Metritis, a common reproductive disease, occurs in 10% to 30% of dairy herds. Typically diagnosed during the first 10 days in milk, metritis is associated with other transition and fresh cow challenges.
Several factors can alert producers to look for and better manage high-risk cows, says veterinarian Carlos Risco of the University of Florida. Producers should be wary of:
- Retained placentas—Failure to expel the fetal membranes within 12 to 24 hours after calving creates a likelihood of developing metritis six times greater than in a normal birth.
- Dystocia—Difficult calving is the leading cause of calf mortality. It increases the likelihood of a cow developing metritis by 2.1 times compared to a normal calving.
- Stillbirths—A calf that is not born alive or that is lost within the first 48 hours of birth increases the chances of a cow having a retained placenta by 2.6 times. A stillborn calf also raises the likelihood that the dam will develop metritis by 1.5 times when compared to a live birth.
- Twin births—Compared to a cow that gives birth to a single calf, a cow that produces twins is 3.4 times more likely to experience a retained placenta and 10.5 times more likely to have dystocia—creating an indirect link to metritis.
Costs of metritis
Therapeutic Nutrition for Dairy Cattle- Costs of metritis
Economics of Postpartum Uterine Health