Uterine health problems
Risk factors and effects on herd performance
A successful calving event and the following transition period are critically important to the future reproductive performance and productivity of the dairy cow. Although the diagnosis and treatment of uterine diseases are generally considered straightforward by most veterinarians, there are many misconceptions and a lack of data to support many of the recommended treatments. Other metabolic disorders such as hypocalcemia and hyperketonemia can further complicate the diagnosis and treatment plan.
Not only is an understanding of reproductive physiology and normal uterine involution important, but also the economic outcomes of uterine disease. The effects on milk production, fertility, risk to other diseases, and exit from the herd need to be recognized by both the dairy herd managers and veterinarians alike.
This article will review the definitions, risk factors, treatment options and economics of uterine diseases: retained placenta (RP), metritis, and endometritis.