The present study examine the efficacy of a homeopathic dry cow prophylaxis in a randomized, placebo-controlled field trial. The study was conducted in 24 Brown Swiss farms in the Engadine (Swiss mountain region) with an average of 12 cows per farm. 19 farms were certified as organic and 5 by the method of integrated production (IP).
255 animals were finally included in the evaluation. Monthly milk yield data from the Swiss Brown Cattle Breeders' Association (SBVZ) were available from all the animals.
125 animals were assigned to the active treatment group and 130 animals to the control group. Randomization was chronologically alternating at farm level. The effect of the used homeopathic prophylaxis was regarded as a function of also administered antibiotics in justified cases.
At drying off and in the 3rd and 5th week of lactation the udders were clinically examined and quarter milk samples were taken for bacteriological and cytological analysis. In addition, milk recording data of the first 6 milk testing days were included in the evaluations.
The used homeopathic prophylaxis at drying off did not show any effect in the incidence of dry cow mastitis and mastitis in the first 120 days of lactation.
However, at day 21 post partum (pp) significantly fewer animals in the verum group showed a bacteriological finding of a major pathogen, but more animals in this group suffered from a secretion disorder. This may indicate a synergy of antibiotic dry off and homeopathic prophylaxis: on one hand a cell count increase in terms of increased immune performance through homeopathic stimulation and on the other hand an elimination of St. aureus by a combination of antibiotic treatment and increased defense. Finally it was shown that at the 6th milk test pp significantly more animals of the verum group had a somatic cell count below 100 `000 cells / ml than the control group. This result could be due to a sustained effect of the used homeopathic prophylactic medication.