The relationship between teat characteristics and intramammary infection (IMI) was investigated in 111 cows. These cows were scored visually on teat shape, teat-end shape and teat pigmentation. Subsequently, foremilk quarter samples were collected weekly for 14 weeks from calving to assess bacterial presence and somatic cell count (SCC). Teat shape and teat-end shape were combined and termed teat type. The distribution of teat type was cylindrical- round (34%), funnel-round (21%), cylindrical-flat (16%) and bottle-round (9%). Approximately 44% of teats were fully pigmented (black/brown) while 25% of teats were pigmented over less than 20% of the surface area. The frequency of quarters that never became infected during the trial period was 78.4% and the mean SCC was 69,000 cells mL-1. Among the infected quarters, the most frequently isolated pathogens were Corynebacterium bovis (45%), coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) (43%) and Streptococcus uberis (6%). Analyses showed no associations between teat characteristics and quarters not becoming infected, or between teat characteristics and bacterial pathogens in infected quarters.

MG, Lopez-Benavides, JH Williamson, JB Walters, and JGH Hickford

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 64, Hamilton, 147-149, 2004
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