A longitudinal study in 15 herds, with a total of 2157 cows, was conducted to examine the relationship between teat-end callosity (TEC) and the incidence of clinical mastitis. During the 1.5-yr study period, clinical mastitis was diagnosed by the farmers based on clinical signs. Teat-end callosity was scored every month according to a teat-end callosity classification system, which discriminates between teat-end callosity thickness (TECT) and roughness (TECR). Differences in TECT between healthy and clinical mastitis quarters within infected cows were small but significant 3 mo before (0.13 higher), in the month during which the clinical mastitis occurred (0.08 higher), and in the following 2 mo (0.06 and 0.05 higher). To compare TECT and TECR between cows with and without clinical mastitis, 199 cows with clinical mastitis were paired with control cows based on herd, days in milk, and parity. Clinical mastitis cows had more TEC than their healthy herd mates, particularly when clinical mastitis occurred between the second and fifth months of lactation. Clinical Escherichia coli mastitis in the second or third month of lactation occurred in cows with less TEC than in cows with clinical mastitis caused by other pathogens. Clinical culture-negative, yeast, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Enterobacter aerogenes mastitis cows had more TECT and TECR than other cows with clinical mastitis in the same month of lactation. Pointed teat ends had higher TECT and TECR than flat or inverted teat ends. Teat-end callosity thickness increased with a higher milk yield at peak production.
Neijenhuis, F., Barkema, H. W., & Hogeveen, H. (2001). Relationship between teat-end callosity and occurrence of clinical mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science, 84(12), 2664-2672. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(01)74720-0