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.
580 healthy pregnant cattle.
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).
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.
Objective—To determine the effect of palpation per rectum (PPR) by use of 1 or 2 fetal membrane slips (FMSs) for pregnancy diagnosis during early gestation on pregnancy loss in dairy cattle.
Design—Controlled, randomized block design.
Animals—928 healthy pregnant cattle.
Procedures—All cattle were determined to be pregnant by use of transrectal ultrasonography at approximately day 31 after estrus and randomly allocated into 2 groups (control group [n = 476 cows] and palpation group ). The control group was not subjected to pregnancy diagnosis via PPR. The palpation group was subdivided into 2 groups (PPR FMS 1 [n = 230 cows] and PPR FMS 2 ), which involved PPR and pregnancy diagnosis via 1 or 2 FMSs, respectively, during the same examination, which was performed by 1 veterinarian between days 34 and 43 after estrus. All cattle were reevaluated by use of transrectal ultrasonography on days 45 and 60 to determine viability of the embryo and fetus, respectively.
Results—Overall pregnancy loss between days 31 and 60 was 14.1%. Pregnancy loss for the control, PPR FMS 1, and PPR FMS 2 groups from days 31 to 60 was 14.5%, 12.6%, and 14.9%, respectively. Embryonic pregnancy loss for the control, PPR FMS 1, and PPR FMS 2 groups was 12.4%, 9.1%, and 9.5%, respectively. Fetal pregnancy loss for the same groups was 2.4%, 3.8%, and 5.9%, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pregnancy diagnosis via 1 or 2 FMSs performed during PPR in early gestation did not increase pregnancy loss in dairy cattle.