Health Care

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Endometritis in Dairy Cattle

What is endometritis?

Endometritis is a subclinical (no signs or symptoms) infection of the lining of the uterus.  Often this is due to contamination from a dead calf, assisted calving or retained fetal membranes, but in many cases there is no apparent cause.  It is common and costly disease in New Zealand dairy herds.

How is endometritis diagnosed?

Because endometritis is a subclinical (no signs or symptoms) disease, diagnosis via a Metricheck™ device is necessary. A Metricheck™ device is a rubber diaphragm (similar to a small tennis ball cut in half) on the end of a stainless steel rod, which is inserted into the cow’s vagina and used to collect a sample of discharge from the uterus. If pus is detected using this procedure, a cow is deemed to be ‘dirty’.

The cost of endometritis

Cows with endometritis get in calf on average about two weeks later than uninfected herd-mates and are more likely to be empty.  Most herds will have 10-20% of cows affected, and the need to diagnose and treat, as well as lost production can make endometritis one of the costliest diseases in the dairy industry.

Treating endometritis

Following diagnosis via a Metricheck™ device, endometritis is treated by an antibiotic recommended by your vet, which is inserted into the uterus via a pipette/catheter. Virbac New Zealand has an intrauterine antibiotic treatment that is available in both multi-dose packs and syringes (depending on your preference) and was developed, has been trialled, and is made in New Zealand.


For more information on endometritis or our intrauterine antibiotic treatment for endometritis, talk to your vet.

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