Drying off cows using the “best practice” technique means that they are at less risk of post infusion infection and that the antibiotic dry cow tube and teat sealant are going to work as well as possible for optimum results. It is easy to forget or become out of practice with how to perform drying off so frequent reminders are useful to ensure that your technique isn’t rusty or that there isn’t something you have been missing all of these years.
A designated trained person should be responsible for drying off cows.
Drying off should be treated as a separate task with no concurrent tasks such as foot trimming or tail clipping being performed.
Drying off should be performed in a clean, dry and safe environment at a separate time to milking.
All materials needed should be prepared ready for dry off. Suggested materials include: tubes, pre and post dip, cotton wool swabs and surgical spirit. Gloves, paper towels, tail tape (or other marker), dry off cow list. It is suggested that cotton wool swabs should be prepared prior to the task and placed in a clean covered tub of surgical spirit.
The operator must ensure that clean gloves are worn. Gloves may need to be changed during the procedure if they become dirty.
If the udder is dirty it should be washed and dried thoroughly.
Keep syringes clean whilst preparing the teats and DO NOT immerse syringes in water. Dip teats in a rapid-acting pre-dip, leave for 30 seconds, then wipe each teat completely dry with separate disposable paper towels. Strip foremilk and discard.
Always use a new pair of gloves for the treatment of each cow. Thoroughly disinfect the whole surface of the teat with a disposable alcohol or spirit soaked wipe. Repeat until the teat wipe comes away clean.
Disinfect the far teats before the near teats to avoid accidental contamination of previously disinfected teats.
If using Antibiotic Dry Cow Therapy in combination with OrbeSeal®, apply one ADCT tube per quarter and then repeat the disinfection procedure.
Starting with the teat nearest you, insert the OrbeSeal syringe nozzle into the teat canal, firmly grasp the base of the teat at the udder attachment and slowly inject all contents. Be careful not to touch the nozzle of the syringe. Use one complete syringe per quarter. Do not massage. OrbeSeal must remain in the teat canal.
Insert OrbeSeal into the nearest teats first (as numbered) to minimise contamination of teats that have not been treated.
Apply a post-milking disinfectant to cover 90% of each teat.
Mark each treated cow and keep her away from the milk supply. Treated animals should be allowed to stand for 30 minutes to allow the teat to close.
OrbeSeal contains 65% bismuth subnitrate. Withdrawal period: Zero days: POM-V . Further information is available on the product SPC or contact your veterinary surgeon or contact Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Dorking Road, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7NS. Customer Support 0845 3008034. www.zoetis.co.uk Always seek the advice of your medicines provider. Use medicines responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible). AH142/16
Judith is an RCVS advanced practitioner is Cattle Health and Production. She qualified from the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in 2003, working in predominantly large animal practice for almost 10 years until joining Zoetis (previously known as Pfizer Animal Health) in 2012 as the National Veterinary Manager responsible for the dairy cow portfolio of products.
Jude’s areas of interest are the health and production of cattle, mastitis and udder health and cattle fertility. She has contributed to research on mastitis, lameness and cattle surgery. Jude has just finished her 3 year term on the British Cattle Veterinary Association Board of Directors but continues to be actively involved in many industry bodies and committees as well as doing consultancy work for some practices.
Jude comes from a small farming village in Lancashire and in her spare time is often found walking her dogs on the side of a hill somewhere “up north”.