Representation and Education

Mastitis – Past, present and future

This is a review paper presented at the BCVA Congress celebrating their 50th Anniversary looking at how
mastitis has evolved over the last 50 years and what practitioners will need in terms of knowledge, techniques
and insight to maintain their work into the future. It will address how our approach and treatment has changed
and what will support farm animal veterinary practice and sustainable food production in the future. Sections
covered include herd size and milk yield, milking machines, milking routine, milk quality, mastitis pathogens,
epidemiology and diagnostics and finally mastitis treatment, control plans and mastitis prevention. Milking
machines and milk quality have both improved hand in hand with the changing prevalence of mastitis
pathogens from predominantly contagious to environmental. Mastitis treatment evolved as more antibiotics
were developed however in more recent times the focus on responsible use of antibiotics is driving trends
to rationalise and reduce their use in both lactation and dry off treatment. Examples include alternative
strategies such as the use of Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and internal teat seal for
preventing new dry period infections. Control plans have also evolved taking into account the changing
epidemiology of mastitis whilst prevention strategies continue to be developed and include optimising the
milking process, cow housing, husbandry and the use of vaccines and immunomodulators to enhance the
cows defence mechanisms.


A Biggs

Issue Number


Volume Number


Page Number


Publication Date

2nd May 2018

Download File

To Download this file you must be a member. Click here to join BCVA.



Become a member today for exclusive benefits
including full access to Cattle Practice