Strict hygiene protocols must be followed when drying off cows to avoid the introduction of new infections.
The introduction of an infection can cause damage to the cow’s teat canal and increase the risk of mastitis.
Drying Off Protocols For Cows
- When and Where? After (not during) milking, in the (clean) parlour.
- Prepare equipment in advance (ideally keep in a clean box that can be stored away after drying off) and place it on a clean surface.- Cotton Wool- Surgical Spirit- Disposable gloves- Dry cow antibiotic tubes (if appropriate)
– Teat sealant (Orbeseal)
– Post milking teat dip
- Dry off one cow at a time and one teat at a time! Start with the front teats and then the rear teats (this prevents your arms brushing over teats that have already been cleaned); wear separate gloves for each cow.
- Apply pre-milking teat disinfection according to your usual protocol, wait 30 seconds and then dry.
- Thoroughly clean each teat with one piece of cotton wool soaked in surgical spirit (cotton wool must be wet). Once the teat is clean, use a second piece of cotton wool to scrub the teat end.
- If using dry cow tubes, carefully insert the antibiotic tube into the teat end and slowly depress the plunger. Then pinch the teach end and massage the antibiotic up the teat into the udder. After this, cleanse the teat end again using cotton wool soaked in surgical spirit.
- Carefully insert the Orbeseal tube into the teat end but clamp off the top of the teat as you depress the plunger. Do not massage this up into the udder – Orbeseal should remain in the teat end.
- Now apply a post milking dip to that teat and repeat the whole process for each teat (working from the cow’s front teats to her back ones).
- If at any point in the teats become contaminated with faeces, they must be fully cleansed with cotton wool soaked in surgical sprit to prevent bacteria entering the teat and causing a serious infection.