Milk Bacteriology

Individual quarter sample.
  • Clinical
  • High SCC / Sub clinical
  • Post treatment check – 7 to 10 days after last treatment
  • Antibiogram
Composite sample (Comingled samples from more than one quarter)
  • Pathogen survellaince eg Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus agalactiae
Samples are processed under the supervision of Laboratory manager Mandy Boddy who has over 20 years bacteriology laboratory experience. Results are interpreted and reported by international mastitis advisor and consultant Andrew Biggs BVSc MRCVS. Andrew has over 30 years experience as a veterinary surgeon in farm animal practice and mastitis laboratory work and has written a book “Mastitis in Cattle”. He has lectured widely to both farmer and veterinary audiences in the UK and abroad and is sole tutor in the mastitis module for the Masters of Veterinary Medicine at Massey University New Zealand. His consultancy work currently includes Laboratory QA and education, troubleshooting and training in "mega dairy herds" in China.

This knowledge and experience is used to tailor the Vale Laboratory reports with advice on the significance of the culture results as well as helping to identify and plan the best management practices and treatment protocols to reduce the number of intramammary infections.

The laboratory is often involved in research projects and trial work.

Bedding Samples

A huge variety of materials are used for cow bedding from traditional straw through the potentially controversial recycled manure solids (RMS - sometimes called “green bedding”) to sawdust and mattresses to sand. Although non-organic bedding such has sand has huge advantages for cow comfort and is less likely to grow mastitis pathogens we have isolated Klebsiella from sand so it is best not to be complacent.

Most commonly fresh bedding is tested however sometimes it can be useful to check especially pH and dry matter content of used bedding.

Both fresh and used bedding samples can be tested for:

PH, Dry matter content and overall bacterial load
  • Total bacterial counts
  • Specific mastitis causing bacteria counts.
  • Gram negative, Coliform, Klebsiella, Staphs and Streps