January 16, 2013


Organic Dairy Health Management
Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series
The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Milking Routines
Using On Farm Culturing to Improve Mastitis Treatment
The Use of Dry Cow Therapy on Dairy Farms
Making Responsible Choices about Antibiotic Drug Use
Evaluating Milking Performance
Milking Systems Video Library


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Organic Dairy Health Management

UW Milk Quality video series: Organic Dairy Health Management focuses on animal health issues and management solutions on organic dairy farms.

Animal Health Regulations for Organic Dairy Herds

In this first episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg outlines key health regulations from the USDA National Organic Program and the FDA for organic producers.

Subclinical Mastitis in Dairy Cows

Dr. Pamela Ruegg from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is back discussing the occurrence of subclinical mastitis in dairy cows.

Clinical Mastitis in Dairy Cows

In this segment, Dr. Pamela Ruegg discusses the causes of clinical mastitis in dairy herds and outlines monitoring and management strategies to reduce occurrence.

Managing Cows with Chronic Mastitis

In this episode of UW Milk Quality’s ongoing video series, Dr. Pamela Ruegg discusses how to prevent and manage cows that develop chronic mastitis infections.

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Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series

The  UW Milk Quality series, Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series brings to light the various pathogens that cause mastitis on dairy farms. Each episode introduces a new pathogen and provides treatment and control recommendations for decreasing the risk of infection within herds.

Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series: Mycoplasma species

This first episode in the series focuses on the Mycoplasma species.

Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series: Staphylococcus aureus

This second episode focuses on diagnosis, transmission, treatment and control of mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series: E. coli

As part of the UW Milk Quality continuing series on mastitis pathogens, Dr. Pamela Ruegg introduces an important organism called E. coli. E. coli is one of the causes of clinical mastitis occurring in dairy cattle, and in this episode Ruegg discusses its diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series: Klebsiella

UW Milk Quality releases the fourth episode in its Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series. Klebsiella is a common Gram-negative pathogen in clinical mastitis cases. This video discusses the environmental sources and potential contagious transmissions of Klebsiella and control and treatment options for your dairy herd.
To download a one-page factsheet on the Klebsiella pathogen Click Here.

Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series: Environmental Streptococci

In the latest episode of the Managing Mastitis series, Dr. Pamela Ruegg from the University of Wisconsin discusses diagnosis, treatment and effective control programs for Environmental Streptococci pathogens. Learn why the focus should be on prevention with special emphasis on the dry period and which cows are most at risk of infection.
To download a one-page factsheet on Environmental Streptococci Click Here.

Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series: Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci

The sixth and final episode of the Managing Mastitis: The Pathogen Series is ready for viewing. Dr. Pamela Ruegg of the University of Wisconsin completes the series with coagulase-negative staphylococci discussing its diagnosis, transmission and control.
To download a one-page factsheet on Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci Click Here.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Milking Routines

The UW Milk Quality series, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Milking Routines focuses on how to effectively milk cows to produce high quality milk. Dr. Pamela Ruegg from the University of Wisconsin discusses the science behind effective milking routine in seven practical habits, each with its own episode.

Goals and Objectives

This first episode begins with the basics and highlights the goals and objectives of having an effective milking routine.

Habit 1: Calm and Clean

The first habit of a successful milking routine begins before the cows even enter the milking parlor. Keeping cows clean and calm will not only impact the speed at which cows get milked, but also the rate new mastitis infections can develop in the herd.

Habit 2: Cows are Grouped

Dairy cows can be managed in groups for not only nutritional and reproductive reasons, but also for milk quality. Join Dr. Pamela Ruegg in this episode to learn how to develop a milking plan to ensure the production of high quality milk without transmitting mastitis pathogens throughout the herd.

Habit 3: Consistent Premilking Preparation and Habit 4: Teats are Clean and Dry

Dr. Pamela Ruegg takes us through steps three and four of the ‘7 Habits of Highly Successful Milking Routines.’ Step 3 is all about the consistent premilking preparation: forestripping for stimulation and detection of mild cases of mastitis. Step 4 stresses the importance of disinfection and drying of teats to ensure that milk is obtained in a hygienic manner.

Habit 5: Units are Properly Attached and Habit 6: Units are Removed when Milking is Completed

Steps 5 and 6 of our ‘7 Habits of Highly Successful Milking Routines’ video series are about properly attaching and removing milking units and understanding the dangers of over milking.

Habit 7: After the Milking Units are Removed

We’ve finally reached the seventh habit of the series. The last habit of a successful milking routine focuses on managing the cows once the milk units are removed. Dr. Pamela Ruegg talks post-milking teat dipping and returning to fresh feed.

The Complete Milking Routine

This last video of the 7 Highly Successful Milking Routines series features the complete milking routine, unabridged. From start to finish, you can see the entire milking process featuring UWMQ tips and recommendations.

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Using On Farm Culturing to Improve Mastitis Treatment

This new series will guide you through the principles of on farm culturing and selective mastitis treatment. You will learn what you need to get started, how to collect sterile milk samples, culture bacteria and how to diagnose results.

Episode #1: Part ONE: Will Antibiotics Help the Cow?

UW Milk Quality releases this new video series about on farm culturing with a two-part episode on making the decision to start a culturing program. In part one, we learn which mastitis-causing bacteria responds to antibiotics and which do not. The difficulty is finding these cases in your herd. On farm culturing is one method we use to select the cases that would benefit from such treatment.

Episode #1: Part TWO: Using Cultures to Make Selective Treatment Decisions

In part two, we learn the basics of selective treatment for mastitis. We want to base our treatment decision for mastitis on having a diagnosis of what type of bacteria is responsible for that infection. The use of on farm culturing is just one part of implementing selective treatment protocols.

Episode #2: How to Set Up Your On Farm Laboratory

On farm culture systems require a designated workspace. Dr. Pamela Ruegg takes us through the checklist of setting up an on farm laboratory for successful culturing.

Episode #3: Selecting Culture Media

There are several choices of plate media that can be used to culture bacteria. The plates you choose will depend on the treatment decisions you are making, as well as the availability of plates in your area. Dr. Pamela Ruegg of the University of Wisconsin will discuss bi-, tri-, and quadplates and the different media to select for which bacteria you are testing for in your on farm culture laboratory.

Episode #4: Mastitis Severity Scoring

Before culturing individual cows, it is important to determine if they are eligible for delayed treatment. Some cows are too ill, and therapy should be initiated immediately. These cows are not good candidates for culturing, since the culture results would take too long to use in treatment decision making. To help distinguish these cows from cows that would benefit from culturing, a scoring system has been developed called the Mastitis Severity Score. Dr. Pamela Ruegg outlines how to score cows for mastitis using the severity scoring system. Identifying mastitis early is important so that culturing can be performed and informed treatment decisions made.

Episode #5: How to Collect an Aseptic Milk Sample

The entire process of performing on farm culturing is absolutely dependent on how well the milk sample was collected. If this step is not performed correctly, then the rest of the process will be meaningless. In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg from the University of Wisconsin and UW Milk Quality takes us through step-by-step the right way to collect a milk sample. Following this aseptic technique will decrease the number of cultures that are contaminated, which allow you to isolate true mastitis pathogens more consistently.

Episode #6: How to Set Up Culture Plates

Last episode we learned how to collect aseptic milk samples in the milking parlor. In this episode, we move into the laboratory to learn how to inoculate and incubate culture plates using those milk samples.

Episode #7: How to Read Culture Plates

Remember, culturing allows us to reduce antibiotic use and costs by targeting responsive infections. When we culture on farm, it provides us faster results to guide selection of appropriate treatments. However, we need to know a little about culture counts and reading the culture plates first. In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg discusses how to determine if culture growth that is seen on plates is likely from a mastitis infection or perhaps another cause: contamination. Ruegg then guides us through the ‘thumb rules’ of how to interpret culture counts.

Episode #8: How to Identify Staphylococcus Species Using Selective Agars

Determining the cause of mastitis is important because not all cases of mastitis benefit from antibiotic therapy. For instance, Gram positive bacteria, such as Staph aureus and coagulase negative behave differently in the cow and have different responses to therapy. Being able to identify between the two can help us make appropriate treatment decisions for managing mastitis in our herds. One way to do that is through on farm culturing. In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg teaches us how to identify Staphylococcus species on our cultured media plates whether we are using bi-, tri- or quad plates.

Episode #9: How to Identify Streptococcus Species Using Selective Agars

Streptococcus species are a common cause of mastitis and frequently associated with high somatic cell counts, and in some cases clinical mastitis. Streptococci are gram positive organisms that also grow in the environment. In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg demonstrates how to identify Strep on a biplate, triplate and quad plate and discusses the significance of growth on Factor, blood agar and MTKT media.

Episode #10: How to Identify Gram Negative Species

Gram negative organisms cannot be differentiated at the genus level (such as E. coli, Klebsiella or Enterobacter) on the agar plates used in on-farm cultures. However, they can be identified as lactose negative or lactose positive by what color they ferment lactose in MacConkey agar. In this episode, Dr. Pamela explains what this means and discusses treatment options for a gram negative infection. Hint: gram negative infections often resolve on their own. Therefore, it is not always necessary to treat with antibiotics. Remember, it is always advisable to consult your local veterinarian when making these decisions.

Episode #11: On Farm Culturing: What Can Go Wrong?

Dr. Pamela Ruegg concludes the series, ‘Using On Farm Culture to Improve Mastitis Treatment,’ with this episode about the most common problems for on-farm culture labs. Contamination during sample collection, handling or plating; failure to use quality control lab processes; and over-interpretation of bacterial growth just name a few. The value of any diagnostic test is based on the economic value of the intervention you make. If you do not use the culture results to make treatment or management decisions, the value of culturing is lost.

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The Use of Dry Cow Therapy on Dairy Farms

The use of antibiotic dry cow therapy at the end of lactation is part of standard mastitis control programs. UW Milk Quality kicks off a new four-part video series outlining ways to decrease the number of existing intramammary infections and/or prevent new infections during the early weeks of the dry period.

Why is Antibiotic Dry Cow Therapy Used?

Learn how dry cow therapy reduces the risk of mastitis for the next lactation cycle.

The Science Behind Selective Dry Cow Therapy

Learn how selective dry cow therapy programs focus on using antibiotics and internal teat sealants for affected quarters to reduce the risk of mastitis during the next milking cycle.

Selecting Herds and Cows for Selective Dry Cow Therapy

If you are considering the use of dry cow therapy in your herd, it is a good idea to first examine the level of mastitis in your herd. In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg guides you in deciding if blanket dry cow therapy or selective dry cow therapy is best for your herd based on the history of subclinical mastitis in your herd and your ability to monitor clinical mastitis at the cow level.

[wpanchor id=”responsible”]Making Responsible Choices about Antibiotic Drug Use

As consumer consciousness about the food system increases, so do the concerns over antibiotic drug use and the potential of drug residue in the dairy industry.

Understanding the Role of the Veterinarian

In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg speaks of the importance for producers and dairy professionals to understand these concerns and make sure that drugs are used responsibly. Ruegg explains what the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship is and how to establish one with your veterinarian.

Allowable Drug Use in Dairy Cows

Treatment and control of disease in your dairy herd can be confusing, especially when trying to keep up-to-date on federal drug regulation. Knowing the right definitions and allowable types of drug usage on dairy farms are important to ensure your animals receive appropriate care and that food produced from those animals with be safe for human consumption. In this episode, Dr. Pamela Ruegg explains the different classes of allowable (and prohibited) drug usage on U.S. dairy farms.

Reducing the Risk of Residues in Milk and Meat

The occurrence of antibiotic residues found in milk and meat in the dairy industry is rare. Though rarely detected, mistakes still occasionally occur. UW Milk Quality’s Dr. Pamela Ruegg reviews the practical aspects that will help reduce that risk in this final episode of the series.

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Evaluating Milking Performance

UW Milk Quality and the UW Milking Research and Instruction Lab bring you the series, Evaluating Milking Performance. Throughout the series, you’ll learn how to perform various milking time tests to assess the final goal of milking cows quickly, completely and gently. You’ll also be able to assess your herd’s teat end health and reduce teat end conditions, such as hyperkerotosis.

Evaluating Milking Performance: Measuring Claw Vacuum

In this first episode, Dr. Doug Reinemann and researcher John Penry show you how to set up, execute and evaluate testing average claw vacuum in your milking system in a number of different ways and techniques. Measuring average claw vacuum is the most important and direct measurement of the performance of the milking machine.

Evaluating Milking Performance: Teat End Health

Dr. Doug Reinemann and John Penry continue UW Milk Quality’s Evaluating Milking Performance series with the topic ‘Teat End Health.’ In this episode, they discuss three different aspects of teat condition: hyperkeratosis, teat end congestion and teat canal keratin dynamics; and how to evaluate levels in the herd.

Evaluating Milking Performance: Teat Barrel Congestion

‘Teat Barrel Congestion’ is the third topic in the Evaluating Milking Performance series produced by UW Milk Quality. Dr. Doug Reinemann and John Penry provide an overview of this teat condition and discuss factors that influence levels in herd during milking.

Evaluating Milking Performance: Liners

This episode is a continuation of the UW Milk Quality series, “Evaluating Milking Performance.” Research assistant, John Penry, sits down with Dr. Doug Reinemann for a discussion on evaluating liner performance.

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Milking Systems Video Library

Parlor Routine Training

Milk parlor trial-and-error verses a well planned training program for staff.

Cow Acclimation

Introducing the herd to a new milking facility.

Training Staff for Crowd Gate Management

How to train the humans in proper crowd gate etiquette to reduce frustration during cow entry and exit.

Crowd Gate Management

Techniques to avoid overcrowding and maintain good cow flow at the gate.

Entering and Exiting the Milking Site

How quiet vocal and gentle physical encouragement is more effective for cows entering and exiting the milking site.

Methods of Cow Prep and the Effect of Prep Lag Time

Milk prep processing and timing, the importance of prep lag time and methods of prep sequencing.

Preventing Milk Flow Stallout

Evaluation of teat ends to avoid damage due to overmilking.