Rectal temperatures in postpartum cows

Marion Burkhardt de Koivisto, Katia Denise Bresciani, César Esper, Thais Mioto Martinelli, Leslie Cristina Scarpelli, Silvia Helena Venturolli Perri


The purpose of this study was to evaluate parturition data with the rectal temperature in the early postpartum period of dairy cows. One hundred and eighty cows were randomly selected between September 1999 and July 2000, in seven dairy farms located in the Northwest region of São Paulo, Brazil. For the first ten days postpartum, rectal temperature (RT) was taken between 5:00 and 8:00 a.m. using an electronic thermometer (M525 - GLA Agricultural Electronics, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-7500). Cows with RT>39,5°C were enrolled and other signs like calving difficulties, dystocia due to twins, fetal membrane retention, ill appearance, off-feed, milk production and vaginal discharge were recorded. Significant association was observed between vaginal discharge and fever. Considering 180 animals, 26 (14,4%) showed vaginal discharge, among them ten (38,5%) were pyretic, while in cows without vaginal discharge only 27 (17,5%) showed higher rectal temperatures. Difficult parturition and retained membranes also were statistically different, 37 cows (20,6%) presented dystocia, among them eight (21,6%) had retention of the afterbirth, while in the cows with normal parturition only six (4,2%) showed retention of the fetal membranes. It was observed that cows with or without retained fetal membranes did not show clinical signs less a transitory reduction of appetite and milk production. This daily monitoring of rectal temperature represents an aditional tool indicating precociously reprodutive alterations, like uterine infections, maximizing milk production and future uterine performance.



Postpartum; Dairy cows: Rectal temperature.


Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença  Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional