Effect of vitamin E and selenium supplementation on incidence of clinical mastitis and duration of clinical symptoms

Journal of Dairy Science
K L SmithH R Conrad

Abstract

Incidence of clinical mastitis and duration of clinical symptoms for complete lactations were evaluated for 80 cows randomly assigned to one of four groups: vitamin E supplemented- and selenium injected, selenium injected, vitamin E supplemented, and controls. Vitamin E supplementation and selenium injection were during the dry period. Log-linear analysis of incidence data revealed a significant 37% reduction of clinical mastitis by vitamin E. Incidence was not affected by selenium alone, nor was there any evidence for interaction of vitamin E with selenium on incidence. However, duration of clinical symptoms (calendar months clinical/quarter lactating) was reduced by 46% for the selenium group, 44% for the vitamin E group, and 62% for the vitamin E-selenium group as compared to controls. We conclude that dairy cow diets deficient of vitamin E may elevate incidence of clinical mastitis. Selenium deficiency may result in greater duration of clinical symptoms, and selenium may interact with vitamin E. Coliform bacteria and species of streptococcus other than Streptococcus agalactiae were isolated from 70% of the clinical cases.

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