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Metabolic stress and endometritis in dairy cattle
  1. I. Martin Sheldon
  1. Swansea University Medical School, Swansea University, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK
  1. E-mail: i.m.sheldon{at}swansea.ac.uk

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Endometritis is a significant condition in postpartum dairy cattle because it causes infertility.1 Although pathogenic bacteria underlie the aetiology of clinical endometritis (Box 1), peripartum problems such as dystocia and retained placenta increase the risk of disease. Metabolic stress is another risk factor for clinical endometritis2,3 and a recent study by Valdmann and others, summarised on p 126 of this week’s issue of Vet Record,4 extends this observation to include cytological endometritis. This finding is important because metabolic stress is a common feature of intensive dairy farming, and metabolic demands on cows will rise further because milk yields are expected to double in the next 50 years.5

BOX 1:

Definitions for postpartum uterine diseases

Metritis: An enlarged uterus and a watery red-brown fluid to viscous off-white purulent uterine discharge, within 21 days and usually within 10 days of parturition.

Clinical endometritis: The presence of a purulent uterine discharge detectable in the vagina 21 days or more postpartum.

Cytological endometritis: The percentage of neutrophils exceeding a threshold, usually between 5 and 18 per cent of cells, in endometrial cytology samples collected 21 days or more postpartum.

Subclinical endometritis: The percentage of neutrophils exceeding a threshold, usually between 5 and 18 per cent of cells, in endometrial cytology samples collected 21 days or more postpartum, in the …

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