Réjean C. Lefebvre, Émile Bouchard, Jocelyn Dubuc, Luc DesCôteaux
The reproductive performance of cows is an important part of dairy farm monitoring and agricultural business profitability. Breeders have been noticing a decrease in the fertility of dairy cows for years now. Uterine infections contribute significantly to the declining fertility of dairy cattle because they are linked with the interruption of the normal function of the uterus and ovaries. Although an endometritis diagnosis is only based on the presence of visible flow from the vulva, a large percentage of cases are not detected and remain untreated. The main objective of this study was to validate the use and interpretation of the leukocyte esterase test for diagnosing clinical and subclinical endometritis in dairy cows on the farm. For this study, a quick on-farm esterase test was used on all cows from 18 herds over a one-year period (about 1,200 cows). The quick esterase tests were compared to the reference test, endometrial cytology. Preliminary results show that cows with a positive esterase test had a significantly (p=0.05) lower success rate at first breeding than those who tested negative. These results will enable quick diagnosis and treatment of subclinical endometritis on the farm and, in turn, will increase the chances of conception following calving.