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An observational study investigating the association of ultrasonographically assessed machine milking-induced changes in teat condition and teat-end shape in dairy cows

  • M. Wieland (a1), P. D. Virkler (a1), A. H. Borkowski (a1), N. Älveby (a2), P. Wood (a2) and D. V. Nydam (a1)...

Abstract

Mechanical forces during machine milking induce changes in teat condition which can be differentiated into short-term and long-term changes. Machine milking-induced short-term changes in teat condition (STC) are defined as tissue responses to a single milking and have been associated with the risk of new intramammary infection. Albeit, their association with teat characteristics, such as teat-end shape, has not been investigated by rigorous methods. The primary objective was to determine the association of STC, as measured by ultrasonography, with teat-end shape. The second objective was to describe possible differences in the recovery time of teat tissue after machine milking among teats with different teat-end shapes. Holstein cows (n=128) were enrolled in an observational study, housed in free-stall pens with sand bedding and milked three times a day. Ultrasonography of the left front and right hind teat was performed after teat preparation before milking (t−1), immediately after milking (t0) and 1, 3, 5 and 7 h after milking (t1, t3, t5, t7). The teat tissue parameters measured from ultrasound scans were teat canal length, teat-end diameter, teat-end diameter at the midpoint between the distal and proximal end of the teat canal, teat wall thickness, and teat cistern width. Teat-end shape was assessed visually and classified into three categories: pointed, flat and round. Multivariable linear regression analyses showed differences in the relative change of teat tissue parameters (compared with t−1) at t0 among teats with different teat-end shapes, with most parameters showing the largest change for round teats. The premilking values were reached (recovery time) after 7 h in teats with a pointed teat-end shape, whereas recovery time was greater than 7 h in teats with flat and round teat-end shapes. Under the same liner and milking machine conditions, teats with a round teat-end shape had the most severe short-term changes. The results of this observational study indicated that teat-end shape may be one of the factors that contribute to the severity of STC.

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An observational study investigating the association of ultrasonographically assessed machine milking-induced changes in teat condition and teat-end shape in dairy cows

  • M. Wieland (a1), P. D. Virkler (a1), A. H. Borkowski (a1), N. Älveby (a2), P. Wood (a2) and D. V. Nydam (a1)...

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