Addressing an Acute Milk Quality Problem through a Strategic Targeted Management Team Approach

  • Chris Mondak (Iowa State University)
  • Leo L. Timms (Iowa State University)


Objectives of this field investigation were to assemble a management team to develop, implement, and monitor targeted strategies (both prevention and therapeutic) to address an acute milk quality issue resulting from cows mistakenly being teat dipped for 3 milkings with a formaldehyde foot bath solution (SCC /SPC counts > 2 million ; majority of teat ends with tissue damage). The team assembled included farm owner/manager and personnel, veterinarian, milk plant field personnel, nutritionist, and ISU extension (both field and campus). Initial strategies focused on enhancing tissue healing and trying to minimize new intramammary infections (IMI). After 2 months (successful prevention and healing), strategic antibiotic therapies were implemented. Thirty one Strep. cows (54 quarters) were treated using recommended pirlimycin therapy (one 10 ml plastet 50 mg pirlimycin HCl (Pirsue, Pfizer, Inc.)) at 24-hour intervals for two days. Nineteen Staph. aureus cows (26 quarters) were treated using an extended pirlimycin therapy (one plastet every 24 hours for eight days). Overall streptococci quarter cure rate was 85%. Quarter cure rates for Staph. aureus (extended pirlimycin therapy) were 96%. SCC decreased to ~250,000 (lower than herd was before problem). Follow up DHI records shows SCC remaining < 250,000, limited new infections, and milk production recovered back to normal.

This team approach to this emergency situation resulted in strategies which minimized the net losses, and in the end, resulted in increased profits at the farm level due to higher milk quality premiums and minimizing culling and replacement of problem animals. This shows that although one-on-one may take time and considered costly, it can result in large benefits to the clients as well as all other involved by providing experiential learning and foundations for team building and continuing education.

Keywords: ASL R2105

How to Cite:

Mondak, C. & Timms, L. L., (2006) “Addressing an Acute Milk Quality Problem through a Strategic Targeted Management Team Approach”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-814

Download pdf



Published on
01 Jan 2006
Peer Reviewed