Our objective was to assess the association of cow-related factors with metritis cure risk and economically important outcomes. In this prospective cohort study nested inside a randomized clinical trial, cows enrolled in a clinical trial that aimed to evaluate an alternative metritis therapy that had available plasma samples collected at metritis diagnosis were included. Metritis was defined as fetid, watery, reddish-brownish discharge with or without fever, and cure was defined as the absence of metritis signs 12 d after diagnosis. Cows were randomly allocated to remain untreated (CON; n = 147) or receive subcutaneous injections of 6.6 mg/kg of ceftiofur crystalline-free acid at enrollment and 72 h later (CEF, n = 168). Additionally, a random subset of 150 nonmetritic cows (NMET) was also included to compare milk production, reproductive performance, and culling responses. Cow-related factors evaluated include plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyrate, and haptoglobin (Hp), parity, rectal temperature, and days in milk (DIM) at metritis diagnosis, vulvovaginal laceration (VL), BCS, dystocia, twins, and retained placenta. Among CON cows, DIM at metritis diagnosis was positively associated with metritis cure [threshold = 8, area under the curve (AUC) = 0.67], whereas plasma Hp concentration tended to be negatively associated with cure of metritis (threshold = 0.54 mg/mL, AUC = 0.64). Among CEF cows, DIM at metritis diagnosis (threshold = 5, AUC = 0.67) and dystocia were positively associated with metritis cure, whereas VL and Hp (threshold = 0.78 mg/mL, AUC = 0.76) were negatively associated with cure. For CON cows that were diagnosed with metritis after 8 DIM or had plasma Hp concentration ≤0.54 mg/mL, milk production, pregnancy, and culling risk were comparable to NMET cows. However, performance was impaired when cows that developed metritis at ≤8 DIM or had Hp >0.54 mg/mL were left untreated. Among CEF cows, Hp, DIM at metritis diagnosis, dystocia, and VL were associated with metritis cure. Milk yield, reproductive performance, and culling losses are more pronounced among CEF cows when metritis was diagnosed at ≤5 DIM, Hp >0.78 mg/mL, or if they had VL or dystocia. In conclusion, these data indicate that timing of the onset of metritis and inflammatory biomarkers could be used for the development of a selective therapy strategy for metritis, but more research is needed to identify more accurate predictors of metritis spontaneous cure and treatment failure.
- selective therapy