Mastitis control plans support pre-dipping. It is one of the best methods to reduce pathogens on the teat surface and an excellent process against mastitis. Many producers have taken on board the procedure and have noticed a substantial impact on the reduction of clinical mastitis and a reduction of somatic cell counts. Other producers have observed minimal impact.
Pre-dipping is applying a germicidal solution to the teats before milking machine attachment. It is an extra for the other aspects of good pre-milking sanitation. It will help ensure that the udders are clean and dry before machine attachment and will replace the use of an udder wash.
The germicide should be left on the teats for at least 30 seconds longer dependant on teat condition and soiling having cracked and organic matter on the teats will render the solution inactive. This then ensures that the solution has acceptable contact time. Teat dips require at least this amount of time to effectively kill the bacteria. This preparation will not be fully effective if the teat dip is removed too soon after application.
Pre-dipping will not work for an exceptionally contaminated environment.
Manufacturers state pre dip Kills major mastitis causing bacteria picked up from environment not contagious and not all pathogens.
DIPPING: Fill teat cup ⅔ full with pre dip. Dip teats of every cow, making sure that the full length of the teat is immersed. Allow recommended contact time, then using a single service paper towel, wipe & dry the teats thoroughly, before continuing with the normal milking routine. Top up with fresh solution as required. Empty & wash out cups after milking.
SPRAYING: Spray the entire surface of each teat of every cow with pre dip. Allow recommended contact time, then using a single service paper towel, wipe & dry the teats thoroughly, before continuing with the normal milking routine.
Teat washing or udder wash, done without care, can actually greatly add to bacterial contamination of the teat canal due to pathogens present in the water being carried from higher up the teat towards the teat orifice. Washing could remove any natural oils present on the teat, contributing to the drying of teat skin, which in turn may cause skin damage or cracking where bacteria can easily colonise.
Where teats are washed they must be dried thoughrly , this will then avoid bacterial contamination entering the teat orifice wet teats increase the possibility of liner slip and squawks. The preferred method is to use individual towels, one per cow and washed and dried after each milking, but the use of clean paper towels is adequate.
Pre-dips and sprays tend to work differently to post-dip treatments – as they have to perform differing functions, although the types of chemicals used for pre-milking treatments are mostly the same chemical as those used for post-milking treatments. The liquids, foams and gels available as pre-milking disinfectants are designed to kill pathogens very quickly, whereas post-milking treatments have a longer term contact effect.
The chemical manufacturers will specify a time period, in which the dip or spray has to remain on the teat before it is wiped off. However dependant on your teat condition you may need more contact time, remember these are just guidelines.