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A Study of Endometritis Causing Repeat Breeding of Cycling Iraqi Buffalo Cows


Author’s address (for correspondence): Assistant professor Dr Osama Ibrahim Azawi, Department of Surgery and Obstetrics, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq. E-mail:


The objectives of this study were to determine the non-specific aerobic and anaerobic bacterial causes of endometritis causing repeat breeding of cycling Iraqi buffalo cows at Nineveh province, validate diagnostic criteria for endometritis and to evaluate the treatment efficiency of using systemic or intra-uterine infusion of antibiotics for the treatment of endometritis. Data were collected from 60 buffalo cows with history of repeat breeding in different herds. All buffaloes were subjected to detailed clinical examination including external inspection, vaginoscopy and transrectal palpation of the cervix, uterus and ovaries. Swabs for bacteriology and biopsies for histopathology were collected from the uterine lumen from each cow. Character, odour and estimation of polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) of the vaginal mucus were scored. Blood samples were collected from cows for creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) measurement. Treatment conducted using oxytetracycline with tylosin in local intrauterine infusion or systemically with hormonal treatment. The most pre-disposing factor for uterine infection was retained placenta (13.3%). The most prevalent bacteria in uterine lumen were E. coli (23%), Archanobacterium pyogenes (13%) and Staphylococcus aureus (10%) were mostly isolated from buffaloes with repeat breeding. Vaginal mucus character score was associated with the bacterial growth density score. The difference in PMN was highly significant (p < 0.01) in animals with repeat breeding than control groups. In addition, PMNs was significantly (p < 0.01) correlated r = 0.894 with the character of vaginal discharge. High level of PMNs observed in buffaloes infected with A. pyogenes. Buffalo cows with endometritis had higher CK (321.47 ± 39.06 vs 162.01 ± 16.41 U/l) and AST (133.93 ± 12.43 vs 97.01 ± 6.86 U/l) activities (p < 0.05) than control-heifers, but no significant difference was observed between buffalo cows with endometritis in CK (321.47 ± 39.06 vs 208.33 ± 5.84) and AST (133.93 ± 12.43 vs 156.17 ± 9.65) activities than control-pluriparious. It could be concluded that A. pyogenes was the only non-specific uterine pathogen directly associated with severe endometrial lesions. Vaginoscopy examination combined with palpation of uterus increase the accuracy of diagnosing endometritis and cytogenic examination of uterine discharge is more reliable method of establishing the presence or absence of uterine inflammation in buffalo cows. Animals with repeat breeding (endometritis) showed clinical cure and improved pregnancy in all treatment groups with no significant difference. The use of oestradiol in repeat breeder cases has no effect in improving neither clinical cure rate nor pregnancy rate.

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