Article Text

Effect of postpartum manual examination of the vagina on uterine bacterial contamination in cows
  1. I. M. Sheldon, BVSc, PhD, DCHP, DBR, DipECAR, MRCVS1,
  2. D. E. Noakes, BVetMed, PhD, DVRcp, DipECAR, FRCVS1,
  3. A. N. Rycroft, BSc, PhD2 and
  4. H. Dobson, BSc, PhD, DSc, HonAssocRCVS3
  1. 1 Department of Farm Animal and Equine Medicine and Surgery
  2. 2 Department of Pathology and Infectious Disease, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield AL9 7TA
  3. 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE


Twenty-one days after they had calved, the vaginas of 34 cows were examined with a clean gloved hand, and 26 cows were left unexamined. Swabs were collected from the lumen of the uterine body of the cows on the same day and seven days later; bacteria were identified by aerobic and anaerobic culture, and bacterial growth was scored semi-quantitatively. On the same days, blood samples were collected and the concentrations of acute phase proteins were measured, and the diameters of the cows' uterine horns were measured by transrectal ultrasonography. The vaginal examinations did not result in uterine bacterial contamination or an acute phase protein response, and they did not affect the diameters of the uterine horns.

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