Effects of sustained release bovine somatotropin (sometribove) on animal health in commercial dairy herds

R. J. Collier, J. C. Byatt, S. C. Denham, P. J. Eppard, A. C. Fabellar, R. L. Hintz, M. F. McGrath, C. L. McLaughlin, J. K. Shearer, J. J. Veenhuizen, J. L. Vicini

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    39 Scopus citations


    The health of dairy cows given bovine somatotropin (bST) for one lactation was evaluated in 28 commercial herds located in four regions of the United States. At least six herds were in a region and at least one herd/region contained fewer than 60 cows. Cows (n = 1213) were assigned randomly to control or bST groups and were treated beginning in wk 9 to 10 of lactation and every 14 d until dry-off or d 400 of lactation. Management was according to site practices. Cows were observed for health-related signs by farm personnel daily and by the herd veterinarian biweekly. Average 305-d test-day milk yields were 932 kg greater for bST-treated cows. Pregnancy rates, days open, twinning, cystic ovaries, or abortions were unaffected by treatments. Supplementation of cows with bST had no effect on total mastitis cases, total days of mastitis, duration of mastitis, or the odds ratio of a cow to develop mastitis. Cows supplemented with bST used more medications for health events other than mastitis. This usage was associated primarily with treatments for disorders of the foot and hock. Supplemented cows had a slight increase in foot disorders. There was no effect of supplementation with bST on culling from the herd or removal from study. Overall, the results confirm that label directions for bST are adequate for safe use under field conditions. All clinical signs observed in this study occur normally in dairy herds and were managed in cows supplemented with bST.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1098-1108
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of dairy science
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 2001


    • Animal health
    • Mastitis
    • Reproduction
    • Somatotropin

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Genetics


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