Endometritis/Metritis

Endometritis is an infection of the the inner layers of the uterus. It has an economic impact as it reduces fertility and milk yield and is associated with an increase in culling rates.

How is the disease spread and transmitted?

Several factors have been linked to endometritis:

  • calving problems
  • retained placenta
  • seasonal factor - winter and spring calvers are at higher risk
  • poor hygiene
  • metabolic disease.

What are the clinical signs of the disease?

  • a white or yellowish discharge seen at the vulva
  • the volume of discharge is variable
  • in rare cases, inflamation of the whole uterus and toxaemia

Only half the cows suffering from endometritis have a visible discharge; often the disease is diagnosed through routine vet examination.

Prevention & control of the disease

Endometritis can be treated with antibiotics or prostaglandins and in mild cases an antibiotic pessary may help; however, it is essential to give the full dose. Prostaglandins must be administered by a vet.

Endometritis may be prevented by:

Reducing metabolic disease, best achieved by proper dry cow nutrition ensuring that dry cows are:

  • in condition score 2 to 3
  • fed sufficient magnesium
  • fed a diet to minimise milk fever
  • improving hygiene at and around calving
  • reducing stocking density
  • regularly replacing bedding and clearing up before calving cows

Source: NADIS