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To investigate effects of preterm induction of calving by administration of flumethasone and dinoprost on the lecithin-to-sphingomyelin ratio in amniotic fluid and on neonatal respiratory distress after birth.


45 dairy cows and their newborn calves.


Amniotic fluid from 45 cows was obtained and tested between days 258 and 270 of gestation. Cows were then given flumethasone (10 mg; n = 15), dinoprost (25 mg; n = 15), or saline solution (n = 15). Thirty hours later, left flank cesarean section was performed, amniotic fluid was collected, and the calf was delivered. Blood for determination of progesterone was withdrawn at amniotic fluid sample collections and before induction of calving. Blood for analysis of pH and base deficit was collected from calves during cesarean section and repeatedly after birth. Phospholipids in amniotic fluid were measured by thin-layer chromatography, and progesterone was determined by radioimmunoassay. Base deficit and pH were measured, using a blood gas analyzer.


Before treatments, a corpus luteum was present in all cows and the lecithin-to-sphingomyelin ratio in amniotic fluid did not differ between groups. Thirty hours after injections of flumethasone and dinoprost, progesterone concentration had decreased (P < 0.05) and the lecithin-to-sphingomyelin ratio was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than values in controls. In calves delivered after flumethasone or dinoprost treatments, the degree of acidosis was significantly (P < 0.05) less than that in controls.


Flumethasone and dinoprost, given to pregnant cows, accelerate fetal lung maturation and improve respiratory function after birth. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:404–407)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To test whether Oxytetracycline inactivates collagenase when combined as a potential treatment for retained fetal membranes in cattle and to determine whether Oxytetracycline passes to blood from fetal membranes after intraplacental injection.


Prospective, controlled study.

Sample Population

288 placentomes from 12 cows in their third trimester of pregnancy and 4 cows at term pregnancy.


8 experimental groups were established: saline control, collagenase, collagenase plus Oxytetracycline at 3 dosages, and Oxytetracycline at 3 dosages. Placentomes were infused through an umbilical vessel with the test solutions and incubated at 39 C for 4 hours. Immediately after incubation, the force needed to detach cotyledons from caruncles was measured by a manometry technique. Cotyledon-caruncle interface fluids were analyzed for hydroxyproline (collagen breakdown) and total protein contents. A combination of collagenase and Oxytetracycline was injected via umbilical arteries of cows undergoing cesarean section and in cows with retained fetal membranes after natural delivery. Antibiotic residue in blood was determined by the Bacillus stearothermophilus disk assay.


There were no significant differences among collagenase and collagenase plus Oxytetracycline groups in the amount of pressure needed to separate cotyledon from caruncle, amount of hydroxyproline released, and amount of total protein broken down. The 4 cows tested negative for Oxytetracycline in the blood.

Clinical Relevance

Oxytetracycline and collagenase may be a potential combination treatment for retained fetal membranes in cattle. In addition, the lack of antibiotic residue detection in blood may be of regulatory relevance. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:522–525)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research