Evaluation of factors that affect embryonic loss in dairy cattle

Dale A. Moore, Michael W. Overton, Ricardo C. Chebel, Marla L. Truscott, Robert Bondurant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - To identify potential risk factors for embryonic loss before 35 to 42 days of gestation in dairy cattle. Design -Prospective observational study. Animals - 381 cows. Procedure-Body condition score was determined at the time of artificial insemination (AI; day 0) and on days 20, 23, and 27 and between days 35 and 41; serum progesterone concentration was measured on days 0; 20 or 21; and 23, 24, or 25. Cows were excluded from analyses if day 0 serum progesterone concentration was ≥ 1.0 ng/mL and classified as pregnant on day 23 if serum progesterone was > 1.5 ng/mL on day 20 or 21 and day 23, 24, or 25. Cows were examined via transrectal ultrasonography on day 27 or 28 and rectally palpated for pregnancy on days 35 to 41. Results - 39% of cows that were pregnant on day 23 lost their embryo by day 27, and 18% of cows that were pregnant on day 27 or 28 were not pregnant on days 35 to 41. Breeding a pregnant cow posed the greatest risk for embryonic loss at both time periods. Mean serum progesterone concentrations on day 21 or 22 and day 23, 24, or 25 were lowest for cows that lost an embryo between days 24 and 28. Cows with a linear somatic cell count score > 4.5 before AI were twice as likely to lose the embryo by 35 to 41 days, compared with cows with a score < 4.5. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Results suggest that embryonic loss could be reduced by more accurate estrus detection, reducing mastitis, and strategies to improve progesterone concentration after breeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1112-1118
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume226
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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