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Mastitis in beef cattle is a neglected topic both in practice and in veterinary science, although it is known to reduce weaning weights of calves. As in dairy cows, clinical
mastitis predominantly occurs in early lactation. In the course of lactation the efficacy of calf suckling improves and the incidence of clinical mastitis is reduced. At the end
of lactation, the prevalence of subclinical infections increases.
Dual purpose breeds and dairy breeds that are used to produce hybrid calves are at higher risk of mastitis than beef breeds. The risk of mastitis increases with age of the
cow. Large udders and especially their rear quarters are more prone to mastitis than smaller udders. While superficial skin lesions on the teats are not associated with a higher mastitis risk, palpatory changes are. The pathogens involved in beef cow mastitis are similar to those in dairy cow mastitis, with streptococci and staphylococci showing the
highest prevalence. Reports on treatment and specific prophylaxis (e.g. vaccination) are rare and have not established effective treatment protocols. However, some promising
approaches apparently have not been investigated yet.