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© 1995, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


A comprehensive mastitis control program will effectively control infections caused by both environmental and contagious pathogens.

Herd mastitis problems can be caused by both environmental and contagious pathogens (disease-causing organisms). These problems may occur separately or simultaneously. Various testing techniques are necessary to determine the type of causative organism and the infection level of the herd or individual cow. Appropriate tests include the CMT (California Mastitis Test), milk market somatic cell count (SCC), Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA) SCC and laboratory cultures of milk from infected cows. Depending upon test results, mastitis control strategies may need to be changed to address both associated infections and types of pathogens. A good control program must consider all possible causes of the disease. No potential disease risk should be ignored. The most appropriate action to prevent or eliminate a disease depends upon the causative agent, so accurate diagnosis is essential. Cows that are non-responsive to therapy should be culled.