drying off

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drying off

the management technique of ceasing to milk cows that are still lactating. Dairy herd management is greatly facilitated if cows can be dried off abruptly when the milk yield has fallen below a profitable level or the ensuing parturition is close. Cows with subclinical mastitis are likely to suffer an attack of clinical mastitis if milking is ceased abruptly, especially if the milk yield is still high. The risks of new infections during the dry period are also greater with abrupt drying off and this may be significant if the prevalence of quarter infection in the herd is high. Precautions against these problems include a short period of once-daily milking and severe restriction of food and water intake, and use of dry period treatment. Another problem arising at drying off, or at cessation of milking to improve the appearance of the cow, is that of anaphylaxis or milk allergy. This takes the form of urticaria and dyspnea about 24 hours after milking is stopped.

drying off anaphylaxis
see milk allergy.
drying off chronic quarters
infusion of an escharotic agent, e.g. silver nitrate, copper sulfate solution into the individual chronically affected quarter, leaving it for a short period, then evacuating the quarter and if necessary perfusing it with normal saline.