MSD Animal Health extends mastitis control range

MILTON KEYNES, UK, May 13 2015 – MSD Animal Health is extending its mastitis control range with the introduction of the new teat sealant CEPRALOCK™ to complement its market-leading dry cow intramammary product CEPRAVIN™ Dry Cow and wider Dairy Herd Health portfolio.

Designed for use at drying off, with or without a dry cow intramammary antibiotic, CEPRALOCK provides an important inert barrier in the teat canal to reduce significantly the risk of bacterial infection of the udder during the dry period.

CEPRALOCK is supplied in tubes with the option of short nozzles that are designed to help avoid the risk of teat damage and incorrect administration beyond the teat canal. The launch is also being accompanied by extensive dry cow therapy training and a support programme for veterinary practitioners and their dairy farmer clients. This will include diagnostics and data analytics and training will have a significant focus on correct administration and removal of teat sealant after calving, allowing vets to provide adequate reassurances to their clients around product use.

“The dry period is a critical time for vets as they seek to help their clients in the battle to combat mastitis, which remains a significant drain on dairy herd profitability,” says MSD Animal Health technical adviser Martin Behr. “It provides an ideal opportunity to clear up existing bacterial infections in the udder with the use of intramammary antibiotics, but it is also vital to prevent new infections over the period.

“Cows do have their own natural physical defence against infection in the form of the keratin plug that forms in the teat canal after drying off, but this is not always sufficiently effective. In a recent study it was shown that only 50% of 500 examined quarters had a fully developed keratin plug within 10 days of drying off, whilst 20% of teats remained open into the second half of the dry period. This is significant because the majority of clinical cases of mastitis that occur during the dry period do so within the first three weeks.

“Correct use of a teat sealant at drying off, immediately after the administration of the dry cow intramammary if used, will provide an effective physical barrier for the duration of the dry period, significantly reducing the chances of new infections of the udder.”

It is estimated that less than half of dairy cows are currently given a teat sealant at drying off, despite the concept being established for a number of years and numerous farm studies providing strong evidence of their efficacy.

“The potential return on investment for dairy farmers of correctly applied teat sealants is clear,” adds Martin Behr. “A single case of mastitis is estimated to cost between £70 and £250 and the average UK dairy herd suffers somewhere in the region of 50 to 60 cases per 100 cows per lactation. A correctly applied dry cow therapy programme, including the use of teat sealants, will significantly reduce the incidence of clinical mastitis, thereby providing a demonstrable return on investment.

“At MSD Animal Health we are keen to help veterinary practitioners promote best practice in dry cow therapy, including the adoption of the correct protocols and application procedures. Therefore we are supporting the launch of CEPRALOCK with the offer of Continuous Professional Development for veterinary practitioners on all aspects of dry cow therapy, including correct use of teat sealant and its removal after calving.”

CEPRALOCK teat sealant is available to veterinary practices in packs of 24 tubes and 120 tubes.