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Merck Animal Health Launches EXPERTIS Udder Health

27 October 2011

MSD Animal Health - NYSE:MRK

GLOBAL - Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) has launched EXPERTIS® Udder Health, an innovative farm management tool for veterinarians to better enable them to monitor and improve udder health in dairy cattle.

EXPERTIS was presented to veterinarians at the International Conference on Udder Health and Communication which takes place from 25-27 October in Utrecht (the Netherlands).

EXPERTIS Udder Health is a computer-assisted and highly structured approach to improve udder health on dairy farms, allowing veterinarians and farmers to more easily find the causes of mastitis.

The approach consists of four steps, (1) a farm intake (questionnaire) is about setting goals, puts the farmer in a central position, and allows for careful listening in order to align with his/her objectives. (2) the data are analysed, leading to the identification of the right focus points that are needed to identify areas for improvement; (3) these focus points are presented as fact sheets, i.e. a check list of risk factors for mastitis within the focus point; and (4) the information is synthesized into an automatic summary of the actual situation, the udder health objectives and an open space to fill in the tailor-made advice to the farmer for improvement of the udder health status on his farm.

“The structured approach offered by EXPERTIS Udder Health takes into account that mastitis is a multifactorial disease and covers all aspects that influence udder health. To save time, the analysis ensures that the focus is on the most important issues, which can differ greatly from farm to farm. The existing services provided within this tool can be used to optimize udder health on the farm,” said Jantijn Swinkels, DVM, Global Technical Director Pharmaceuticals within the Ruminants Business Unit at Merck Animal Health.

Rinse Jan Boersma, MSc, Global Director Dairy Cattle at Merck Animal Health added: “We have developed EXPERTIS to support veterinarians and farmers by improving our service level as well as to contribute to good veterinary practices by implementing preventive measures and prudent use of antibiotics.”

Mastitis is an inflammatory reaction of udder tissue mainly due to bacterial infection. Symptoms of clinical mastitis include the typical signs of udder inflammation (redness, swelling, heat and pain), changes in milk composition and appearance (flakes, clots, watery composition) and a lower milk yield.

In more severe cases, the cow can be sick as well. Mastitis can also be subclinical and then the diagnosis is made if more than 200,000 somatic cells per mL of milk are counted.

As a consequence of the reduced milk production, discarded milk, veterinary and treatment costs and extra labor costs, mastitis is considered the most important cause of economic loss for dairy operations. Recent data from Sweden indicate an average economic loss of €278 per case of clinical mastitis and of €60 per case of sub-clinical mastitis.

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