Selective Dry Cow Therapy (SDCT)

Selective Dry Cow Therapy (SDCT)

As many of our dairy farming clients will be aware there is pressure coming from in and outside the industry to reduce antibiotic usage and justify the use of all medicine use. We mentioned in an earlier Newsletter that SDCT was going to be a requirement for Arla producers and that other dairies were likely to follow suit.

This raised the question of how exactly one would go about it! Here are some guidelines which come from XLVets, Dutch Vets and Peter Edmondson:

  • Not all herds are suitable. A BMSCC over 200,000 suggests a high infection level and blanket DCT is needed.
  • It cannot really be done without regular milk recording or at least in the last three months of lactation.
  • Mastitis data needs to be recorded (a legal requirement!) and used as part of the selection process.
  • In Holland the thresholds are: heifers < 150,000 and cows < 50,000. Originally they set the cow level higher but ran into problems although each farm will eventually settle at their own thresholds.
  • Always use teat sealant at drying off.
  • Use antibiotic DCT if there are teat lesions or damage.
  • Don’t do SDCT without talking to us first. If carried out incorrectly the BMSCC can potentially double in months!

Other countries have been doing SDCT for a number of years successfully so there is nothing to fear as long as guidelines are followed!

Dry Cow

Related SEV Branch