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This has been a bad summer for mastitis due to the heat and humidity. Warm, wet environments combined with heat stress makes for lots of cases of clinical mastitis and a rise in SCC. 

Mastitis is a broad topic, and it would take several newsletters to cover the various management issues including environment, milking hygiene, diagnosis of mastitis pathogens, treatment options (lactating and dry), teat sealants, vaccinations, and culling decisions. We have had a few questions recently about vaccinations available for mastitis, and there are a few new ones that may be worth mentioning.


A few things to keep in mind before jumping into mastitis vaccines. It is usually recommended to diagnose the pathogens causing issues on your farm before selecting a vaccination protocol for a specific bug. The exception may be e. Coli, which is an environmental pathogen that is basically everywhere manure is, so cows will always be exposed to e. Coli which can potentially cause mastitis. As well, no vaccine is perfect and they by no means result in clinical cases going down to zero. They are simply a tool to help your overall management to reduce the number of cases and severity of illness, and decrease pathogen shedding (and therefore contagious spread in some cases). These vaccines are proven to be profitable due to these advantages as well as their effect on lowering SCC and increasing milk production.


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Mastitis Vaccines

What is Available to Help?

E. Coli Vaccines

These vaccines are widely used and even though they do not prevent infection with E. Coli, it will reduce shedding of the bacteria, and the severity of clinical signs. Simply put, E. coli vaccines save cows and save quarters. Anyone who has lost a cow or a quarter to watery or e. Coli mastitis will understand the benefit of these vaccines.



(10 dose and 50 dose)

Cost per dose: $5.46

Meat withdrawal: 21 days

Enviracor J5 

(20 dose) 

Cost per dose: $5.15

Meat withdrawal: 60 days



(also has the e. Coli coverage as well as staph aureus - see below)

Staph Aureus Vaccine

Staph aureus is an extremely frustrating and costly problem on dairy farms. The only available vaccine for Staph aureus is TopVac, and it can help to reduce the severity of disease, decrease shedding from positive animals, and adds a layer of protection against staph aureus infection. There are also additional benefits of lowered SCC and increased milk production. 



(25 dose)

Cost per dose: $6.99

Meat withdrawal: 21 days

Strep. Uberis Vaccine

A relatively new vaccine against an increasingly common pathogen, Strep uberis. This bacteria acts as a contagious environmental pathogen that can cause frustrating chronic infections and can be hard to cure. The vaccine reduces infections and shedding, lowers SCC, and reduces clinical signs related to disease. Since this vaccine is very pathogen specific, we recommend culturing to find out if Strep uberis is the problem on your farm.



(25 dose)

Cost per dose: $8.40

Meat withdrawal: 60 days

Klebsiella Vaccine

Klebsiella is an environmental pathogen that typically causes quite nasty acute infections - think sick, shocky cows that can go downhill quickly. These infections can be hard to treat and Klebsiella is non-responsive to intramammary antibiotic treatment. This is a new vaccine that reduces the risk of infection with Klebsiella, and decreases the severity of clinical signs from Klebsiella mastitis. Klebsiella acts very similar to Ecoli and can be hard to differentiate between the two based on clinical signs and appearance of milk. Prior to the introduction of this vaccine, we only had E. coli vaccines which provided some level of cross protection. With this new very specific vaccine, culture would be recommended to help determine whether E. coli or Klebsiella is a problem in your herd and which vaccine would be most beneficial.


Klebsiella Vetovax

Cost per dose: $5.75

Meat withdrawal: 60 days

Talk to your herd health veterinarian about mastitis vaccines and how they can fit into your vaccination program.

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