Success stories about Mastitis vaccination: Can SCC get reduced after vaccination?
Can a vaccine against bovine mastitis reduce the Somatic Cell count in milk? What are the main problems associated with bovine mastitis that a farmer has to cope with? Is vaccination a solution to mastitis? We are visiting different countries to hear the views of veterinarians and farmers on vaccination against bovine mastitis. What has been their experience?
Interview with Maria del Carmen Val (Spain)
Maria del Carmen Val, a partner in the SAT Veiga de Lama farm (Galicia, Spain). She currently has about 150 milking cows.
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“I am very happy with the results obtained with the vaccination against bovine mastitis, the SCC are going down, now i am concerned that they are so low!”
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What are the main problems associated with milk quality and the economic losses caused by bovine mastitis?
One is management; another is milking, because if it is not done properly, well … And then there is the feed, which can also have an impact on mastitis.
When did you start vaccinating against mastitis and what led you to take this decision?
I started using Startvac vaccine against bovine mastitis a year and a half ago…
Our farm expert (veterinarian), advised me to do it because there was a lot of E. coli at the time. She told me that saving only one cow from E. coli would cover my vaccination costs, so we decided to do it.
What did you think when it was explained to you that there was a vaccine for the prevention of mastitis?
I couldn’t believe that it would have the effect that it did, but well, I am convinced.
What drew your attention to the product and why did you decide to use it?
I decided to try it because it was recommended to me and afterwards I saw that it produced results and I used it again. The cows calved well, calved without having mastitis and were doing better… They had a good start and had no problems.
What were the main benefits of vaccination, both in terms of the quality of product and in economic terms?
In economic terms, the fact that I did not have to treat the cows. And then my wellbeing, as I no longer get nervous about mastitis.
What would you say to someone who does not know whether to start vaccination for the prevention of bovine mastitis on their farm?
That they should take the risk, that it does work, that it is fine and gives results. I am very happy with the results that I am getting. In fact, the cell counts are going down, and now I am worried that they are so low! [laughs]
As we have seen, our interviewee has experienced how the introduction of vaccination against bovine mastitis, together with good farm management, can help to improve milk quality and therefore reduce economic losses caused by discarded milk. Not only did she discover the importance of prevention, but it was also demonstrated that the return on investment with vaccination is cost-effective as soon as you start to vaccinate.
In addition to vaccination, management of bedding and milking machine are factors for the prevention of mastitis, whether it is contagious, for example mastitis caused by S. aureus or E.coli, or caused by environmental bacteria such as Strep. uberis.