Objective: To provide an updated evaluation of the efficacy and safety of sometribove zinc suspension (rbST-Zn), a form of recombinant bovine somatotropin, in lactating dairy cows.
Sample: 26 studies published in peer-reviewed journals or reviewed by a regulatory agency.
Procedures: To be included, a study had to involve the use of the rbST-Zn formulation available to US producers in accordance with the label instructions for treatment initiation (57 to 70 days postpartum), dose (500 mg, q 14 d), and route (SC).
Results: For cows treated with rbST-Zn, mean milk, 3.5% fat-corrected milk, fat, and protein yields were increased by 4.00, 4.04, 0.144, and 0.137 kg/d (8.8, 8.89, 0.32, and 0.30 lb/d), respectively; however, the concentration of milk components did not change. Pregnancy proportion for the first 2 breeding cycles was increased by 5.4%, and pregnancy proportion for the duration of the trial was reduced by 5.5% for rbST-Zn-treated cows, compared with proportions for untreated cows. Mean body condition score (1 to 5 scale) was reduced by 0.06 points during the period of rbST-Zn use for treated cows. Administration of rbST-Zn had no effect on milk somatic cell count, the number of days to pregnancy, or inseminations per pregnancy; rates of fetal loss, twins, cystic ovaries, clinical lameness, lameness lesions, or traumatic lesions of the integumentary system; and odds of clinical mastitis or culling.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results indicated that rbST-Zn administration to dairy cows effectively increases milk production with no adverse effects on cow health and well-being.