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Association between somatic cell count and serial locomotion score assessments in UK dairy cows

Archer, Simon C.; Madouasse, A.; Green, Martin J.; Huxley, Jonathan

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Simon C. Archer

A. Madouasse

Professor of Cattle Health & Epidemiology

Jonathan Huxley


This research investigated the effect of lameness, measured by locomotion score (LS) on the somatic cell count (SCC) of UK dairy cows. The data set consisted of 11,141 records of SCC and LS collected monthly on 12 occasions from 1,397 cows kept on 7 farms. The data were analyzed to account for the correlation of repeated measures of SCC within cow. Results were controlled for farm of origin, stage of lactation, parity, season, and test-day milk yield. Compared with the geometric mean SCC for cows with LS 1 on each farm, cows on farm 3 with LS 2 produced milk with 28,000 fewer somatic cells/mL, and cows with LS 2 on farm 6 produced milk with 30,000 fewer somatic cells/mL at a test day within 10 d. Cows that would have LS 3 six months later produced milk with 16,000 fewer somatic cells/mL compared with the geometric mean SCC for cows that would have LS 1 in 6 mo time. These results illustrate differences in disease dynamics between farms, highlight potential conflict between lameness and mastitis control measures, and emphasize the importance of developing farm-specific estimates of disease costs, and hence, health management plans in clinical practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Deposit Date Apr 25, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 25, 2014
Journal Journal of Dairy Science
Print ISSN 0022-0302
Electronic ISSN 0022-0302
Publisher American Dairy Science Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Issue 9
Keywords locomotion score; somatic cell count; dairy cow
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information © American Dairy Science Association


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