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Steps for Implementing SDCT
on Large & Mid-Sized Farms


involve your veterinarian in the planning process

For discussion with your veterinarian, you can use this questionnaire to gather your farm information.


Assess Herd Records

a. Records must be accurate, complete, and timely

b. Clinical mastitis events should be documented

c. Monthly individual animal SCC data is recommended

d. Culture results (if available)


Solidify Dry-Off Protocol

  a.  Make/revise a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) 

  b.  Make available to all pertinent farm employees 

  c.  See National Mastitis Council resources for protocol examples


Cows meeting at least one of the below criteria should receive treatment

a. Cows with more than 2 cases of clinical mastitis during previous lactation or a single case of mastitis that occurred in the past 30 days

b. Cow with DHI test day SCC >200,000

c. Animals with a positive culture at dry off should receive treatment.

Caption: From DC305 for creating criteria for dry off.


identify cows

a. Identify and enroll cows systematically using your set criteria (determined in Step 4 above)

b. Accurately record cows - Can use farm data systems (DC305, PC DART, or manual records) to document SDCT cows




  • Train all employees using the new/revised SOP

  • Cleanliness/hygiene at dry off is ESSENTIAL

  • Cows must be enrolled SYSTEMATICALLY - in accordance with the criteria in your protocol

  • Be sure that milking procedures are well-managed, and employees are consistently trained

  • Use of teat-end sealants is encouraged 

  • Monitor production levels before dry-off and include production level criteria--which should be set by the farmer, their herd veterinarian, and nutritionist--in the dry-off SOP (see the National Mastitis Council “Drying Off Methods” section of this fact sheet

  • Consider transitioning rations prior to dry-off to facilitate reduced milk production, which should be agreed by the farmer, their veterinarian, and nutritionist.

  • “The word is “selective,” not “none”. We still need to treat at-risk cows in the herd.” (Johnson, 2018)

Use of Internal Teat Sealants in quarters not treated with antibiotics significantly reduces new infections in the dry period

(UMNdairy, 2020).

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