FAC45-47: The Postpartum Cow Flashcards Preview

ICC: Farm Animal > FAC45-47: The Postpartum Cow > Flashcards

Flashcards in FAC45-47: The Postpartum Cow Deck (47):

What is the cause of vaginal/uterine tears?

Dystocia and excessive traction


How do you treat vaginal/uterine tears?


Clamp vessel if possible or apply pressure

Suturing is not normally possible

May result in recto-vaginal fistula

Use episiotomy technique in future


What is the cause of a uterine prolapse?

Associated with prolonged parturition due to oversize calf

Cows may have hypocalcaemia


What is the prognosis of a cow with uterine prolapse?

Good in most casts - occasionally cow will go into shock and die with internal haemorrhage


What nerves are most at risk of damage due ot large calf/dystocia?

Damage to nerves arising from lumbo-sacral plexus - obturator and gluteal nerves most at risk


Describe the normal events in the post-partum cow.

  • Uterine involution
  • Regeneration of endometrium
  • Elimination of bacterial contamination from uterus
  • Return of cyclic ovarian activity


When is the uterus completely involuted?

4-6 weeks


What factors affect the rate of involution?

  • Parity
  • Retained foetal membranes
  • Metritis
  • Twins
  • Hypocalcaemia/selenaemia
  • Dystocia/trauma


How is uterine infection eliminated after post-partum?

Infection eliminated by local immune response within weeks (lochia)

Early resumption of cyclicity aids elimination of infection from uterus


Define metritis

Animal that have an abnormally enlarged uterus and a purulent uterine discharge detectable in the vagina within 21 days after parturition


What are the grades of metritis?

Grade 1: enlarged uterus and a purulent uterine discharge but no pyrexia/illness

Grade 2: puerperal metritis - overt systemic illness (decreased milk yield, fever > 39.5C,  reduced appetite)

Grade 3: toxaemic metritis - signs of toxaemia (cold extremities, dullness)


When does acute puerperal metritis appear?

Normally within 7 days of calving


How do you treat puerperal metritis?

Systemic antibiotic 3-5 days


IV 3L hypertonic saline

Removal of RFM


Define endometritis.

The presence of a purulent uterine discharge detectable in the vagina 21 days or more post partum, or mucopurulent discharge detectable in the vagina after 26 days post partum


How do you diagnose endometritis?

Reach and pull out pus


What are the risk factors for clinical endometritis?

  • Dystocia, RFM
  • Dirty calving boxes
  • Delay in cyclicity
  • Fatty liver syndrome
  • Immune deficiency


How do you treat endometritis?

  • Prostaglandin injection
  • Intrauterine antibiotics
  • Antiseptic wash out


How do you prevent clinical endometritis?

  • General calving hygiene
  • Minimise dystocia
  • Avoid overfat cows
  • Ensure adequate trace element supplementation


Define pyometra.

Accumulation of purulent material within the uterine lumen in the presence of a corpse luteum and a closed cervix


What is pyometra a continuation of?

May develop following endometritis when CL maintained and cervix closes


How do you treat pyometra?

PG injection


Define Foetal Membranes

Partial or complete retention of >12 hours post partum

Failure of normal 3rd stage labour


What is the cause of RFM?

Failure of normal separation of foetal cotyledonary villi from maternal caruncles and/or primary uterine inertia


What are the predisposing factors for RFM?

  1. Premature parturition
    • immature placentomes not ready for separation
    • Twin calvings
    • Late abortions
    • Induced birth
  2. Oedema of chorionic villi from trauma
    • Dystocia
    • Caesarian
    • Uterine torsion
  3. Pathological inflammation
    • Placentitis caused by abortion agent
  4. Uterine inertia
    • Hypocalcaemia
    • Low selenium
    • Hydrops
    • Twins


Are there any sequelae to RFM?

Spontaneous expulsion in 5-10 days

No long term effect on fertility unless endometritis develops


How do you treat RFM?

  1. Manual removal (contraindicated unless comes away easily)
  2. Ecbolic drugs (oxytocin, PGF2a)
  3. Intrauterine antibiotic pessaries
  4. Systemic antibiotics
  5. PGF2a injection after 3-4 weeks


What is the consequence of cystic ovarian disease?

Delay in normal cyclicity cases extension of calving-conception interval (20-60 dd)


Define cystic ovarian disease.

Fluid-filled structure >2.5 cm in diameter present for >10 days on one or both ovaries in absence of CL


What are the different types of cysts?

  1. Follicular Cyst
  2. Luteal Cyst


Compare follicular cyst and luteal cysts.

Follicular: thin-walled, no progesterone produced, plasma P<1ng/ml

Luteal: thicker walled, progesterone producing, plasma P>1ng/ml


What is the aetiology of cystic ovarian disease?

Failure of LH surgery around time of ovulation or failure of follicle to respond to LH


How do you diagnose cystic ovarian disease?

Rectal palpation

Palpation plus milk or blood progesterone analysis

Ultrasound scan for accurate determination of cyst type


How do you treat follicular cysts?

  1. GnRH to induce LH surge causing cyst to luteinise or regress
  2. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (LH agonist)
  3. Progesterone
  4. Prostaglandin Injection
  5. Manual rupture


How long does it take cows to return to cyclicity post partum?

90% Dairy cows by day 50

70% beef cows by day 50


What stimulates the onset of cyclity?

Following calving, progesterone levels fall and FSH stimulates waves of follicles


What hormone causes a follicle to ovulate?

Sufficient LH Pulse


What controls LH secretion post partum?

  • Progesterone in the cyclic cow
  • Declining negative energy balance
  • Health status
  • Suckling
  • Maternal bond/calf presence


What are the factors affecting the post partum anoestrus period?

  • Season - follicular activity resumes faster in autumn calvers compared to spring calvers
  • Nutrition - severe negative energy balance in late pregnancy/early post partum period will suppress LH output via metabolic hormone pathways
  • Disease - delayed uterine involution, cystic ovarian disease, persistent corpus luteum
  • Suckling - being suckled causes endorphin release which suppresses LH
  • GnRH, FSH, LH


How do you diagnose anoestrus?

Two low progesterone levels in milk.blood 10 days apart

If cycling normal, 17/21 days should have high progesterone


How do you overcome anoestrus?

Correct the underlying management factors

  • Decrease duration and extent of negative energy balance
  • Decrease incidence of metabolic diseases
  • Beed cows: calf removal, restricted suckling

Hormonal treatment if appropriate


How do you treat anoestrus?

Progesterone (PRID, CIDR)

GnRH injection


What causes luteolysis?

Pulsatile release of PGF2a from the endometrium towards the end of the luteal phase


What hormone establishes pregnancy?

Relies on the production of an embryo derived antiluteolysin (IFNt)


What is the purpose of giving GnRH at day 11-12 post service?

Works by preventing premature luteolysis in some cows


What is Intercept/Ovsynch regime?

Combination of GnRH and PG used to synchronise dairy cows for AI


Define a repeat breeder cow.

Fails to conceive following 3 or more consecutive serves at normal inter-oestrus intervals


What are the causes of repeat breeding?



Undiagnosed pathology

Oocyte-embryo quality

Herd mangement

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