Comparison between allantochorion membrane and amniotic sac detection by per rectal palpation for pregnancy diagnosis on pregnancy loss, calving rates, and abnormalities in newborn calves

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The objectives of the present investigation were to evaluate the pregnancy diagnosis by detection of either the allantochorion membrane (FMS) or amniotic sac (ASP) by per rectum palpation (PRP) during late embryonic or early fetal period on pregnancy loss (PRL) at reexamination, calving rates, and abnormalities in newborn calves. A controlled randomized blind design with 800 lactating dairy pregnant cows diagnosed by transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS) between Days 35 and 57 of gestation from one dairy farm were included. The cows were randomly divided according to detection of allantochorion membrane (FMS group; n = 264), detection of amniotic sac (ASP group; n = 266), and TRUS (control [CON] group; n = 270). TRUS was considered as the criterion standard method of comparison. The entire PRP was performed by one experienced veterinarian. Then, all the cows were reexamined only by TRUS between 2 and 4 weeks later by two independent veterinarians to assess PRL. The calving rate one (number of cows calved divided by the number of cows initially pregnant) and calving rate two (number of cows calved divided by the number of cows pregnant at reexamination) for each group was calculated. All abortions and stillborns were necropsied, and calves alive were followed for 5 days. The overall initial PRL (between initial pregnant cows and reexamination) for FMS, ASP, and CON groups was 7.4% (19/258), 8.8% (23/262), and 9.2% (24/260), respectively (P = 0.75). The overall late PRL (between reexamination and calving) for FMS, ASP, and CON groups was 4.2% (9/213), 5.7% (12/209), and 4.2% (9/216), respectively (P = 0.71). The calving rate one for FMS, ASP, and TRUS groups was 79.1% (204/258), 75.2% (197/262), and 79.6% (207/260), respectively (P = 0.63). The calving rate two for the same groups was 85.4% (204/239), 82.4% (197/239), and 87.7% (207/236), respectively (P = 0.27). The number of fetuses aborted late, premature, and mature dead from FMS, ASP, and CON groups was 6, 4, and 5, respectively (P = 0.85), and no abnormalities at necropsy were detected. One stillborn male calf with atresia coli after 281 days of gestation from a cow examined by ASP at Day 51 was diagnosed. It was concluded that the use of either FMS or ASP for pregnancy diagnosis during late embryonic or early fetal period did not increase the PRL, affect calving rates, or produce calves with congenital abnormalities.

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