Decision tree analysis to evaluate dry cow strategies under UK conditions

E.A. Berry, H. Hogeveen, J.E. Hillerton

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Economic decisions on animal health strategies address the cost-benefit aspect along with animal welfare and public health concerns. Decision tree analysis at an individual cow level highlighted that there is little economic difference between the use of either dry cow antibiotic or an internal teat sealant in preventing a new intramammary infection in a cow free of infection in all quarters of the mammary gland at drying off. However, a potential net loss of over pound20 per cow might occur if the uninfected cow was left untreated. The only economically viable option, for a cow with one or more quarters infected at drying off, is antibiotic treatment, although a loss might still be incurred depending on the pathogen concerned and the cure rates achievable. There was a net loss for cows with quarters infected with Corynebacterium spp. at drying off, for both the teat sealant and untreated groups (pound22 and pound48, respectively) with only antibiotic-treated cows showing a gain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-418
JournalJournal of Dairy Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • somatic-cell count
  • clinical mastitis
  • milk-production
  • intramammary infections
  • corynebacterium-bovis
  • dairy-cattle
  • teat sealer
  • period
  • therapy
  • herd

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