2007, Vol 2 No 2, Article 17
Management of Toxic Puerperal
in Dairy Cows using
Oxytetracycline along with
H. K. Bhattacharyya and M. R. Fazili
Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex,
Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry,
Shuhama, Alustang, Srinagar-190006 (J&K)
Successful treatment of toxic puerperal metritis in cattle with
intrauterine infusion of oxytetracycline and parenteral
administration of PGF2α is
reported and discussed.
Toxic puerperal metritis (TPP),
Toxic puerperal metritis (TPP) is a
reproductive disorder affecting dairy cattle. It results in heavy economic
loss due to decreased milk yield, reduced fertility and high treatment
cost. Incidence of the disease varies from 2.2 to 37% (Kelton et al.,
1998). Various agents have been used to treat this condition from time to
time which includes oxytetracycline, penicillin, sulfonamide, β-lactams (Whitacre,
1992; Oslon et al., 1986), ceftiofur (Smith et al., 1998), hepatoglobins,
cytokines (Alsemgeest et. al., 1994), prostaglandin F2α
(Melendez et al., 2004) etc. The purpose of this communication is to put
on record the efficacy of oxytetracycline along with PGF2α
in 8 cows suffering from TPM.
CASE HISTORY AND OBSERVATION
A total of 8 cows in 2nd to 5th lactation were presented within
10-14 days post-calving with the history of anorexia, depression,
mild dehydration, reduced milk yield and watery foetid vulvar
discharge. All the cows were feverish (103-104.50F) and their per
rectal examination revealed flaccid, non-retractable uterus that
were located in the abdomen along with cervical enlargement.
Cervical diameter (>75mm) was assessed following the criteria fixed
by Zemjanis (1970). In 4 cows caruncles were not involuted (1-2 cm
in diameter) with very big middle uterine artery (m.u.a.) that gave
characteristic fremitus like pulsation resembling with the cases of
superfoetation. Five cows had suffered from retained foetal membrane
that was removed manually by local veterinarian. Two more cows
developed milk fever on 2nd day post-calving. Uterine discharge was
collected aseptically and subjected to sensitivity testing.
Cows were treated with intrauterine infusion of oxytetracycline
(Liquid Terramycin* 60 ml daily for 5 days) and PGF2α
(Lutalyse** 5 ml i/m) on the first day of oxytetracycline
administration. No other treatment was provided.
(* 50 mg/ml, Pfizer Animal Health
Division, Mumbai – 400 021
** 5 mg/ml, Novartis India Limited, Animal Health Sector, Mumbai –
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The treatment resulted in expelling of discharges amounting to 10 to
15 liters from all the cows within 3 days. Uterine involution had
progressed to around 50% on day 3 and 70% on day 5. Caruncles were
involuted completely on day 5. Rectal temperature reduced to normal
values and m.u.a. returned to non-gravid state. All the animals
Toxic puerperal metritis is a disease characterized by fever,
anorexia, depression, dehydration, reduced milk yield and foetid
watery uterine discharge (Oslon et. al., 1986; Smith et. al., 1998).
Similar findings were recorded in the present study. However, status
of m.u.a. and caruncles in cases of TPM was not mentioned in the
earlier studies. In the present study incomplete involution of m.u.a.
and caruncles was observed in 50% cases. Therefore, in future TPM
may be defined on the basis of all criteria including status of
m.u.a., caruncles and dehydration in addition to the other
previously fixed criteria.
The disease developed within 10-14 days post-calving i.e. early in
the post-partum period. This finding simulates with the earlier
finding of Gilbert and Schwark (1992) who reported that the disease
occurred within 1st week post-partum. The TPM is observed as acute
condition due to involvement of highly pathogenic organism and other
predisposing factors like poor resistance of the cow.
In the present study 5 out of 8 cows (62.5%) had suffered from
retained foetal membrane and 2 cows (25%) suffered from milk fever.
Association of retained foetal membrane and metritis was also
reported earlier (Smith et al., 1998). Retained foetal membrane and
hypocalcemia may act as a contributing factor for metritis by
decreasing required uterine motility which is caused by reduction in
plasma Calcium level.
It is very difficult to determine the exact cause of TPM because of
fastidious nature of the organisms and due to involvement of both
pathogenic and non pathogenic organisms. However, most researchers
reported involvement of both gram positive and gram negative
bacteria and hence systemic and/ or intrauterine infusion of
antibiotic is must to kill the involved organisms. In the present
study oxytetracycline was used to which all fluid samples showed
high sensitivity. Oxytetracycline for the treatment of acute
metritis was also advocated earlier by several workers (Gustafson,
1986; Whitacre, 1992).
Normal myometrial activity of the uterus is greater at calving and
decreases drastically around 7 to 9 days post-partum (Gajewski et
al., 1999). Although inflamed uterus (metritis) produces additional
prostaglandin, the uterine musculature does not respond to this
endogenous prostaglandin and involution process is delayed (Kindahl
et al., 1999). Calcium is a key mediator for muscle contraction
(Nelson and Cox, 2000). Cows that develop hypocalcaemia within few
days post-partum have prolonged intervals to complete uterine and
cervical involution than normocalcaemic cows (Kamgarpour et al.,
1999). In such cows uterotonic compounds like PGF2α might be less
effective in triggering uterine motility and tonacity (Melendez et
al., 2004). In the present study exogenous administration of PGF2α
by day 10-14 played a vital role in clearing debris from the uterus
by increasing myometrial activity and uterine contractility (Patil
et al., 1980; Gajewski et al., 1999). From the study it is concluded
that intrauterine administration of oxytetracycline along with
parenteral PGF2α is highly useful in treating TPM
in dairy cows.
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