The impact of ecbolic therapy in the early postpartum period on uterine involution and reproductive health in dairy cows

Cyril Stephen, Walter Johnson, Stephen LeBlanc, Robert Foster, Tracey Chenier

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Postpartum uterine disease due to poor uterine involution continues to be a significant factor that contributes to poor reproductive efficiency in dairy cattle. Therapy that increases the frequency, duration and strength of uterine contractions in the postpartum period might enhance uterine involution, resulting in improved reproductive performance. The objective of this clinical trial was to study the effect of two uterine ecbolic therapies, oxytocin and prostaglandinF2α on uterine involution, postpartum endometritis, and reproductive performance. A randomized double-blinded clinical trial was conducted in 118 dairy cows from two research herds that had normal parturition and expulsion of the fetal membranes. Within 24 hr after calving, cows were randomly assigned to receive intramuscular injections twice a day of 50 IU of oxytocin, or 25 mg of dinoprost (PGF2α) or saline (control) for 7 days. Cows were monitored from day 3 to day 63 ± 3 days postpartum by transrectal palpation of the uterus, vaginoscopy, Metricheck® examination and by endometrial cytology. Blood samples were collected for measurement of progesterone in weeks 3 (21 ± 3 days), 5 (35 ± 3 days), 7 (49 ± 3 days), and 9 (63 ± 3 days) postpartum. Herd breeding records were obtained to determine reproductive performance in all cows. Neither oxytocin nor prostaglandin F2α therapy during the first week postpartum had any significant effect on the rate of uterine involution, prevalence of endometritis or reproductive performance, compared to untreated controls. Ecbolic drugs, as used here, are not recommended for use in clinical practice to improve involution or reproductive tract health in normal cows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-498
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


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