The effect of a progesterone releasing intravaginal device (PRID) on pregnancy risk to fixed-time insemination following diagnosis of non-pregnancy in dairy cows

Walsh RB, Leblanc SJ, Duffield TF, Kelton DF, Walton JS, Leslie KE

Theriogenology 2007 Mar;67(5):948-56

PMID: 17178146


The objective was to compare the probability of pregnancy after fixed-time insemination in cows diagnosed as non-pregnant and re-inseminated following the Ovsynch protocol, with or without exogenous progesterone. Cows (n=415) used in this study originated from 25 farms. Upon diagnosis of non-pregnancy between 30 and 60 days after AI, cows were randomly assigned to receive either a progesterone releasing intravaginal device (PRID; n=208) or a placebo intravaginal device (PID; n=207). All cows received GnRH at enrollment (Day 0), PGF(2alpha) concurrent with intravaginal device removal 7 days later, GnRH on Day 9 and fixed-time insemination 16h later (Day 10). Cows observed in estrus prior to Day 7, had the device removed and were inseminated. Ovaries were examined by transrectal palpation at the time of enrollment and the prominent structures were assessed and recorded. Body condition score, lameness status, interval from previous insemination, and times bred at enrollment were recorded. At intravaginal device removal, the occurrence and intensity of vaginitis was determined according to the amount of debris on the device. Overall, the intravaginal device retention rate was 91%. A total of 5.2% of PID-treated cows and 2.9% of PRID-treated cows were detected in estrus within the 7 days treatment period. Pregnancy status was diagnosed between 30 and 56 days after insemination and all cows were followed for a minimum of 150 days after enrollment. Approximately 28% of cows had evidence of mild vaginitis in response to the intravaginal device, whereas 6% of cows had copious debris associated with the intravaginal device at removal. The probability of pregnancy after fixed-time insemination was 43.8% versus 34.9% in PRID-treated versus PID-treated animals. Exogenous progesterone provided through an intravaginal device to non-pregnant cows that had not displayed estrus improved the probability of pregnancy after fixed-time AI.

The use of embryo transfer to produce pregnancies in repeat-breeding dairy cattle

Dochi O, Takahashi K, Hirai T, Hayakawa H, Tanisawa M, Yamamoto Y, Koyama H

Theriogenology 2008 Jan;69(1):124-8

PMID: 17942148


Repeat breeding is an important factor affecting economic success in dairy management. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of transfer of frozen-thawed IVF embryos in establishing pregnancy in repeat-breeding Holstein cattle. Cumulus oocyte complexes were collected by aspiration of 2-5 mm follicles from ovaries obtained at two local abattoirs. After IVF, days 7 and 8 blastocysts were frozen either in 1.5M ethylene glycol with 0.1M sucrose, or in 1.4M glycerol with 0.1M sucrose. Holstein recipients (122 heifers and 410 cows) included those that had not conceived after 3-21 inseminations. Embryos frozen in ethylene glycol were transferred directly, and embryos frozen in glycerol were transferred after dilution of the cryoprotectant in sucrose into recipients 7 or 8 days after estrus (without-AI group), or following AI (with-AI group). Pregnancy rates were compared by the Chi-square test. Significantly higher pregnancy rates were achieved by embryo transfer following AI (with-AI group) than by embryo transfer alone (without-AI group) in both heifers (49.2 and 29.5%, respectively) and cows (41.5 and 20.4%, respectively; P<0.05). Pregnancy rates were not significantly different between heifers and cows. However, pregnancy rate decreased as the number of inseminations prior to embryo transfer increased in the with-AI group, but not in the without-AI group. Therefore, transfer of frozen-thawed IVF embryos during the same cycle in which AI was done improved pregnancy rates in repeat-breeding Holstein heifers and cows, and suggested that embryo transfer is an alternative in the treatment of repeat breeding.

Prevalence of urovagina and its effects on reproductive performance in Holstein cows

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