Endometritis & Mmetrichecking
Endometritis is a low-grade infection of the lining of the uterus that affects fertility and increases the period from calving to conception if a cow is infected. Most cows become infected around calving time. Treatment should be aimed at restoring fertility.
Some cows are more "at risk" than other cows of having endometritis. These are cows that have had assisted calvings, retained foetal membranes, twins, or observed vaginal discharge; or have been down with milk fever/ grass staggers, induced, or unwell after calving. These cows should go on your "at risk" list and should be presented for examination or treatment well before the start of mating. It has come to light that treating all at risk cows, rather than metrichecking them and treating the positive ones may be the best strategy. This is because the metrichecking will miss some cows with sub-clinical endometritis.
For the whole herd or the remaining cows that aren’t "at risk", metrichecking is a quick procedure that can be used to diagnose endometritis by detecting a discharge from the cervix. There is more advantage to diagnosing and treating these cows early. Therefore, check the early calvers first and the late calvers a few weeks after rather than doing the whole herd just before mating begins!
Sure, some of these cows may cure by themselves, however this will be later than if you intervened early with appropriate treatment. This will mean potentially these cows will be in calf late or turn up empty. An indication that you may have problems with endometritis is if you have noticed "repeat breeders" during the previous mating season or if your vet has diagnosed cows with "pyometras" at pregnancy scanning time.