The predictive value of pelvimetry in beef cattle.

Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Canadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche vétérinaire (Impact Factor: 0.85). 08/1993; 57(3):170-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To elucidate reasons for failure of pelvimetry to predict dystocia, we collected data from 1146 heifers and 210 cows in five beef cow herds in Saskatchewan. We assessed the reliability of pelvic area measurements, the generalizability of findings, various modifications of the technique, and the statistical association between pelvic area measurements and dystocia. The repeatability (kappa) of pelvic area measurements between and within veterinarians for the Rice and Krautmann pelvimeters were low to moderate, indicating pelvic area measurements were imprecise. The positive predictive values and sensitivities of pelvic area measurements were consistently poor across herds, years of study, breeds of heifers, times of measurement, various pelvic area cut-off points, and sires. Various modifications of the technique, including pelvic area/calf birth weight ratios, pelvic area/heifer weight ratios, and Ko's calving prediction equation were also poor on-farm tests for predicting dystocia. Although the mean pelvic area in heifers with dystocia was smaller than those without dystocia, there was a large overlap in the distribution of their measurements. Far too many heifers with a small pelvic area had no dystocia (false positives) and far too many heifers with a large pelvic area had dystocia (false negatives) for pelvimetry to be useful. We conclude there is little evidence to justify the continued use of pelvimetry as an on-farm test to reduce dystocia in beef cattle.

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