Abstract / Description of output
Contents: Post-partum uterine disease has a detrimental effect on dairy cow fertility; affected cows require more serves per conception, have reduced conception rates and are more likely to be culled for infertility. Furthermore, the detrimental effects on fertility remain even after clinical resolution of disease. There are many factors that influence a cow's resistance to or development of post-partum disease, and the key drivers determining disease outcome are uterine microbial load, regulation of inflammation and immune responses peripherally and at a local level, production pressure, and metabolic (energy) status. These factors are intricately interlinked, which makes assessment of their individual effects difficult. It is clear, however, that the period surrounding calving is a key transition phase and events during this time point will influence uterine disease outcome and subsequent fertility. Good peripartum management and accurate diagnosis are critical to facilitate the use of the most effective treatment and limit the negative impact of post-partum uterine disease on fertility. If we can improve our understanding of the underlying causes of disease, then we can identify 'at risk' animals and implement management and breeding strategies to prevent uterine disease or reduce its severity. Thus, this article aims to summarize the key factors that drive uterine disease in the post-partum dairy cow.