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Effects of transrectal palpation with the fetal membrane slip technique for early pregnancy diagnosis on the proportion and type of associated pregnancy loss in dairy cattle

Juan E. Romano DVM, PhD1, James A. Thompson DVM, DVSc1, Duane C. Kraemer DVM, PhD2, and David W. Forrest PhD3
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  • 1 1Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845.
  • | 2 2Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845.
  • | 3 3Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the effect of transrectal palpation (TRP) performed with the fetal membrane slip (FMS) technique for early pregnancy diagnosis on the proportion and type of associated pregnancy losses (PLs) in dairy cattle.

ANIMALS

580 healthy pregnant cattle.

PROCEDURES

Data for artificially inseminated females with 1 or 2 viable embryos detected by transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) at approximately 30 days of gestation were retrospectively assessed. Cattle were assigned to 1 of 2 groups on the basis of whether they did or did not undergo TRP once between 34 and 41 days of gestation (palpation and control group, respectively). At approximately 45 and 60 days of gestation, all cattle were reevaluated by TRUS; PL was categorized as type I (FMS detectable by TRP and TRUS-confirmed evidence of embryo or fetus degeneration and a functional corpus luteum) or type II (FMS undetectable by TRP and no TRUS-confirmed evidence of an embryo or fetus or of a functional corpus luteum).

RESULTS

Of the 580 healthy pregnant cattle, 271 underwent TRP and 309 did not. In the palpation and control groups, PL occurred in 40 (14.8%) and 47 (15.2%) cattle, respectively. Among the palpation group's PLs, 17 (43%) were type I and 23 (58%) were type II. Among the control group's PLs, 27 (57%) were type I and 20 (43%) were type II. The prevalance and type of PL did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

TRP with the FMS technique for early pregnancy diagnosis did not increase the prevalence of PL in dairy cattle or alert the proportion of type I versus type II PL.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the effect of transrectal palpation (TRP) performed with the fetal membrane slip (FMS) technique for early pregnancy diagnosis on the proportion and type of associated pregnancy losses (PLs) in dairy cattle.

ANIMALS

580 healthy pregnant cattle.

PROCEDURES

Data for artificially inseminated females with 1 or 2 viable embryos detected by transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) at approximately 30 days of gestation were retrospectively assessed. Cattle were assigned to 1 of 2 groups on the basis of whether they did or did not undergo TRP once between 34 and 41 days of gestation (palpation and control group, respectively). At approximately 45 and 60 days of gestation, all cattle were reevaluated by TRUS; PL was categorized as type I (FMS detectable by TRP and TRUS-confirmed evidence of embryo or fetus degeneration and a functional corpus luteum) or type II (FMS undetectable by TRP and no TRUS-confirmed evidence of an embryo or fetus or of a functional corpus luteum).

RESULTS

Of the 580 healthy pregnant cattle, 271 underwent TRP and 309 did not. In the palpation and control groups, PL occurred in 40 (14.8%) and 47 (15.2%) cattle, respectively. Among the palpation group's PLs, 17 (43%) were type I and 23 (58%) were type II. Among the control group's PLs, 27 (57%) were type I and 20 (43%) were type II. The prevalance and type of PL did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

TRP with the FMS technique for early pregnancy diagnosis did not increase the prevalence of PL in dairy cattle or alert the proportion of type I versus type II PL.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Romano (jromano@cvm.tamu.edu).