Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Vaginal mucus: collection and assessment

Contributor(s): Erin Williams , Mike Reynolds

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Introduction

  • This article describes how to perform a vaginal mucus assessment in postpartum cattle.
  • Abnormal mucus in the vagina is a symptom of endometritis, metritis and/or cervicitis in the postpartum cow.
  • The presence of mucopurulent, purulent or fetid vaginal mucus has been shown to be associated with a greater uterine bacterial growth density and mucus odor has also been associated with a greater acute phase protein response, indicative of inflammation1.
  • Assigning a clinical endometritis score is indicative of the likelihood of treatment success2. Thus, collecting and scoring vaginal mucus is a simple method of diagnosing endometritis in the postpartum cow.

Uses

Advantages

  • Low cost.
  • Minimally invasive.
  • Aids in decision making process of when to treat postpartum endometritis.

Disadvantages

  • Potential to introduce contaminants into the reproductive tract if hygiene procedure not maintained.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • 3Pilz M, Fischer-Tenhagen C, Thiele G, Tinge H, Lotz F, Heuweiser W (2012) Behavioural reactions before and during vaginal examination in dairy cows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 138(s 1-2), 18-27.
  • 4Pleticha S, Drillich M, Heuweiser W (2009) Evaluation of the Metricheck device and the gloved hand for the diagnosis of clinical endometritis in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 92(11), 5429-5435 PubMed.
  • 1Williams  E J, Fischer D P, England G C W, Dobson H, Pfeiffer D U, Sheldon I M (2005) Clinical evaluation of postpartum vaginal mucus reflects uterine bacterial infection and the inflammatory response to endometritis in cattle. Theriogenology 63, 102-117 PubMed.
  • 2Sheldon I M, Noakes D E (1998) Comparison of three treatments for bovine endometritis. Vet Rec 142, 575-579 PubMed.


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