Document Detail

Prepartum behavior and dry matter intake identify dairy cows at risk for metritis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17582105     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Metritis is a disease of particular concern after calving because of its profound negative effects on the reproductive performance of dairy cows. Cows at risk for metritis have shorter feeding times in the days before calving but prepartum dry matter intake (DMI) and water intake may also be useful in identifying cows at risk for this disease. Feeding, drinking, and intake measures may also be affected by social interactions among group-housed cows. The objective of this study, therefore, was to measure intake, feeding, drinking, and social behavior to determine which measures could identify cows at risk for metritis after calving. Feeding and drinking behavior and intake measures were collected from 101 Holstein dairy cows from 2 wk before until 3 wk after calving using an electronic monitoring system. Social behavior at the feed bunk was assessed from video recordings. Metritis severity was diagnosed based on daily rectal body temperature as well as condition of vaginal discharge that was assessed every 3 d after calving until d +21. In this study, 12% of cows were classified as severely metritic and 27% as mildly metritic. Prepartum feeding time and DMI were best able to identify cows at risk for metritis. Cows that developed severe metritis spent less time feeding and consumed less feed compared with healthy cows beginning 2 wk before the observation of clinical signs of infection. For every 10-min decrease in average daily feeding time during the week before calving, the odds of severe metritis increased by 1.72, and for every 1-kg decrease in DMI during this period, cows were nearly 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with this disorder. During the week before calving, cows that were later diagnosed with severe metritis had lower DMI and feeding times during the hours following fresh feed delivery. During this period these cows also engaged in fewer aggressive interactions at the feed bins compared with cows that remained healthy. This research is the first to show that social behavior may play an important role in transition cow health. Research is now required to determine how management should be changed to reduce or prevent illness in transition dairy cows.
J M Huzzey; D M Veira; D M Weary; M A G von Keyserlingk
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of dairy science     Volume:  90     ISSN:  1525-3198     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Dairy Sci.     Publication Date:  2007 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-06-21     Completed Date:  2007-11-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985126R     Medline TA:  J Dairy Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3220-33     Citation Subset:  IM    
Animal Welfare Program, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, 2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Cattle Diseases / diagnosis*
Drinking Behavior / physiology
Eating / physiology*
Endometritis / diagnosis,  veterinary*
Feeding Behavior*
Postpartum Period
Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*,  psychology
Risk Factors
Social Behavior
Time Factors
Videotape Recording

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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