Friday, April 26, 2013

Endometritis in Cows & Buffaloes

Endometritis is a bacterial infection of the uterine mucus membranes usually caused by Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium and E.coli.

  • Retained foetal membranes or Abortions
  • Dystocia - difficult parturition
  • Prolapse of the uterus
  • Injuries to the uterus during calving - Caesarian section or assisted calving
  • Induced parturition
  • Still Birth
  • Twins
  • Unhygienic calving environment
  • Ovarian inactivity
  • Parity
  • Concurrent diseases and poor nutrition
  • Sometimes seen in heifers after mating with an infected bull
  • Common in buffaloes due to their habit of wallowing in dirty waters
  • Reduced immunity resulting in poor resistance for infections


Endometritis can be classified into three stages depending on the severity and duration of the problem.
  • Mild form
  • Sub acute form
  • Chronic form

Mild form
  • First stage, usually seen in young animals
  • Long oestrus periods
  • Oestrus discharges are turbid and cloudy
  • Repeat breeding
  • Uterus is slightly enlarged

Sub acute form

Vaginal discharge during oestrus is mucopurulent and it may be present after the end of heat period.

Chronic form
  • The uterus will be thickened, hard and tightly curved.
  • Discharges are usually purulent.

  • Calving History
  • Vaginal and rectal examination - Rectal palpation should reveal a poorly-involuted, oedematous uterus
  • Presence of cloudy discharges from the vagina which may be sticking on to the base of the tail and vulval lips
  • Bacterial culture reveals the type of bacteria causing the problem.

  • Chronic form of endometritis is difficult to treat. However antibiotics can be infused into the uterus 4-5 days followed by a sexual rest till the discharges are completely clear.
  • 2% Lugols iodine 10- 15 ml can also be infused into the uterus. It controls the infection and also acts as a counter irritant. After giving this antibiotic treatment can be given. Ideal antibiotics are cephalosporins and oxytetracycline
  • The discharges can be sent for bacterial culture and sensitivity test for using an appropriate antibiotic. If the discharges are clear and the uterus is also normal artificial insemination can be done.
  • Prostaglandins: PGF2a or analogues can be administered parenterally. They should be considered the treatment of choice if a corpus luteum is present. The administration of prostaglandins removes the inhibitory effect of progesterone on the uterus and induces oestrus, which both of these actions improve the uterine defense mechanisms.