Costs of specific diseases 

Have you thought about how much various health problems cost your business?


Mastitis is among the top culling reasons for dairy cows. It is not only causing a lot of pain for the cow, but also result in decreased milk production, the need to discard milk and deal with reduced milk quality for processing.
Mastitis is a complex and common disease that is caused by a wide range of bacteria. It is difficult to estimate exactly the economic costs of mastitis due to the influence of many different factors. 

  • clinical presentation of mastitis
  • timing of disease start and treatment approach taken
  • value and age of the cow affected
  • level and value of milk production loss
  • culling or mortality risk due to mastitis
  • the likelihood of new cases occurring in the same cow
  • USA: According to the studies made in the USA, a single case of mastitis is estimated to cost around $500. The costs would be even higher if that is the top performing cow that is lost in her early lactation.  

    UK: The data from the UK show that the cost of a mild case of mastitis costs £113 per case, while a severe case of mastitis is estimated to be £333, and a fatal case costs around £1,418. The last survey undertaken in the UK concluded that the incidence of clinical mastitis is between 40-65 cases per 100 cows per year. Assuming that 10% of all cases are severe cases of mastitis, a herd with 500 cows would lose £27,000-43,000 per year. 

    Australia: In Australia, the average cost to treat a single cow for mastitis is estimated to be 270$. 


    Nordic: Costs of common hoof disorders per severe case in the Nordic countries are estimated to vary from 60 to 1,310 EUR.

    UK: According to the UK data, the average case of dairy herd lameness at £323 per cow. The prevalence of lameness ranges from 0% to around 80% across farms and an average of 36.8%. 

    Sole ulcer 

    Sole ulcers can be a major cost to the dairy business. Sole ulcers affect approximately six dairy cows per 100 annually in the UK, but the range on UK farms is wide (0-54.8 cases per 100 cows per year). 
    Compared with the best UK farms that never experience sole ulcers, the annual cost to the average farm is approximately £2000 per 100 cows, rising to approximately £18,000 per 100 cows per year for the worst performing farms. The major costs are hidden within the reduced longevity, reduced reproduction health and reduced milk yield.


    Sole ulcer

    The table shows the economic impact of using a VikingHolstein bull with EBV 120 for sole ulcer depending on the herd size and current frequency of disease. The calculation is made under the assumption that the current level in the herd is the same as the average for the breed population. Economic cost of a severe case of sole ulcer in the Nordic countries is 1,300 EUR. For example, if you have 200 cows and the current level of sole ulcer cases is 20 cases per year, that would be reduced to eight cases and you would save 15,600 EURO per year.


    In a similar way, you can see how much can you save by using a bull with EBV 120 in Udder Health. Economic cost of a clinical case of mastitis in the USA is 500 US dollars. For example, for a herd with 500 cows and the current level of mastitis is 150 cases per year (30%), that would be reduced to 87 cases and you would save 31,500 US dollars per year.