Fertility boosted with use of Metacam for mastitis

Fertility boosted with use of Metacam for mastitis

It is well known that a cow that has a case of mastitis has reduced fertility, whether the mastitis case occurs before or after insemination. This is no surprise when you picture a sick cow with high temperature and off her feed; however had you considered that even mild to moderate cases of mastitis also have negative effects on reproduction? Work has shown that mild cases of mastitis or even raised somatic cell counts result in reduction in fertility. Infertility or failure to conceive are the major causes of culling in dairy cows, when times are tight looking at ways to reduce these losses is essential. So when  mastitis cannot be avoided, how can we minimise the impact it has on fertility?
In 2009 a study showed for the first time that using Metacam alongside antibiotic treatment for mastitis reduced culling rates, it was suggested that a big part of this might be linked to improved fertility. Recently a new study has been published looking in detail at the reproductive performance of cows that suffer a case of mastitis and asking whether using Metacam, as part of your mastitis treatment protocol, can really make a difference to fertility?

The fertility study was carried out in six European countries including the UK, looking at over 500 cows with mild to moderate mastitis. Cows were assigned to one of two treatment groups. All cows received two to four tubes of intramammary antibiotic therapy but one group also received Metacam whereas the other received a placebo. After this treatment, they were then followed to gather all their fertility data such as services and pregnancy diagnosis through to if they were culled in that lactation. Milk samples were also taken before and after treatment to assess bacteriological cure rates.

Results showed that cows with mastitis that were given Metacam along with antibiotic therapy had significantly improved fertility performance compared to the cows that were given the placebo and antibiotic therapy.
In particular:
The percentage of cows conceiving to their first service (31% vs 21%)
The number of AIs required to achieve conception (2.43 vs 2.92)
Percentage of cows pregnant by 120 days after calving (40% vs 31%)
It was also seen that the cows treated with Metacam had a higher bacteriological cure rate that those that received the placebo (66% vs 50%)

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