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Changes in behaviour of dairy cows with clinical mastitis

By P. Sepulveda-Varas, K. L. Proudfoot, D. M. Weary, M. A. G. von Keyserlingk

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Abstract

Behaviour is an important tool for recognizing illness in animals. One of the most common diseases in dairy cattle is clinical mastitis. Evidence suggests that cows with this disease show sickness behaviours, but little is known about the progression of behavioural changes before and after the disease becomes clinical. The aims of this study were to determine changes in feeding and competitive behaviour at the feed bunk of dairy cows before the diagnosis of clinical mastitis and determine the effect of intramammary antibiotic treatment on behaviour. Dry matter intake, feeding time, number of visits to the feeder, rate of feed intake, number of replacements occurring at the feeder (when one cow displaced a feeding cow and took her position at the feed bin) and the percent of intake during peak feeding time were measured daily in eight cows diagnosed with clinical mastitis in one quarter of the udder. Clinical mastitis was diagnosed based on daily rectal body temperature as well as condition of the foremilk and udder assessed by the milker at each milking from calving until 30 days in milk. Starting on the day of diagnosis, cows received an intramammary antibiotic twice daily for three consecutive days. During the 5 days period before diagnosis, cows decreased feed intake by 1.2 kg/d (SE=0.2, P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 175
Pages 8-13
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.09.022
Language English
Author Address Animal Welfare Program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.marina.vonkeyserlingk@ubc.ca
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Sepulveda-Varas, P.; Proudfoot, K. L.; Weary, D. M.; Keyserlingk, M. A. G. von (2016), "Changes in behaviour of dairy cows with clinical mastitis," http://habricentral.org/resources/57667.

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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal nutrition
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Antibiotics
  6. Bacteria
  7. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  8. Body temperature
  9. Bovidae
  10. Calves
  11. Cattle
  12. Diagnosis
  13. Diseases
  14. Drug therapy
  15. Effect
  16. Feeding
  17. Feeding behavior
  18. Feed intake
  19. Infections
  20. Mammals
  21. Mastitis
  22. Milk and dairy products
  23. milking
  24. rectum
  25. Ruminants
  26. teats
  27. temperatures
  28. udders
  29. ungulates
  30. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed