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Abstract

Objective—To determine association between exposure to Neospora caninum and milk production in dairy cows.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—565 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows were classified as seropositive or seronegative to N caninum within 7 days after calving by use of a kinetic ELISA. Milk production was compared between seropositive and seronegative cows.

Results—On the basis of 305-day mature equivalent milk production data, seropositive cows produced less milk (2.8 lb/cow per day) than did seronegative cows. In addition, analysis of results throughout the first 300 days of lactation revealed that after adjusting for effects of lactation number, calving season, clinical mastitis, and lameness, milk weight of seropositive cows was 2.5 lb/cow per day less than that of seronegative cows.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure to N caninum was associated with a 3 to 4% decrease in milk production. A decrease in milk production of 800 lb/cow for a typical 305-day lactation represents a loss of $128/cow. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 219:632–635)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine the relationship between exposure to Neospora caninum and abortion in dairy cows during their first, second, third, and fourth or later lactations and to establish the main mode of transmission in female calves from birth until their first pregnancy was terminated by abortion or parturition.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—460 Holstein cows and 79 female calves.

Procedure—Cows were classified as seropositive or seronegative to N caninum within 7 days after calving; incidence of abortion was compared between groups during different lactations. Blood samples were collected from female calves before ingestion of colostrum and every 6 months until their first pregnancy was terminated by abortion or parturition; number of seropositive calves was compared between seropositive and seronegative dams.

Results—During the first pregnancy of their second lactation, risk of abortion for seropositive cows was 2.8 times that of seronegative cows. Among 10 calves born to seropositive cows, 4 were classified as seropositive at birth and thereafter. Among 69 calves born to seronegative cows, all were classified as seronegative at birth; 67 calves remained seronegative thereafter.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure to N caninum alone was not significantly associated with abortion in cows during the first, third, and fourth or later lactations. Seropositive cows that have aborted previously may have subsequent abortions attributable to N caninum. Congenital infection was the main mode of N caninum transmission in a cohort of female calves. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1742–1746)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare plasma total calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), beta hydroxy butyrate (BHB), and glucose concentrations in parturient dairy cows that were fed an anionic prepartum diet between those with and without retained fetal membranes (RFM) at 24 hours after parturition.

Animals—152 Holstein cows that calved during October through December of 1997.

Procedure—All cows were fed an anionic prepartum diet. Blood sample was taken within 6 hours after parturition from randomly selected cows. Thirty-nine cows had a diagnosis of RFM at 24 hours after parturition; 113 were not affected with RFM. At calving, body condition score (BCS; 1 [thin] to 5 [obese]), parity, and calving difficulty score were recorded. Plasma calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, NEFA, BHB, and glucose concentrations were compared between cows with or without RFM.

Results—Cows with RFM had significantly lower plasma calcium concentration soon after calving, compared with cows without RFM. Cows with a parity of ≥ 3 had significantly lower plasma concentrations of calcium and higher concentrations of magnesium, compared with cows with a parity of 1 or 2. Cows with a BCS of ≥ 3.25 at calving had significantly higher plasma concentrations of BHB than cows with a BCS of 2.75 to 3.0. Cows with dystocia had significantly higher plasma concentrations of glucose, compared with cows without dystocia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In parturient cows fed a prepartum anionic diet, those with RFM have lower plasma calcium concentrations than cows without RFM, although this association does not prove a cause-effect relationship. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1071–1076)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of a controlled-release monensin capsule administered at cessation of lactation on incidence of calving-related disorders, fertility, and milk yield in dairy cows.

Animals—290 dairy cows treated with monensin and 290 untreated control cows.

Procedure—Treated cows received a capsule that released monensin at 335 mg/d for 95 days. Incidence of calving-related disorders; daily milk yield up to 20 days postpartum; test-day milk yield, fat, protein, and mature-equivalent 305-day milk production; and body condition score at calving were determined. Reproductive variables were conception rate at first service, pregnancy rate, and calving-to-conception interval.

Results—Cows treated with monensin were 2.1 times as likely to develop dystocia and 0.8 times as likely to develop metritis as control cows. For milk yield, there was an interaction of treatment ×time ×parity. In multiparous cows, monensin significantly improved milk yield at test days 4 and 7. In addition, monensin increased body condition score at calving.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Despite increasing the likelihood of developing dystocia and metritis, administration of monensin improved the lactational performance of multiparous cows and may be a promising additive for use at the time of cessation of lactation.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare milk yield among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame and to examine the relationship between severity of lameness and milk yield in cows classified as lame during the first 100 days after parturition.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—465 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows were examined weekly during the first 100 days after parturition and assigned a lameness score by use of a 6-point locomotion scoring system (ie, 0 to 5). Milk yield was compared among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame. Among cows classified as lame (locomotion score ≥ 4), milk yield was compared for cows with low, medium, and high cumulative locomotion scores. Cows classified as lame were further examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Results—84 (18%), 212 (46%), and 169 (36%) cows were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame, respectively. Among cows in their second or later lactations, milk yield in lame cows was significantly lower than that in moderately lame and nonlame cows. In addition, among cows classified as lame, milk yield was significantly lower in cows with high locomotion scores during the first 100 days after parturition, compared with cows with low scores. Most (58%) cows classified as lame had laminitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate a linear relationship between increasing degree of lameness and decreasing milk yield among cows in their second or later lactations. The locomotion scoring system used in this study may be a useful management tool that veterinarians and dairy farmers could adopt for early detection of lameness in dairy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1292–1296)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare calving-to-conception intervals among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, or lame during the prebreeding postpartum period and to examine the relationship between severity of lameness and time to conception in cows that were classified as lame.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—499 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows in the prebreeding postpartum period were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, or lame by use of a 6-point locomotion scoring system. Time to conception (days) was compared among cows. A low, medium, or high cumulative locomotion score was assigned to lame cows, and time to conception among those cows was compared. Cows classified as lame were examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Results—154 (31%), 214 (43%), and 131 (26%) cows were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame, respectively. Most cows classified as lame had laminitis (54%) or disorders of the claw (33%). Median time to conception was 36 to 50 days longer in lame cows than in nonlame cows. Among lame cows, the median time to conception was 66 days longer in cows with high cumulative locomotion scores than in cows with low scores.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Nonlame cows became pregnant more quickly than lame cows. Lame cows with low cumulative locomotion scores during the prebreeding postpartum period became pregnant sooner than lame cows with high scores. Early diagnosis and intervention may mitigate the effects of lameness and improve reproductive performance in lame dairy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1284–1291)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the efficacy of prophylactic hoof health examination and trimming during midlactation at reducing the incidence of lameness during late lactation in dairy cows.

Design—Randomized field trial.

Animals—333 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Cows without apparent lameness were randomly allocated into 1 of 2 groups approximately 204 days after calving. Cows allocated to the treatment group (n = 161) were examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and underwent hoof-trimming procedures, if needed, for treatment of hoof disorders or lesions. Cows in the control group (n = 172) were not examined. Cows were assigned a locomotion score weekly for 28 weeks after allocation to a group. The number of cows classified as lame during late lactation (approx 205 to 400 days after calving) was compared between groups to assess the efficacy of prophylactic examination and trimming.

Results—Incidence of lameness during late lactation was 24% in cows in the control group and 18% in cows in the treatment group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 25% decrease in number of new cases of lameness in cows undergoing prophylactic hoof health examination and trimming during midlactation may be relevant for the well-being of dairy cows and should not represent a major economic burden to producers.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify milk component alterations that might be useful for detecting cows with rumen indigestion.

DESIGN Prospective case-control study.

ANIMALS 23 Holstein cows with rumen indigestion (cases) and 33 healthy cohorts (controls) from 1 herd.

PROCEDURES Cases were defined as cows between 30 and 300 days postpartum with a > 10% decrease in milk yield for 2 consecutive milkings or > 20% decrease in milk yield from the 10-day rolling mean during any milking, abnormally decreased rumen motility, and no other abnormalities. Each case was matched with 2 healthy cows (controls) on the basis of pen, parity, days postpartum, and mean milk yield. Some cows were controls for multiple cases. All cows underwent a physical examination and collection of a rumen fluid sample for pH measurement at study enrollment. Individual-cow milk yield and milk component data were obtained for the 16 milkings before and after study enrollment. Rumen motility and pH and milk components were compared between cases and controls.

RESULTS Rumen motility for cases was decreased from that of controls. Cases had an abrupt increase in milk fat percentage and the milk fat-to-lactose ratio during the 2 milkings immediately before diagnosis of rumen indigestion. Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that a 10% increase in the milk fat-to-lactose ratio had the highest combined sensitivity (57%) and specificity (85%) for identifying cows with rumen indigestion.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that a positive deviation in the milk fat-to-lactose ratio might be useful for identifying cows with rumen indigestion.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association