NEW BLOG - Selective Dry Cow Therapy Blog

Friday, December 8, 2023

Selective Dry Cow Therapy

The dry period is crucial for the repair of the udder lining and subsequent optimal milk production in the next lactation. Within the repair process, milk secretion dries up, the udder lining gets smaller and reduces activity and a keratin plug forms in the teat canal. This also give us a great opportunity to clear up any grumbling issues that have occurred over the cow’s current lactation.


What is Selective Dry Cow Therapy?

SDCT is a tailored approach to udder health protection that involves treating only those cows who have had issues during their lactation, rather than treating the entire herd with antibiotics. It's a precision-based strategy that relies on a thorough evaluation of each cow's health and history.


The Benefits of SDCT:

Reduced Antibiotic Use:

One of the most significant advantages of SDCT is the reduction in antibiotic use. By treating only the cows that need it, you're not only saving on medication costs but also contributing to the global effort to combat antibiotic resistance.

Financial Savings:

Fewer antibiotics mean lower costs. SDCT allows you to allocate resources more efficiently, which can result in substantial savings over time.

Healthier Herd:

SDCT helps maintain a healthier udder by preventing unnecessary antibiotic exposure. A cow that receives antibiotics at drying off that does not need it is more likely to develop udder health issues over the dry period and into next lactation. This is as you have removed the healthy, balanced bacterial population from her udder. This then makes it easier for pathogenic bacteria to populate and become the dominate strain.

Environmental Impact:

Less antibiotic use means a smaller environmental footprint for your farm. You're contributing to sustainability efforts by minimizing pharmaceutical residues in the environment.


Implementing SDCT on Your Farm:

To get started with SDCT, you'll need a solid plan. Here are some key steps:

Herd Assessment: Evaluate the SCC and mastitis patterns of the farm using milk recording data. Ideally carrying out a dozen individual cultures will show the pathogens present on farm.

Set your thresholds: Work closely with your vet to develop and fine-tune your SDCT program and the thresholds you decide to use. These thresholds will be specific to your farms pathogen profile and SCC patterns.

Record Keeping: Maintain meticulous records of cow health, mastitis cases, and treatments. This data will be invaluable in making informed decisions.

Education: Ensure your farm team is well-informed about SDCT principles and practices. Training is crucial for successful implementation.


In conclusion, Selective Dry Cow Therapy is not just a buzzword; it's a strategic approach that benefits both your herd's health and your bottom line. By embracing SDCT, you're not only contributing to a more sustainable future but also ensuring that your dairy farm remains competitive and prosperous in the long run.