Optimising mastitis therapy

Mastitis remains one of the major health and economic challenges for dairy farmers, with recent figures from Kingshay estimating a cost/case of £386 – based on a milk price of 50p/litre1. And with forecasts and early announcements apparently heralding an end to the climbing milk prices of 2022, getting treatment as effective as possible has never been more important.

“The best approach for most farms is to give intramammary antibiotic therapy as soon as mastitis is detected, supported with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Metacam®” says Kath Aplin, Veterinary Adviser with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. “NSAIDs are anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic (reducing fever), anti-endotoxic (fighting bacterial toxins) and analgesic (pain-relieving); these effects help support the cow while the antibiotics tackle the infection.

“Bacteria cause the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, the effects of which are not just limited to the udder - effects include reduced fertility2 and reduced appetite3, both of which can be the trigger for a cascade of other problems. As we understand more about the wide ranging impacts of mastitis and the associated inflammation, even in mild cases of mastitis, we are seeing NSAIDs being used much more widely than a few years ago,” adds Ms Aplin “There is evidence that NSAIDs are beneficial alongside intramammary antibiotic therapy in all cases of clinical mastitis – mild, moderate and severe4.”


  1. Kingshay (2022) www.kingshay.com/dairy-costings/dairy-costings-focus/ accessed Jan 2023
  2. Fuenzalida et al. (2015) J Dairy Sci 98: 1–15
  3. Sepúlveda-Varasa et al (2016) Appl An Behav Sci. 175: 8-13
  4. McDougall et al (2016) J Dairy Sci 99(3): 2026–2042

Metacam® 20 mg/ml solution for injection for cattle, pigs and horses and Metacam® 40 mg/ml solution for injection for cattle and horses contain meloxicam. UK: POM-V. Further information available in the SPC or from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd., RG12 8YS, UK. 01344 746957.

Email:vetenquiries@boehringer-ingelheim.com. Metacam® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, used under licence. ©2023 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: January 2023. BOV-0004-2023. Use Medicines Responsibly.

1st June 2023

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