Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    An update on uterine infections in dairy cattle (2006)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Drillich, Marc
    Slovenian Veterinary Research; 43(1) — S. 11–15
    ISSN: 1580-4003
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Inflammation of the uterus, described as acute metritis or chronic endometritis is one of the most common disorders in the postpartum period of dairy cattle. Acute metritis is characterised by reddish-brown and fetid discharge, a body temperature 39.5 deg C, often associated with a depressed general attitude, reduced feed intake and decreased milk yield. Bacteria cultured from the uterus are mainly Escherichia coli, Arcanobacterium pyogenes, and obligate anaerobic species Fusobacterium necrophorum and Prevotella spp. The recommended therapy of acute metritis is based on a systemic antibiotic treatment without any intrauterine manipulations. Chronic endometritis is defined by the occurrence of purulent or mucopurulent vulvar discharge more than three weeks postpartum. In contrast to acute metritis, chronic endometritis is not associated with an elevated body temperature. For the diagnosis, vaginal inspection via speculum has been demonstrated to be more accurate than rectal palpation. Reproductive performance of affected cows is impaired in the course of lactation. For chronic endometritis, the administration of PGF2a or the intrauterine infusion of Cephapirin is recommended as treatment of choice. In the last years, some new aspects on subclinical endometritis, detected more than three weeks postpartum have been elucidated. In the absence of clinical signs of endometritis, the percentages of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in cytological smears taken from the endometrium or small amounts of fluids in the uterine cavity detected by ultrasound indicate a mild inflammation of the uterus. There is consensus that subclinical endometritis has a significant negative impact on reproductive performance. The treatment of subclinical endometritis, however, is still under discussion. Prostaglandin F2a as well as the intrauterine infusion of Cephapirin or proteolytic enzymes have been tested, but results are not consistent.