What Is A Milk Culture Test?

A milk culture is performed by veterinary clinics, laboratories and/or government bodies to detect and identify microbes in milk. Milk culture testing is a vital tool in building up best practices of mastitis management, helping to protect the future health of cattle and people.

Why Should I Milk Culture?

> Because you’re losing milk and money you may not have to.

According to the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network, 40% of milk cultures from clinical cases show no growth1, meaning treating with intramammary antimicrobial may be unnecessary. Performing a milk culture test can help save you money, milk and time.

> Because She might be infecting the rest of the herd.

Mastitis caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae and M. bovis is contagious. The udder is the source of the infection, which is why it is most often spread through the milking process. Knowing the carrier and bacteria at play is key to choosing the appropriate treatment and controlling the spread of the disease across your herd.
Testing first means being confident in your treatment of choice and targeting mastitis at the source.'

When Is It Most Critical To Test?

While your veterinarian is critical in outlining what is best for your herd, here are some instances where it is strongly recommended to perform a milk culture test:

When Introducing a new cow into your herd (she may be a carrier)

When Chronic high somatic cell count is detected

When You notice an increased number of clinical mastitis cases in your herd

When a cow is cured and then relapses