Detection and treatment of endometritis in dairy cattle : use of Metricheck and Metricure in New Zealand

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Of the three major postpartum uterine diseases affecting dairy cattle (metritis, endometritis, and pyometra), endometritis is the most detrimental due to its high prevalence, negative impact on fertility, and diagnostic difficulty. Clinical signs are subtle or completely absent, making endometritis challenging to detect. The dynamics of uterine inflammation and involution are vital to consider in the context of the number of days postpartum since timing directly impacts the sensitivity and specificity of endometritis diagnostics. Timely identification of endometritis is vital since the subsequent failure or delay in pregnancy decreases DIM (days in milk), limits recovery time between calving and mating season, and increases culling risk. Metricheck was developed in New Zealand as a diagnostic alternative to more arduous cytology based techniques to identify eligible cows for treatment, particularly with Metricure, an intrauterine cephapirin. Several studies have demonstrated Metricure’s pharmacological efficacy and ability to mitigate the delay in days open linked to the chronic inflammation of endometritis (Kasimanickam, 2005b; Dohmen, 1995). These results are similar to those achieved with either prostaglandin analogues (Kasimanickam, 2005b). However, differences in production systems, product availability, and drug regulations limit the translatability of Metricheck, Metricure, and prostaglandins between New Zealand’s grazed herds and the United States’ confinement systems. Finally, no matter the context of use, distribution of metaphylactic treatment for endometritis must be reconciled with the insensitivity of available diagnostics. This paper outlines the need for additional research to refine the definition, diagnostics, and therapeutics for subclinical and clinical endometritis.

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Senior seminar paper
Seminar SF610.1 2011

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Cattle -- Diseases -- Treatment -- New Zealand


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