Postpartal ovarian activity of healthy cows and those affected by subclinical metabolic disorders

J. Haraszti, Gy Huszenicza, L. Molnár, L. Solti, V. Csernus

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The postpartal ovarian activity was studied in healthy cows and in those affected by subclinical fatty liver disease and subclinical primary ketosis. Twenty-six dairy cows, 4-7 years old, with not less than 5000 l milk yield in the preceding lactation, were monitored for the following blood parameters: aspartate-amino-transferase (AST)/glutamicoxalacetic transaminase (GOT), albumin, total protein, total lipid, cholesterol, non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and triglyceride levels, glucose and ketones. The ratios albumin : total protein and NEFA : triglyceride were also calculated. Blood samples were collected once a week between days 255 and 260 of gestation and days 1-15 postpartum, and subsequently on the 30th, 45th and 60th days postpartum. Based on the biochemical parameters, the cows were assigned in retrospect to three groups: (1) healthy (n = 5), (2) subclinical fatty liver disease (n = 6), and (3) subclinical primary ketosis (n = 10). The postpartal ovarian activity was assessed by rectal palpation and by milk progesterone levels, determined by radioimmunoassay in samples collected 2-3 times weekly between days 5 and 70 postpartum. As early as 10-18 days postpartum, ovarian activity was evident in healthy cows. This was confirmed by the progesterone profiles indicating three regular ovarian cycles with normal hormone levels within 70 days postpartum. All five healthy cows were detected in estrus and only one failed to conceive after insemination. The six cows with subclinical fatty liver disease had no regular cycles and only a few small follicles were palpable on their ovaries. The milk progesterone fluctuated around the basal level (≤ 1.6 nmol/l). The first Graafian follicles appeared as late as days 30-35 postpartum and the luteal function commenced only between days 38 and 60, as indicated by palpation of corpora lutea and a concomitant rise in milk progesterone. The progesterone peaks were at the lower physiological limits characteristic of luteal function. The ovarian activity of the ten cows with subclinical primary ketosis was intermediate between that of healthy and fatty liver cows. The first follicles and corpora lutea were somewhat delayed, and the progesterone levels fluctuated considerably during the luteal phase. One cow in this group resumed ovarian inactivity during the 70-day postpartal observation period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-136
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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