Dealing with Staph Aureus Mastitis

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Dairy Extension Newsletter





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In the past two months I have worked with or been aware of at least 6 dairies that have been struggling with the effects of mastitis caused by the Staph. aureus organism. This is a very common organism on dairies, but probably causes greater losses than any other. Some basic facts about this organism are:

1. It is considered a contagious bacterium. This means it is spread from cow to cow or human to cow through contact. This usually occurs during milking.
2. It can be found not only in the mammary gland, but also on the teats, udder and mouth of a cow.
3. Once the infection has been established in a cow, it is EXTREMELY difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. Therefore, it is imperative that you not let this go unattended.
4. Because of the chronic nature of this organism resulting in repeated mastitis flare-ups and the very low success rate of antibiotic treatment, the control strategy should focus on prevention.

How do you know if you have this organism in your herd and what should you do if you determine that this is the cause of your problems?

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