Incidence of uterine torsions in dairy cattle in five veterinary practices in the Netherlands
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Uterine torsions are an important complication during parturition in cattle. In case of a uterine torsion, the uterus is twisted around its longitudinal axis, in such a way that the foetus cannot be expelled. This, unfortunately, leads to an increase in dam and calve mortality, which is economically unfavourable. Several studies have been done to investigate the incidence of uterine torsions as part of the total number of cases of dystocia. However, the incidence of uterine torsions has not yet been investigated in the Netherlands. The aim of this study was, therefore, 1) to determine the incidence of uterine torsions of dairy cattle in five veterinary practices in the Netherlands and to make an estimation of the total incidence of uterine torsions in the Netherlands. 2) To look for possible risk factors associated with the incidence of these torsions in literature. Risk factors such as season, age and parity will be examined with data of the practice management system (PMS) of one practice; to see if there is a relation between these factors and the incidence of uterine torsions. Seasonality of uterine torsions will also be compared with all the other cases of dystocia, to see if there is a significant seasonal predisposition of uterine torsions. A total of 3049 cases of dystocia occurring in 2015 and 2016 are incorporated in this study. It has been found that uterine torsions make up 24.0% of all cases of dystocia. The incidence of uterine torsions increased over the years 2015 and 2016; from 21,3% to 26.6%, respectively. The risk for a cow to endure a uterine torsion was 0.360% in 2015, whereas cows had a risk of 0.438% to have a uterine torsion in 2016. The number of uterine torsions fluctuates between different practices and farms as well. In this study, a significant higher incidence of uterine torsions has been found in autumn, compared to spring if all the other cases of dystocia were used as a control. However, if all the other lactating cows at a farm with a uterine torsion were used as a control, there was a significant higher incidence in autumn when compared to winter and summer. Age and parity seem not to have a significant influence on the incidence of uterine torsions.