Monday, 16 November 2020 09:29

Estimating Prevalence of Endometritis in Smallholder Zero-Grazed Dairy Cows in Rwanda

Written by P. Nyabinwa1,3, O. B. Kashongwe3 , J. P. Habimana2 , C. d’Andre Hirwa1 and B. O. Bebe3*
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P. Nyabinwa1,3, O. B. Kashongwe3 , J. P. Habimana2 , C. d’Andre Hirwa1

and B. O. Bebe3*

1Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board

P.O. Box 5016, Kigali- Rwanda

2School of Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Rwanda,

P.O. Box 57, Nyagatare, Rwanda

3Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Egerton University,

P.O. Box 536, 20115 Egerton, Kenya

*Corresponding Author:, +254 51 2217991/2


Endometritis is a postpartum uterine disease of cows that interrupts reproductive cycles resulting in suboptimal fertility, reduced performance, and profitability of the dairy herd. The objective of the study was to estimate the perceived and observed prevalence of endometritis among zero-grazed dairy cows in smallholder farms in Rwanda. A snowball sampling method was applied in cross-sectional survey to obtain data from 370 farms on 466 cows within their 21-60 days postpartum (dpp). The survey, conducted from September 2018 to March 2019, simultaneously examined cows using the Metricheck Device (MED) to determine the presence and type of vaginal mucus character (VMC) based on a score scale of 0 to 3. Cows scoring VMC ≥1 were recorded clinical endometritis (CLE) positive. Cytotape (CYT) was usedto determine the percentages of polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) in endometrial cytology sample. Cows with ≥5% of PMN were recorded subclinical endometritis (SCLE) positive. At cow-level, endometritis prevalence was 70.2% with 67.2% CLE and 31.8% SCLE while at the herd-level, prevalence was 71.1% with 68.1% CLE and 34.4% SCLE. The differences between the diagnostic performance of the MED and CYT were significantly (p<0.001). Perceived prevalence by farmers was much lower (3.2%) and without agreement with the observed prevalence (Kappa = -0.02, p>0.05). The high-observed prevalence and farmer underestimation of endometritis prevalence indicate knowledge gaps about endometritis. The extension service therefore needs to increase awareness and education among smallholder farmers about detection and management of endometritis.

Keywords: Crossbreds; Cytotape; Dairy cows; Exotic breeds; Metricheck.

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