Bacterial infections are common in farm animal production. From mastitis and metritis to pneumonia and scouring, bacteria are responsible for a huge range of diseases. There are also many different types of bacteria which may be responsible for an infection. Not all bacteria will respond to all antibiotics and with recent concerns over antibiotic resistance, it is important that the correct treatment is used. At our lab we are able to culture samples and identify the bacteria type, which is essential for prescribing the best treatment.
An important part of mastitis control, culturing milk samples from affected cows will give the pathogen involved and the best course of treatment. Clinical cases as well as high cell count cows can be sampled; this in conjunction with milk recording will identify and allow correct treatment for problem cows. Please speak to your vet with regards to which cows should be sampled and the correct sampling procedure.
A nasty infection which can also spread to humans, Salmonella can be cultured from the faeces of a scouring animal. If you suspect Salmonella, please speak to your vet. Usually a visit is necessary and your vet will collect a sample at the time. If Salmonella is present it can be cultured in a few days.
Swabs can be taken from almost any site of infection and cultured to identify the bacteria responsible. This may be from a wound which is not responding to standard antibiotics for example, or a severe eye infection. The best antibiotic can then be recommended, saving you the expense of using an ineffective drug.