Sensors & antibiotic use

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Kristine
Kristine's picture
Sensors & antibiotic use

Detecting clinical mastitis in a traditional milk parlour seems straightforward, but nowadays there are different innovative sensors for early (earlier?) detection. Just think of DeLaval's Herd Navigator or Afimilk's online AfiLab milk analyzer.

In terms of cow welfare, it's great to receive an early alarm for mastitis - but when do you intervene? Sometimes, a cow can overcome the beginning infection on her own. So can the early detection of mastitis (and other diseases), combined with a number of false alerts, actually lead to an increase in antibiotics?

What do you think? 

Richard Lloyd
Richard Lloyd's picture
 

 

 

Rumination data also can indicate the early onset of mastitis. Dr Jeffrey Bewley has no doubts about the best course of action - watch the video:  Use of Technology and Early disease detection  (from the media tab above).  

Early detection certainly gives more time for an informed course of targeted action - but what should the immediate treatment be ? Using linament to increase the blood circulation in the udder? Increasing milking frequency ?(especially in robotic systems)

What else can be done? I have heard farmers talk of more than 70% self cure - is this realistic?

 

 

 

Richard Lloyd
Richard Lloyd's picture
Its not just mastitis that

Its not just mastitis that rumination data can highlight. Early identification of ketosis  by rumination dropping in early lactation means that remedies can be given much earlier, preventing many of the subsequent health issues and lost production. But can rumination sensors be as effective as HerdNavigator measuring BHB or AfiMilk's measurement of fat/protein ratio?

Paul Redmore
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We use intra reticulum

We use intra reticulum boluses and are detecting mastitis 24 hours quicker than the parlour, by monitoring body temperature. We are looking to revise our treatment protocols accordingly, and are looking to use gram +ve/gram negative on farm culture to fine tune this, which we have used in an Innovative Farmers trial a year or so ago. Potentially reducing antibiotic use through the use of NSAIDs and peppermint oil as a first defence.
We have limited data but looking positive.
The key going forward is to eliminate false positives, by cross referencing data relating to temp, activity, milk yield, Milk conductivity, (and in the future genomics)
All this data is available now, but lack of cooperation between software companies to integrate this data means manual cross referencing is our only option, which is laborius.

Richard Lloyd
Richard Lloyd's picture
Paul - It is good to hear of

Paul - It is good to hear of your positive experience of using the SmaXtec bolus. I share your frustration at the difficulty in integrating data from different sources to come up with more specific action lists. I sense that this is understood by some of the more enlightened farm management software providers - we have to get to a point where we have only have to (automatically)  input once and have the ability to set farm specific operating procedures to automatically generate action lists 

Paul Redmore
Paul Redmore's picture
Also detection of lameness

Also detection of lameness looks positive, but metritis more difficult, as the uterus does a good job isolating everything in it from the cows immune system, as it designed for.
Cross referencing activity and temperature is a good indicator of most health issues. I'm sure good algorithyms will help pinpoint specific ailments/infections once developed

Richard Lloyd
Richard Lloyd's picture
Paul - I believe that

Paul - I believe that measuring temperature in the reticulum also relates to water consumption. Your previous post highlights the benefits of early detection - but which parameter gives us the earliest detection of infection? I am sure it depends on the particular ailment but in general is the order: Feed Intake, Water Intake, Temperature, Activity, (conductivity), milk yield ?

Paul Redmore
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I would say the order is Temp

I would say the order is Temp, then activity. ( Feed and water intake and are wholly dependent on the cow being active in getting to the supply of both,if she doesnt get out of bed she cant get to the kitchen!, milk yield follows on from that.)
Smaxtec shows an almost immediate drop in activity as soon as the temperature spikes. Conductivity sensing seems less robust in correlating to temp spikes.

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