Comparison of 2 protocols to increase circulating progesterone concentration before timed artificial insemination in lactating dairy cows with or without elevated body temperature

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Two treatments designed to increase circulating progesterone concentration (P4) during preovulatory follicle development were compared. One treatment used 2 intravaginal P4 implants (controlled internal drug-releasing inserts; CIDR) and the other used a GnRH treatment at beginning of the protocol. Lactating Holstein cows that had been diagnosed as nonpregnant were randomly assigned to receive timed artificial insemination (TAI) following 1 of 2 treatments (n = 1,638 breedings): (1) GnRH: CIDR+ 2 mg of estradiol (E2) benzoate + 100 µg of GnRH on d −11, PGF2α on d −4, CIDR withdrawal + 1.0 mg of E2-cypionate + PGF2α) on d −2, and TAI on d 0; or (2) 2CIDR: 2 CIDR + 2 mg of E2-benzoate on d −11, 1 CIDR withdrawn + PGF2α on d −4, second CIDR withdrawn + 1.0 mg of E2-cypionate + PGF2α on d −2, and TAI on d 0. Milk yield was measured daily between d 0 and d 7. Rectal temperature was measured using a digital thermometer at d 0 and 7, and elevated body temperature was defined as an average rectal temperature ≥39.1°C. Pregnancy diagnoses were performed on d 32 and 60 after TAI. We detected no effect of treatments on pregnancy per AI or pregnancy loss regardless of elevated body temperature, body condition score, parity, milk yield, or presence or absence of a corpus luteum (CL) on d −11 or d −4. Pregnancy per AI at 60 d was reduced [elevated body temperature = 22.8% (162/709), no elevated body temperature 34.1% (279/817)] and pregnancy loss tended to increase [elevated body temperature = 20.2% (41/203), no elevated body temperature 14.4% (47/326)] in cows with elevated body temperature. Various physiological measurements associated with greater fertility were also reduced in cows with elevated body temperature, such as percentage of cows with a CL at PGF2α (decreased 7.9%), ovulatory follicle diameter (decreased 0.51 mm), expression of estrus (decreased 5.1%), and ovulation near TAI (decreased 2.8%) compared with cows without elevated body temperature. A greater proportion of cows (30.2%) had a CL at PGF2α in the GnRH treatment [74.1% (570/763)] than in the 2CIDR treatment [56.9% (434/763)]; however, circulating P4 concentration was greater at the time of PGF2α treatment (d −4) for cows 2CIDR (4.26 ± 0.13 ng/mL) than in cows in GnRH (3.99 ± 0.14 ng/mL). Thus, these 2 protocols yield similar fertility results that might be due to somewhat different physiological alterations. Treatment with GnRH increased the proportion of cows with a CL at PGF2α; however, the 2CIDR protocol increased circulating P4 under all circumstances.




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Journal of Dairy Science, v. 100, n. 10, p. 8455-8470, 2017.

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