Subclinical Mastitis – A threat to dairy industry : Dr. R.K. Jadhav, MVSc., PhD. (Veterinary Medicine)

India ranks first in milk production with 184 MMT annual milk production. Still there is scope for increasing milk production. Our milk has less demand in international market due to poor milk quality and hence there is scope to increase export of milk and milk products by enhancing milk quality as per the demands of international market. Mastitis is an economically important disease of high yielding dairy cattle and buffaloes prevalent around the world which is responsible for deterioration of milk quality, decrease in milk production, loss of affected quarters and even culling of chronically affected cattle. Response to antibiotic treatment is not much promising in case of bovine mastitis. Mastitis is of two types viz., clinical mastitis (visible abnormality in milk and swelling of teat and udder) and subclinical mastitis (no gross abnormality in milk and udder). Subclinical mastitis is more devastating contributing to around 56% of all mastitis cases. In dairy animals it is difficult to diagnose subclinical mastitis by gross examination of milk as there is no swelling of udder and teats, but only there is qualitative and quantitative deterioration of milk causing heavy economic losses to farmers. Subclinical mastitis can be diagnosed by cow side California Mastitis Test (CMT) and followed by necessary treatment and control measure implementation. So, in order to reduce economic losses, management practices in dairy farming need to be upgraded based on scientific evidence. The dairy farmers should strive for maintaining sound udder health, should use right (full hand) method of hand milking, machine milking and maintaining hygiene of machines, dry cow therapy, pre and post milking teat dipping, hygiene and cleanliness of the shed and cow environment and enhancing non-specific udder immunity by providing micro-nutrients in the diet of dairy animals.