A time long ago, in the dark ages when teatseal wasn’t used in heifers, the average heifer mastitis rate in New Zealand was 23% within the first few weeks of calving. A much higher rate than mastitis in cows. However, in many of our farms now, the rate of mastitis in heifers is much lower than the herd, sometimes without a single case of mastitis in the heifers. A significant percent of this reduction can be attributed to the use of teatseal. The proven benefits of heifer teatseal are: A 70% reduction in clinical mastitis around calving; and around a 70% reduction in subclinical bacterial infections for the early part of lactation Given that the average case of mastitis in a heifer costs at least $200 (with only half of the treatment costs made up of the antibiotics used), the costbenefit
of using teatseal in heifers is positive on the majority of farms. Other benefits of teatsealing: Gets the heifers used to the shed prior to
calving - we often get comments on how much easier the heifers are to handle. Reduces number of heifers with mastitis at
calving which also, not surprisingly, makes them easier to handle and milk. Identifies heifers that have mastitis prior to
calving, which results in more rapid treatment of these animals. Acclimatises heifers to the shed and concrete prior to calving often benefits the hooves, provided that they are not on concrete for too long. Of all the farmers that have started teatsealing - not one has stopped which has to be the best endorsement there is! The only time we ever hear of teatsealing not working is when it is administered in an unhygienic way – if this happens, then the results can be disastrous. It is essential that good hygiene is practiced when using teatseal (and any intrammamary tube). This is where our VetEnt team can help. We love going out teatsealing (no, really) and we have a great health and safety record with the procedure across many years – we have a very experienced team that
love doing the job! If teatseal is not possible, there are other strategies that have been proven to reduce heifer mastitis around calving: Teatspraying two - three times per week in the three weeks prior to calving (this is also effective for cows). Removing calves from heifers twice a day and milking them – although very labour intensive can result in a major reduction in clinical mastitis.
Come and have a chat with us at your local VetEnt

08 May 2018, 04:48