Antimicrobial dry cow therapy and modifiable management in dry dairy cows to cure existing intramammary infections and improve udder health
Proper management of dry cows is essential to promote good udder health during the dry period following lactation. The most common form of dry cow management is administration of antimicrobials at dry off to cure existing intramammary infections (IMI) and prevent the occurrence of new IMI. We conducted a systematic literature review and network meta-analysis to compare multiple antimicrobial options at dry-off for effectiveness to cure existing intramammary infections in dairy cattle. Further, we utilized scoping review methods to identify and describe modifiable dry cow management factors that potentially may be used in replacement of, or in addition to, antimicrobial dry cow therapy. Findings suggest improved reporting of studies, along with consistency in the selection of risk periods for outcome assessment in dairy trials, would enable more useful synthesis work. Potential management areas for future knowledge synthesis methods include mastitis vaccines, dry cow nutrition, and dry period lengths.