Mastitis is usually the result of bacteria entering through the open teat canal during the dry period and lactation. The most common bacteria that cause problems are Streptococcus uberis during the dry period / early lactation and Staphylococcus aureus during lactation. Both of these bacteria can significantly elevate the somatic cell count and induce clinical mastitis.
Teatseal is a product that is used in conjunction with dry cow therapy to prevent the occurrence of mastitis in the following lactation. It works by creating a physical barrier that prevents bacteria from entering the udder. Because of this barrier it is essential to use dry cow as it will also seal any bacteria that are already there into the udder as well.
Teatseal is indicated for herds that have high cell counts and tend to get a lot of mastitis cases early in lactation, it can also have an impact by reducing the number of repeat cases – if a cow doesn’t come into the milking herd with mastitis she is more likely to milk the year without mastitis later in lactation
Teatseal can also be used to prevent mastitis in maiden heifers, application (without dry cow) can be done 4-6 weeks before calving.
The Teatseal blocks the canal, and when applied properly is stripped out by the calf when it first starts to suckle, and the withhold is 4 days after calving. If a calf is weak or sickly it is a good idea to check that they have been able to remove the Teatseal – if not the Teatseal is removed easily by a little bit of hand stripping. After doing so it is important to ensure that the calf also gets adequate colostrum.
Good hygiene is essential when applying Teatseal – sealing bacteria into the udder defeats the purpose of using Teatseal. It is best if cows are separated off and treated at the end of milking
Gold standard hygiene is to apply Teatseal after milking, after thoroughly scrubbing each teat multiple times until the wipe / swab is completely clean afterwards. The dry cow is then placed in the teat as per normal – doing the teats closest to you before reaching through to the others, as when reaching your arm is likely to touch and contaminate the teats closest to you. Make sure that you gently massage not only the teat, but also the udder to ensure proper dry cow distribution. After applying dry cow to all 4 quarters, the teats need a single wipe before applying the Teatseal.
When applying the Teatseal it is important to not get any into the udder – Teatseal in the udder, not only has no benefit, but it floats in the milk and can be discharged from the udder months later.
Correct technique involves gently pinching the teat where it joins the udder, then filling the teat canal with the Teatseal. Only cows with long teats are going to require a full tube of Teatseal, smaller shorter teats may only use half a tube. Do not continue to apply the Teatseal after the teat is full – this will result in theTeatseal getting into the udder as it has nowhere else to go. After applying the Teatseal it is important to then spray the udder thoroughly with your normal teat disinfectant used at the end of milking (usually iodine mix). Partially used tubes should be discarded as the end of the applicator is no longer sterile, and there may not be enough for another teat. Each quarter must be considered as entirely separate so you shouldn’t reuse the syringe even on the same cow.
After application the cows should ideally be kept in a clean yard for 2 hrs then moved to a nearby paddock for 24 hrs to allow the teatseal to adhere to the canal properly without excessive udder movement.
Storage / Availability
Teatseal should be stored at room temperature, the active ingredient is combustible before application, so care should be taken as to where the product is stored.
Withholding period is 8 milkings / 96 hours – the same as most dry cow treatments.
Teatseal can be bought from our clinic in any quantity but a 10% discount applies to purchases of 120 tubes or more when collected all at once and paid for within the normal 28 day credit terms.
Feel free to speak to any of our Vets about whether Teatseal is right for your farm, application or any other questions you might have.