Postpartum uterine disease in cattle - a review.
Bovine uterus is commonly infected during parturition. The infection leads to uterine disease in about a half of the parturitions, causing economic losses due to decreased fertility. Retained fetal membranes and dystocia are the major predisposing factors for infection. Uterine infections are almost always mixed infections, Trueperella pyogenes, Eschericia coli, Fusobacterium necrophorum and Prevotella melaninogenicus being the most often found bacteria. Uterine inflammations can be classified into five types, with varying definitions. Metritis is an acute, systemic disease that occurs mainly during the first 2 weeks postpartum. Metritis is treated with parenteral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Endometritis is a superficial inflammation with vaginal discharge. Endometritis is considered clinically significant if it continues longer than 3 weeks postpartum. The quality of the studies on the treatment of endometritis varies due to differences in diagnostic criteria and the definitions of cure. The goal of the treatment of endometritis should be to prevent the decrease of fertility. Endometritis is treated with prostaglandin given not earlier than 4 weeks postpartum. Pyometra is a specific type of uterine infection, where purulent exudate accumulates in the uterus. Pyometra is efficiently treated with prostaglandin. The prevention of uterine diseases is based on the support of immune functions by maintaining feed intake and avoiding deep negative energy balance.