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Cost of retained fetal membranes for dairy herds in the United States

Khaled Gohary BVSc, MPVM, PhD1 and Stephen J. LeBlanc DVM, DVSc2
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  • 1 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • | 2 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To estimate the cost of a case of retained fetal membranes (RFM) for dairy herds in the United States.

DESIGN Deterministic computer-based spreadsheet analysis.

SAMPLE Inputs from published studies and reports.

PROCEDURES Economic losses attributable to RFM were direct (reduction in milk yield and longer interval until pregnancy) and indirect (increased risk of developing clinical disease and increased culling risk). Cost attributable to milk loss was calculated as the mean marginal loss of milk production for cows with RFM and cows with RFM complicated by metritis. Cost of the increased risk of developing clinical disease because of RFM was a product of the cost of each clinical disease and the risk of each clinical disease attributable to RFM. Cost attributable to reduced reproductive performance was a function of a longer interval until pregnancy, whereas cost for increased culling attributable to RFM was associated with the market value of cull cows and replacement heifers as well as herd turnover rate.

RESULTS Cost of a case of RFM determined by use of default inputs was $386 (reduction in milk yield, $287; increased time until pregnancy, $73; increased disease risk, $25; and increased culling risk, $1). Sensitivity analysis revealed that milk and feed prices were the most influential inputs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Cost of a case of RFM, including uncomplicated cases, was substantial and comparable to that for other common clinical diseases during the transition period. Preventive measures during the nonlactating period should be considered to minimize the incidence of RFM.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Gohary's present address is Cognosco, Anexa FVC, 25 Moorhouse St, Morrinsville 3340, New Zealand.

Address correspondence to Dr. Gohary (kgohary@anexafvc.co.nz).