Journal Article


Marijke E Beltman
David A Kenny
Miha Šavc



calving interval induction treatment effect resumption of cyclicity beef health body condition score live weight

The effect of parturition induction treatment on interval to calving, calving ease, postpartum uterine health, and resumption of ovarian cyclicity in beef heifers. (2015)

Abstract The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two parturition induction protocols with a nontreated control group, on interval to calving, calving ease, postpartum uterine health, and ovarian cyclicity in beef heifers. At Day 285 of gestation, 81 crossbred recipient beef heifers carrying purebred Simmental fetuses, were blocked by live-weight, body condition score, expected calving date and fetal sex, and assigned to one of three groups: (1) control (CON; no induction treatment, n = 29); (2) induction with corticosteroids (CORT; n = 27); or (3) induction with corticosteroids plus prostaglandin (CORT + PG; n = 25). Interval from induction to calving in hours and calving ease on a scale of 1 to 5 were recorded. Vaginal mucus samples were collected on Day 21 and Day 42 after calving (Day 0) by means of a Metricheck and scored on a scale of 0 to 3. Reproductive tract examinations were conducted on Day 21 and Day 42 after calving, and uterine cytology samples were obtained on Day 21. A positive cytologic sample was defined as greater than 18% neutrophils in the sample obtained via a cytobrush technique. Cows were considered to have resumed ovarian cyclicity if the presence of the CL was confirmed. Data were analyzed using the Mixed (normally distributed data) and Genmod (nonparametric data) procedures of SAS (v. 9.3). The interval from treatment to calving was longer (P < 0.0001) for CON (161.9 ± 15.12 hours) animals compared with CORT (39.7 ± 11.64 hours) or CORT + PG (32.6 ± 12.10 hours), which did not differ. Treatment did not affect calving difficulty score. There was also no difference in incidence of retained placenta between the three groups. At Day 21 postpartum, cytology score tended to be higher for both induced groups (48%) compared with the control animals (24%), but this was not the case for vaginal mucus score (CON 52%, CORT 70%, and CORT + PG 52%). A higher proportion of CON had an involuted uterus by Day 21 postpartum (69%) compared with both induced groups (CORT 48%, CORT + PG 32%). Day 21 ovarian cyclicity was higher in both CON (52%) and CORT (59%) compared with CORT + PG (29%). By Day 42, there was no difference in ovarian cyclicity or uterine involution between CON and CORT; however, a positive relationship was observed between uterine involution score on Day 21 and return to cyclicity on Day 42 in these two groups. There was a negative relationship between uterine involution score and return to cyclicity in the CORT + PG group, and these animals were slower (P < 0.05) to resume cyclicity by Day 42 with a larger proportion animals having evidence of having resumed postpartum ovarian cyclicity in both CON (P = 0.03) and CORT compared with CORT + PG on Day 42. In conclusion, the use of corticosteroid-based treatments is an effective strategy to advance parturition in full term dams and does not have a negative effect on calving progress or dam health. However, when prostaglandin is also included in the protocol, these treatments may lead to greater delay in uterine involution with increased chance of uterine infection and slower resumption of ovarian cyclicity.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Marijke E Beltman, David A Kenny, Miha Šavc

Experts in our system

Marijke Eileen Beltman
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 24
D.A. Kenny
Total Publications: 147