Heat stress can add fuel to the flames when it comes to fresh cow risk factors for metritis. Ketosis is a fresh cow disease that is highly linked to metritis. Around 15% of early lactation, at-risk cows have subclinical ketosis in the first week after calving.1 In addition, cows with ketosis are 13.8 times more likely to develop a displaced abomasum and 1.7 times more likely to be challenged by metritis.2 Metritis incidence also climbs during periods of heat stress, costing producers between $304 and $354 in lost production and performance per case.3

Producers should take steps to optimize immune function during the transition period to help ward off metritis and its risk factors.4

  • Ensure cows are eating greater than 26 pounds of dry matter per day
  • Allow 30 inches of bunkspace and provide adequate shelter
  • Properly balance the ration for dietary cation-anion difference (DCAD), energy, fiber, vitamins and mineral content
  • Monitor and target body condition at 3.25 to 3.5

Encourage your clients to work as a team with you and their veterinarian to implement a fresh cow screening program that ensures early, accurate identification of metritis. Veterinarians play an important role in developing effective, science- based treatment protocols for metritis that minimize the need for unnecessary pen moves and avoid drug residues in milk and meat. To learn more about how Pfizer Animal Health is helping producers and veterinarians eliminate the risk of drug residues, click here.

 References:
1Oetzel GR. Monitoring and testing dairy herds for metabolic disease. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 2004;20(3):651-674.
2Melendez P. Nutritional Management of the Transition Period to Optimize Fertility in Dairy Cattle, in Proceedings. 3rd Florida and Georgia Dairy Road Show 2006;1-50.
3Modified from Overton M and Fetrow J. Economics of Postpartum Uterine Health, in Proceedings. Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council Convention 2008;39-44.
4Overton MW, Boomer WG and Gorden PJ. Transition Management Checklist, in Proceedings. Western Dairy Management Conference 2009;91-101.