Management Advice on Reproduction

Disease prevention and treatment in transition periods

Retained placenta and metritis can lead to long-lasting infections that will have a directly harmful affect on fertility. Retained placenta and metritis can lead to both delayed cyclic activity and have a direct/indirect affect on pregnancy rate at first service.

Finding the problem
Retained placenta and metritis should be considered significant issues when more than 15 percent of calving animals have retained placenta and more than eight percent get metritis.
The frequency of retained placenta is increased in the event of miscarriages, calving difficulties, calving fever, twin birth, stress, increasing age, early birth, birth induction, infected placenta and metabolic disorders.
Metritis is often due to contamination of the uterus in association with calving. In particular, acute metritis cases with a seriously ill cow, are often more frequent after a complicated calving.

Action plan and focus areas
  • Good hygiene and comfort in the calving pen - animals should calve under optimal conditions with enough space and good hygiene and comfort.
  • Observation and treatment of diseases in the transition period – make sure you have a robust protocol in place for observation of the course of birth and handling of birth complications.
  • Dry cow management and feeding in the transition period and early lactation
  • Minimise stress
  • Breeding – traits for calving ease
Source: SEGES, Denmark

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