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Mastitis, another word for udder inflammation is an inflammation of the tissue of the mammary gland (udder) with cows. We distinguish clinical mastitis (visible) and subclinical mastitis (not visible). Ensuring excellent udder health is of paramount importance to production. Udder health is one of the main reasons for involuntary culling of dairy cattle, which results in high costs.

Somatic cell count

An important indicator of udder health is the somatic cell count (SCC) (number of white blood cells per ml of milk).

As a general guide:

  • SCC < 100.000: healthy udder
  • SCC > 100.000: suspect udder
  • SCC > 250.000: suspected mastitis
  • SCC > 400.000: reduction of milk price

The damage caused by mastitis can be up to € 275, - per cow in the first 3 months of lactation.

Cause mastitis

Mastitis is caused by bacteria which invade the udder. These may be bacteria tied to cows or bacteria tied to the environment. Infection with bacteria tied to cows occurs mainly during milking through not properly cleaned equipment, milk cloth or hands and infection with bacteria tied to the environment occurs mostly in the shed.

Characteristics mastitis

Only clinical mastitis is visible through flakes in the milk. The infected quarter can feel hard, warm or swollen. Sub-clinical mastitis is not visible, but can be determined by cell count measurement, since cows have an increased cell count.

Consequences mastitis

  • Loss of milk production
  • Lowered resistance
  • Lowered animal welfare
  • Decreased appetite, rumination activity

Prevention of mastitis

By taking measures in the area of hygiene, proper pre-treatment and post-treatment of the udders, resistance and clean drinking water mastitis can be prevented.

Cubicle hygiene

  • Maintaining high standards of cubicle hygiene with MS DryCare prevents dirty udders. Regularly cleaning and scraping out the cubicles before laying straw will ensure a dry and clean environment. Damp areas should be spread with MS Kiemkill more frequently in order to prevent udder health problems.

Milking parlour hygiene

  • Hygiene in the milking parlour is important because this is the last moment where bacteria have the opportunity to invade the udders.

Some tips for optimum milking parlour hygiene:

  • Wear gloves when milking
  • Use clean paper towels or udder wipes for each cow, e.g. MS Lavettes
  • Clean dip cups after each milking
  • Clip or singe the udders. They will become soiled less quickly as a result.

Good pre-treatment and post-treatment

  • Preparing teats with MS Lavettes leads to higher milk yields and shorter milking times.
  • Dipping the teats after milking with MS Cow Udder Block or MS Cow Udder Magenta can assist in the prevention of new udder infections.


  • The basic ration needs to be right. Ensuring an effective mineral balance and energy balance is essential to maintaining the resistance of the herd.
  • MS Rumen Support contains live yeast, vitamins and trace elements and can be used to improve feed intake, digestion and fertility. MS Rumen Support encourages the development of the rumen and prevents ruminal acidosis.
  • MS Nutrimin Top 1 is a balanced mineral mixture for highly productive cattle. MS Nutrimin Top 1 contains minerals such as zinc chelate, optimises milk production and improves fertility and resistance.
  • MS KetoProtect Plus prevents a negative energy balance, is highly palatable and provides immediate energy. MS KetoProtect Plus improves rumen performance and reduces the burden on the liver.
  • MS Bolus Dry Cow provides additional minerals during the dry period. MS Bolus Dry Cow improves fertility and leads to shorter calving intervals and fewer problems with mastitis, metritis and afterbirth.

Clean drinking water

  • Clean drinking water is necessary for optimal production results.
  • Poor water can lead to a lower feed intake and can reduce milk production by up to 10 to 15%. *
  • The water on 30 to 50% of dairy farms is unsuitable or not entirely suitable for cattle. *
  • Di-O-Clean cleans drinking water pipes and provides clean, palatable drinking water.
  • *Source: GD

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