DairyCell is the leader in electro therapeutic treatment in the dairy industry. This device was developed to treat a mastitis affected area by means of small low frequency electrical impulses to reduce swelling and inflammation and to increase the blood circulation thereby contributing to a natural recovering process.
Determination of subclinical mastitis
A loss in milk production due to mastitis, can affect the dairy farmer's income drastically. Mastitis can be detected in the subclinical phase by means of a newly developed technology, namely a Mastitis Detector. With this device a high somatic cell count in every quarter can be measured. As soon as this subclinical mastitis is detected, it can then be treated with an DairyCell device. There are already a few electronic mastitis detectors available in the market place.
There are two forms of subclinical mastitis, namely infectious and non-infectious (aseptic) subclinical mastitis. Irrespective of whether cases of subclinical mastitis are infectious or non-infectious, there are no visible symptoms. They remain hidden during daily milks and are usually neglected by milking producers. Consequently, subclinical mastitis in most dairy herds causes losses which escape the farmer's attention and reduce his income from milk production unobserved. The most important symptoms of infectious subclinical mastitis are the elevated somatic cell count and the presence of pathogenic bacteria in milk, as well as reduced milk yield from the infected udder.
Infectious subclinical mastitis is present, in each dairy herd, the predominant form of mastitis. And if undetected and untreated, subclinical mastitis is a persisitent threath to the udder health of dairy herds, as the diseased udder quarters excrete pathogens which are spread to healthy udders by means of the milker's hands and the milking machine. Furthermore, infectious subclinical mastitis is frequently a predecessor of clinical mastitis.
Spontaneous healing of infectious subclinical mastitis is possible but cannot be taken for granted and as a rule, untreated infectious subclinical mastitis always damages udder tissue, persisits and/or spreads in the affected udder, and escalates sooner or later into clinical mastitis.
Another form of subclinical mastitis is aseptic mastitis, which is characterised by elevated somatic cell count values without pathogenic micro-organisms present in milk. Aseptic mastitis may develop as a result of various trauma conditions, such as rough handling of udders, prolonged faulty milking, bacterial toxin from teat canal infections, intra mammary infusion of irrant remedies and other factors causing non-infectious trauma of mammary tissue. Irrespective of its cause, aseptic mastitis indicates increased risks of infectious mastitis. Cows with aseptic mastitis are particularly susceptible to udder infection with pathogenic bacteria. Such cows therefore frequently develop infectious subclinical or clinical mastitis.
Mastitis occurs when a quarter of the udder is affected by infection due to the release of certain substances by glands in reaction to infection in the teat canal. An increase in somatic cell count causes a loss in milk production and therefor a loss of income to the farmer. It also has an affect on the quality and quantity of the milk.
What does the DairyCell device do?
The device is connected by clamps to the affected quarter of the udder, after subclinical mastitis is detected. The treatment time is only 8 minutes and the intensity is determined by the reaction of the cow. Treatments can be done twice a day after the cow has been milked, treatment levels are determined by the irritation level of the animal.
Blood circulation is increased in the treatment area and the mastitis infection is broken down. Oedema of the udder can also be relieved and the results have also been attained for fibrosis in the udder. By using the DairyCell device, money can be saved!
In June 1999, the research at Irene Agricultural Research Board was started. The object of this pilot study was to determine whether an electrical stimulus, applied with the DairyCell device to an affected teat and quarter can help in the treatment regime of cows suffering from subclinical mastitis.
On day one, cows were selected by way of reacting to CMT tests. Samples were taken to establish how many somatic cells were present and what type of bacteria were present. On day two, cows were randomly placed in two groups. From day two to six, the one group was treated and not the other, and both groups results were measured.
Samples were taken from the first week in June till the first week in August. Samples for bacteriology were taken for the somatic cell counts, samples were preserved in 0,02% Brompol (Microtabs). Somatic cells were counted and the bacteria were cultured at the analysis was done by the Agrimetrical Institute of the ARC. Anova analysis was used to analyse differences in somatic cells, and regression analyses was used to evaluate the bacteriology results.
Somatic cell counting is a very helpful control measure and develops an awareness of subclinical problems and therapy can already be started in the subclinical phase. The somatic cell count in the therapy group had a meaningful higher reading and the result was more pertinent in gram-positive than in gram-negative infections. When the health of the udder is at risk, everything possible must be done to correct it due to the result of milk production and the quality of the milk. The fact that therapy with the DairyCell device resulted in an initial higher somatic count than the untreated group, suggests that a more immune reaction is stimulated in infectious cases. This aspect is advantageous for the self-healing process of the cow. By stimulating the natural process of immunity, there is a better process of fighting infection.
The results of the pilot study indicates that in herds where good management is practised, the DairyCell device can successfully be used to control subclinical mastitis and the result will be a reducement of conventional mastitis treatments and thus a cost saving exercise for the farmer.
A very detailed field study on an infected number of cows was done by Van Tonder Boerderye in the Tsitsikamma. Some of the most important deductions from this study are:
|Group treated with DairyCell:||Group not treated with DairyCell:|
|Cows that healed||64.29%||50.00%|
|Cows that stayed subclinical||28.57%||21.43%|
|Cows that deteriorated to clinical mastitis||7.14%||28.57%|
The most important difference is indicated by the group that was treated by DairyCell only deteriorated by 7.14% to clinical, in comparison to 28.57% of the group that were not treated.
It is important, however, to know that the recorded and accurate treatment with the device will determine the results and financial benefits to the dairy farmer.