Reproduction in buffalo - Pathology


The incidence of endometritis in buffaloes is higher than in cows. Poor hygiene, vaginal stimulation for milk let-down and, possibly, wallowing may be contributing factors.

The presence of vaginal discharge but also repeat breeding should always bring uterine infections into differentiate diagnosis.

Similarly to cattle, diagnosis of uterine infections is made through:

1. Clinical examination

  • analysis of the character of vaginal discharge
  • rectal palpation with evaluation of the condition and contents of the uterus
  • transrectal ultrasound examination of the uterus: condition, contents, endometrial thickness and structure
  • vaignoscopy: presence of discharge, closure of cervical orific
  • Additional laboratory examination

2. Additional laboratory examination

  • cytology of uterine swabs/flushing
  • bacterial culture of the uterine contents with antibiotic sensitivity

Local antibiotic therapy is the treatment of choice. As endometritis is in high percentage of buffalo cows associated with the presence of persistent luteal tissue, additional treatment with PGF 2 a is recommended to improve the uterine tonus, evacuate the pathological contents of the uterus and remove the immunosuppressive effect of progesterone.


True anoestrus

Inactive or non-functional ovaries are one of the most important causes of anoestrus and poor reproduction performance in buffaloes. Administration of GnRH analogue (Receptal, 2.5ml) at 14 days post partum supports early resumption of ovarian activity.

Induction of ovarian activity can also be achieved through the application of Crestar progestagen implant over 9-10 days in combination with 600-700 iu of PMSG (Folligon) at implant removal. Fixed time insemination at 48 and 72 hours after implant removal is recommended.


Suboestrus and oestrus synchronisation and induction

Covert or silent oestrus poses the single largest factor responsible for poor reproductive efficiency in buffalo. Subestrus is more frequent in the early postpartum period, during the humid and low breeding seasons and also in underfed buffaloes, suckled buffaloes and hot season calvers

Artificial control of oestrus cycle has provided an efficacious means of increasing the reproductive capacity of this species eliminating the need of frequent visual inspections for oestrus detection. See Management of reproduction.


Delayed ovulation

If delayed ovulation is suspected, ovulation can be induced with an administration of GnRH analogue (e.g. Receptal, 2.5ml) or 1.55 iu of hCG (Chorulon, 1.500iu). Similarly to the system used in cattle an injection of GnRH or hCG can be administered at the time of artificial insemination. Alternatively the complete Ovsynch protocol can be used, with the second GnRH administration acting as the ovulation inducing treatment.


Persistent corpus luteum

Persistent corpus luteum is associated in buffaloes with anoestrus and in as high as 45% of cases with endometritis.

Regression of the persistent corpus luteum can be achieved with an injection of PGF 2 a. As the condition is often associated with uterine disorders such as endometritis or pyometra it is recommended to evaluate the status of the uterus and apply adequate therapy.