical mastitis case occurrence on lactational and reproductive performance in high producing lactating dairy cows during the first 320 days in milk (DIM). Holstein cows, 1001, from two commercial dairy farms in California were retrospectively divided into four treatment groups according to timing of first clinical mastitis case caused by environmental pathogens: control with no recorded clinical cases of mastitis (C; n=501); first clinical mastitis prior to first postpartum AI (MG1; n=250); first clinical mastitis between first postpartum AI and pregnancy diagnosis (MG2; n=147); and first clinical mastitis after diagnosed pregnant (MG3; n=103). Clinical cases of mastitis were identified at every milking by the herd personnel based on abnormal milk or swelling of the mammary gland. A fore sample of milk was aseptically collected from every clinical case for microbiological culture. Mastitis decreased yields of milk, 3.5% fat-corrected milk, and milk components, but the effect was only observed for MG1 and MG2. Cows in the control group had lower linear somatic cell count (SCC) score throughout the lactation. Culling was increased by mastitis, and cows in the mastitis groups left the study earlier than controls. Conception rate at first postpartum AI and pregnancy rate at the end of the study were both decreased by mastitis prior to or after first AI, and MG1 and MG2 cows had extended days open. Furthermore, cows experiencing mastitis during lactation had a higher incidence of abortions. The negative effects of mastitis on reproduction were observed regardless of clinical case being caused by either Gram positive or negative bacteria. Mastitis either prior to or after first postpartum AI impairs lactation performance, increases culling, and decreases reproductive efficiency in high producing Holstein dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-45
Number of pages15
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Volume80
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

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