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  • Author or Editor: Marguerita B. Cattell x
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Dairy cows (n = 207) that had retained fetal membranes for more than 8 hours after parturition were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups (group 1, daily intrauterine infusion of oxytetracycline; group 2, daily intrauterine infusion of oxytetracycline and a single SC injection of fenprostalene; group 3, a single SC injection of fenprostalene; and group 4, untreated controls). Cows were monitored daily. Subsequent disease conditions were recorded, and appropriate treatments were initiated. Interval from parturition to expulsion of fetal membranes was unaffected by treatment regimen. The frequency of cows with high rectal temperatures (≥ 39.5 C) was significantly (P < 0.05) less in cows treated with oxytetracycline infusions; however, the frequency of displaced abomasum, ketosis, and mastitis was unaffected by treatment method. Treatment method appeared to influence the development of postpartum uterine pathologic conditions. Treatment with oxytetracycline and fenprostalene (group 2) increased (P < 0.05) the frequency of pyometra. Treatment with fenprostalene (groups 2 and 3) decreased the number of cows with a palpable uterine lumen detectable during per rectal palpation at 28 to 42 days after parturition. Reproductive efficiency, as determined on the basis of the interval from parturition to conception, was unaffected by treatment protocol.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To establish the maximum concentration and duration of oxytetracycline residues in milk from cows with retained fetal membranes given the antimicrobial via intrauterine infusion, and to investigate whether the number of infusions or the presence of fever (> 39.7 C) affected the duration of residues.


Prospective study.


54 Holstein cows with retained fetal membranes on a single 1,400-cow commercial dairy.


Cows were treated once a day with 5 g of oxytetracycline (50 ml of 100 mg/ml solution in a povidone base) by intrauterine infusion for at least 2 days, or until the membranes were expelled. Cows that became febrile (rectal temperature > 39.7 C) were also given 20,000 IU of procaine penicillin G/kg of body weight, IM, for 2 to 4 days. Milk samples were collected at 24-hour intervals during treatment, and at 12-hour intervals after the last treatment. All samples were frozen and submitted every 2 weeks for high performance liquid chromatography analysis for oxytetracycline.


Oxytetracycline was detected in milk of all cows during treatment, at a maximum concentration ranging from 47.2 to 1,804.6 μg/kg (mean, 316.9 μg/kg). Duration of oxytetracycline residues after the last infusion ranged from 0 to 144 hours (mean, 52.3 hours). Neither the number of infusions received, nor development of rectal temperature > 39.7 C, affected the maximum concentration or the duration of oxytetracycline residues in milk.

Clinical Implications—

Milk obtained from cows that had been treated for retained fetal membranes by intrauterine infusion of oxytetracycline should be discarded to avoid illegal residues. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1753–1755)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association