South Waikato veterinary Services

Herd Metrichecks


Metrichecking is the procedure that is used to diagnose endometritis in a cow. Endometritis is an infection present in the uterus of a cow, usually occurring after calving. The cow is not sick, but will not conceive with a pus filled uterus. Metritis is a condition where infection in the uterus causes the cow to become ill, and will also not conceive.

Why check for Endometritis?

Studies have shown that the presence of infectious discharge in a cow results in a 20% reduction in pregnancy rate!

Affected cows will either not get in calf (low final pregnancy rates), or take longer to get in calf (less early calvers and AI calves). The only way to improve these rates is to check and treat these cows for this disease.

Why do cows develop Endometritis?

Bacteria infiltrating the uterus occurs in the majority of cows after calving, but most will eliminate the infection on their own. Those that do not, develop endometritis. The most common risk factors for a cow to develop this disease are listed below:

• Late abortions
• Twins
• Assisted calvings
• Retained membranes
• Dead calvings
• Induced cows
• Selenium deficient cows

How do we diagnose Endometritis?

If a cow has purulent fluid (pus) present in her uterus 3 weeks or more after calving, she can be diagnosed with endometritis. We use the Metricheck® device to check cows for the presence of this infected fluid, basically scooping some out from near the cows cervix and evaluating it for signs of infection.

How do we treat Endometritis?

Once a cow is diagnosed with endometritis, we are able to administer treatment immediately. Treatment procedure is similar to what happens during artificial insemination. A clean tube is fed through the cows cervix and into the uterus. Antibiotics are then infused via the tube, into the uterus to treat the infection. There is a nil milk withhold on the product we use, and a short, 4 day, meat withhold.

Whole herd vs at risk cows?

Our recommendation is to metricheck your whole herd. The ideal is to do this in three separate visits. These visits are based on your tailpainting of calving groups. At the commencement of calving, and for 3 weeks after this date, all cows will be painted blue (for example). Two weeks after the changeover from blue to green paint, we can metricheck all the blue painted cows. After 3-4 weeks of painting green cows, you will change to red. Two weeks after this changover we can check all the green cows. The last group of red cows to be checked depends on your calving spread, but should not be longer than 6 weeks after the changeover to red.

Metrichecking in more than one visit is beneficial, as leaving the whole herd to near the end of calving means there will be cows that have had infections present for weeks that could have been picked up and treated in an early check, thus giving them the opportunity to get in calf to AI.

When we come out to metricheck your herd, we will draft the cows diagnosed as positive and can treat them in the same visit.

Some farms prefer not to do whole herd checks and check their cows on an ‘at risk’ basis. Thus, any cow that falls into one of the risk factor categories listed above (e.g. assisted calving) is drafted and metrichecked. The downside to this method is that there will be cows in the herd who are not ‘at risk’ but will have developed endometritis.

A third option is to skip metrichecking entirely, and go straight to metricuring your at-risk cows. Some recent studies have shown this to be beneficial, as a percentage of cows with endometritis will test negative with a metricheck device. This again has the downside of missing some cows in the main herd who do not fall into the at risk group.


The South Waikato Veterinary Services team is committed to providing top quality and extensive professional services to the Tokoroa, Putaruru, Whakamaru, Mangakino, Tirohanga and Atiamuri areas.

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2 Satco Drive, Tokoroa

75 Tirau St, Putaruru

108 State Highway 30, Whakamaru

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