Objective—To evaluate effect of twin birth calvings on milk production, reproductive performance, and survival of lactating cows.
Design—Retrospective observational cohort study.
Animals—33,868 cows from 20 farms.
Procedures—Data on age at calving for primiparous cows and mature equivalent milk yield for multiparous cows, assistance at calving, stillbirths, twin births, gestation duration, pregnancy at the end of the data collection period, and culling-death for all cows were extracted from farm computer records and used for statistical analysis.
Results—Prevalence of twin parturitions was 1.3% (159/12,050) and 6.5% (1,410/21,818) for primiparous and multiparous cows, respectively. Primiparous and multiparous cows with singletons produced more milk than cows with live twins or at least 1 dead twin (primiparous, 33.1 vs 31.9 vs 31.2; multiparous, 36.5 vs 35.7 vs 35.0). Multiparous cows with dead twins produced less milk than cows with live twins. Compared with dams with singleton birth, cows with twins were 0.78 times as likely to conceive and 1.42 times as likely to die or be culled. Cows with dead twins also had increased time to conception, compared with live twins.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Twin birth was associated with decreased survival, milk production, and reproductive performance. Having at least 1 dead twin was even more detrimental than having live twins and resulted in decreased milk production and reproductive performance of lactating cows.
A 10-month-old 488-kg (1,074-lb) Brown Swiss bull that was intended for use as a breeding animal was admitted to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Farm Animal Hospital and examined because of severe swelling of the prepuce and ventral abdomen as well as straining to urinate. Four weeks before admission, the bull had attempted to jump over a fence but became suspended on the wire; there was blunt trauma to the prepuce and caudal portion of the ventral abdomen. Initially, swelling in the injured region was moderate and the bull was able to urinate normally. Treatment of the
A 10-year-old 550-kg (1,210-lb) multiparous Standardbred mare was referred for examination at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals because of signs of colic, ventral abdominal edema, and a high concentration of serum amyloid A. The mare was pregnant (336 days of gestation) and had a 2-day history of inappetence and increasing signs of discomfort and edema along the ventral aspect of the abdomen. The mare had no history of other medical problems or abnormalities during previous pregnancies. The mare had received altrenogest (0.88 mg/kg [0.4 mg/lb], PO) and flunixin meglumine (1.1 mg/kg [0.5 mg/lb], IV) prior to referral.