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A variety of diagnostic tests are utilized during herd health examinations at the herd and individual cow level. While most of these tests are based on the best available evidence it has to be considered that each diagnostic test generates type 1 and 2 errors. Such diagnostic errors can lead to treatment errors with relevant clinical and pharmacological as
well as ethical and economical consequences. The objectives of our studies were to generate science-based information on the repeata - bility and accuracy of relevant diagnostic methods utilized in post - partum monitoring of dairy cows. Both rectal thermometry and visual
examination of vaginal discharge by means of a speculum are not perfect.
Results can be biased by a variety of factors. Diagnostic performance (accuracy and repeatability), however, is adequate for cow side tests in the practice. The visual assessment of rumen fill is an inadequate method to monitor dry matter intake in cows.