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What is Klebsiella mastitis?

What we hear...

"Klebsiella mastitis tends to be worse than E. coli mastitis: it kills more cows, doesn't respond to vaccination or treatment and lasts longer, cows that survive often end up being culled."
M. Munoz and R. Zadoks, Northeast DairyBusiness, April 2007

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Not anymore!

Vaccination for this disease has traditionally been very difficult as we have tried to rely on cross protection to provide some level of control against klebsiella.

However, this will no longer be the case as we finally have a klebsiella specific vaccine available in Canada: Klebsiella Vetovax™ SRP®

Mastitis remains one of the most challenging diseases facing the dairy industry, and when it comes to causes of mastitis, klebsiella is likely the worst! Out of all the causes of mastitis in dairy cows, klebsiella causes the most significant drop in milk production (Pinzon-Sanchez et al., 2011) and these animals rarely return to normal productivity (Grohn et al., 2004) That is if they even survive the disease. Most dairy farmers and vets will be familiar with a case of toxic klebsiella mastitis. Often these cows become very sick and go downhill very quickly. Treatment can be very intensive and expensive, and it is rare that cows with clinical klebsiella mastitis ever make a full recovery. In fact, klebsiella mastitis has been described as being worse than E. coli mastitis because it kills more cows, doesn’t respond to treatment, lasts longer and is more persistent in the environment (Munoz & Zadoks, 2007). More than 50% of cows with clinical klebsiella mastitis often end up being removed from the herd (Gordon et al., 2018).

Let's talk money

An average case of mastitis costs approximately $444* (treatment, milk loss, drugs, etc…) and klebsiella cases are much higher as they are more severe, often involve a vet visit, extensive drug use and even if the cow survives, they never really become productive again until at least their next lactation, if ever.
*Average estimation in CAD, conditions may vary.

Even knowing all that, let’s take the average value of $444 per case of mastitis.

Imagine a 300 head dairy operation

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    3 cases per month**
    36 cases per year
    **Theorerical number based on experience in the field. 

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    Vaccinating should prevent 76% of these.
    You now have 27 cases less to treat.

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    27 cases x $444/case
    You saved $11,988!

Article: Klebsiella - The Mafia Mastitis

Read the opinion of Dr. Murray Gillies, Technical Veterinarian for Vetoquinol and dairy producer, about his experience with Klebsiella Vetovax ™ SRP®

View article

Prevention is key!

Combined with a good prevention protocol, such as using teat sealant at dry off, Klebsiella Vetovax™ SRP® can help protect dairy herds and save substantial money in treatment cost to the Canadian dairy producers. Consult your veterinarian if you are interested in this vaccine or if you believe you are having issues with klebsiella mastitis

Vetoquinol and your veterinarian.
Your partners in the prevention of clinical mastitis