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Measuring body temperature plays an integral role in early puerperal cow monitoring programs. Furthermore, body temperature is part of the definition of puerperal metritis. Antibiotic treatment decisions are based on body temperature in several international publications on intervention strategies widely adopted in the modern dairy industry. The objective of this article is to provide a brief overview of the most recent publications on this important criterion. Several factors can influence the measurement of the body temperature (type of thermometer, insertion depth, skills of the investigator) as well as the cow's body temperature (days in milk, parity, time of the day, climate at calving). Furthermore, the occurrence of increased body temperature in healthy cows was demonstrated independently by several investigations. In ambiguous cases (e.g. raised body temperature as the only symptom) results should be interpreted with caution.