Mastitis

Why is it measured?

Mastitis is a common problem across the dairy industry. It is caused by pathogens that can be either found environmentally or passed from cow to cow. It is a painful condition that can vary in severity from being a fairly mild easily curable case to a severe life threatening toxic case. Mastitis has considerable financial implications through costs of treatments, veterinary advice, milk withdrawal periods, reduction in milk yields, increased labour and reduced fertility. Hygiene in the milking parlour, pre-milking routine, cow flow, bedding materials, slurry systems, housing design, cow groups, management of cows throughout stages of lactation amongst others can all affect mastitis levels.

How to assess and score using the AssureWel measure

 9. Mastitis                                                                                                                                                     Records 
Record the number of recorded cases of mastitis per 100 cows for the previous 12 months.
  
This is calculated as:             No. of recorded cases of clinical mastitis in the herd over the previous 12 months x100
                                                              Average no. of cows in the herd over the previous 12 months

  1. Only include cases of clinical mastitis which can be identified on the basis of the relevant clinical signs, which include: observable changes in the cow’s milk (e.g. altered milk colour or consistency and/or the presence of clots, flecks/flakes, or pus in the milk); and/or observable changes to the cow’s udder (e.g. swelling, reddening, hardening, and the udder being hot or painful to touch) - which may or may not be accompanied by general signs of illness, such as increased body temperature, lack of appetite, depression etc. You should not include instances of subclinical mastitis (i.e. cases of high milk somatic cell count without any of the above clinical signs) or dry cow therapy treatments
  2. Count cases at the cow rather than the udder quarter level, i.e. if a cow has two affected quarters this should be counted as a single case
  3. Use the 7 day rule to identify a ‘new case’ in a previously affected cow: if mastitis clears up and then recurs in the same cow after a period of 7 or more days count this as a new case. If it recurs sooner than this, however, it should be thought of as a recurrence of the previous case (regardless of which quarter is affected) and therefore not counted a second time


  1. Mobility
  2. Body condition
  3. Cleanliness   
  4. Hair loss, lesions 
  5. Swellings
  6. Broken tails    
  7. Response to stockperson
  8. Cows needing further care
  9. Mastitis
  10. Calf/Heifer survivability
  11. Cull and Casualty Cows