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Metritis - Inflammation of the Womb

(338) Metritis in the immediate post-farrowing period is fairly common. During the process of farrowing a large amount of fluid, a varying number of piglets and afterbirth have to be expelled from the womb. At the end of this process the two horns of the womb contract and squeeze the final contents out through the vagina. This process can continue for up to 3 to 4 days after farrowing and therefore it is not unusual or abnormal to see a slightly mucoid to white discharge from the vulva. However discharges can also indicate the presence of an active infection requiring treatment. Metritis is more likely to occur where farrowings are prolonged or where there has been manual assistance. It can also be common in association with mastitis so that whenever discharges are evident carefully examine the udder. (Mastitis, metritis, agalactia syndrome).

Clinical signs

If the discharge is not heavy, disappears after 3 to 4 days, the sow is eating well and there is no mastitis, ignore it. It is a normal biological process and no action is required. Alternatively if there are signs of mastitis, the sow's temperature is above 39ºC (102ºF) or the sow is off her food with bright red mucous membranes around the eyes, then treat her.


This is based on a sow not eating and a fever, evidence of a discharge from the vulva usually a white or brown colour and sometimes associated with mastitis.


  • Give twice daily injections of antibiotics together with 0.5ml of oxytocin each time.
  • Treatment should be given for 2 to 3 days.
  • If the sow has been assisted at farrowing then an injection of long-acting penicillin is advised at the time to prevent infection.
  • Antibiotics that can be used include OTC, penicillin/streptomycin, amoxycillin, ampicillin, framycetin, trimethoprim/sulpha.

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