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Success stories about Mastitis in dairy cows: Changing the paradigm in Portugal

During our trip around the world looking for real experiences related with bovine mastitis and the people dealing with the disease, we arrive to Portugal. There, we speak with 3 local vets from SEGALAB who explain us the problems they face in their daily work and the solutions they use to improve the situation on their farms.

Interview with J. Pacheco, A. Pereira and J. Sousa (Portugal)

. . . . . . . . . . . .

“We recommend to
assess the costs and losses
associated with milk quality on the farm over the previous 12 months.”

. . . . . . . . . . . .


What are the main problems associated with milk quality and the economic losses caused by mastitis in dairy cows?


At the moment, the main problems relate to the costs of treating clinical cases.

On the other hand, the losses due to milk rejection are also an important problem together with the devaluation of milk with high somatic cell counts and the production potential losses in animals with clinical or subclinical mastitis.


When did you start vaccinating against mastitis in dairy cows and what led you to take this decision?


The decision was made based on an assessment that consisted in quantifying any losses and costs due to clinical and subclinical mastitis, after monitoring different milk quality parameters at the farm.


How did your clients react when you explained them that there was a vaccine against mastitis in dairy cows?


Their reaction was positive, since they are aware that vaccines are useful tools to combat problems related to milk quality.

On the other hand, there is often a reaction of expectation/mistrust, where clients always question whether the money they are investing in the vaccine will actually provide a financial return.


What drew your attention to the mastitis vaccine you used?


What made us trust on the vaccine we finally used (STARTVAC®) and recommend it the most were the numerous tests and field studies carried out on this mastitis vaccine.

In addition, the agents it immunises against are two of the most prevalent pathogens on dairy farms.


What were the main benefits of vaccination, both in terms of the quality of the product and in economic terms?


A reduction in somatic cell counts in animals with chronic S. aureus infections and a reduction in the prevalence and acute symptoms associated with E. coli mastitis.


What would you say to someone who doesn’t know whether to start vaccination for the prevention of mastitis in dairy cows?


We would recommend that they assess the costs and losses associated with milk quality on their farm over the previous 12 months.



We’d like to thank these three vets for sharing their experience with us. See you all soon with more experiences and technical information about mastitis in dairy cows!




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