Best practice dry cow therapy insertion pays off now and next season.

a group of cows in a field



Milk cows to be dried off

  • Strip all quarters: draft clinical cases
  • Mark dry quarters
  • Send cows to paddock while you clean up

Gather Supplies

  • Table / vet stand
  • Gloves
  • New teat wipes
  • Aprons with pockets
  • Product — not expired, + extra tubes*
  • Rubbish bins
  • Tail paint / recording devices
  • Teat spray
    * Make sure all tubes always stay clean & dry!

Plan the day

  • Antibiotic OR sealant only: 25 cows / person / hour
  • Antibiotic & sealant: 15 cows / person / hour
  • Manage cows in small groups
  • Check product handling
  • Simplify — one product or combination each session

Dry off dairy cows following best practice protocol

  1. Assess safety
  2. Clean and dry gloves
  3. Begin with front teats: complete cleaning and insertion for one teat at a time
  4. Clean teat end thoroughly with unused alcohol teat wipe
  5. Uncap and partially insert tube into teat end (< 3mm)
  6. Dispense product**, discard tube.
    ** Refer to your product label to determine whether or not to massage the product up into the quarter. For Cepravin® Dry Cow: do not massage up.
  7. If using an antibiotic and a sealant together, modify protocol (60% more time & labour):
    1. Strip antibiotic up into quarter
    2. Clean teat end again
    3. Uncap and partially insert (< 3mm) the sealant tube
    4. Hold off the top of the teat with your fingers while dispensing the sealant into the teat. Do not massage the sealant up into the quarter.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 for all four teats 
  9. Spray teats with teat spray
  10. Mark the cow & record the treatment
     If anyone is getting fatigued or is having a hard time consistently doing this well, take a break, review the protocol, or get that person to switch jobs with someone pushing up cows or holding tails.


  1. DairyNZ SmartSAMM. (2020). Drying off TechNote 16. Dry off abruptly taking steps to reduce yield.


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Top Farmers Know-How provides a reference library of industry best practice in some key animal health management areas including mastitis, dry off, calf health, BVD, salmonella and campylobacter. We know that farmers and vets are busy people, so we’ve created resources in different formats and in bite-sized chunks to make it more flexible and accessible.