ABSTRACT: The objective was to evaluate the effect of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) and hCG post artificial insemination (AI) on fertility of lactating dairy cows. In Experiment 1, cows were either treated with eCG on Day 22 post AI (400 IU; n = 80) or left untreated (n = 84). On Day 29, pregnant cows were either treated with hCG (2500 IU; n = 32) or left untreated (n = 36). Pregnancy and progesterone were evaluated on Days 29 and 45. In Experiment 2, cows (n = 28) were either treated with eCG on Day 22 (n = 13) or left untreated (n = 15) and either treated with hCG on Day 29 (n = 14) or left untreated (n = 14). Blood sampling and ultrasonography were conducted between Days 22 and 45. In Experiment 3, cows were either treated with eCG on Day 22 post AI (n = 229) or left untreated (n = 241). Pregnancy was evaluated on Days 36 and 85. In Experiment 1, eCG on Day 22 increased (P < 0.02) the number of pregnant cows on Day 29 (50.0 vs. 33.3%) and on Day 45, the increase was higher (P < 0.01) in cows with timed AI (41.2 vs. 6.5%) than in cows AI at detected estrus (50.0 vs. 37.8%). Pregnancy losses were reduced by eCG and hCG, but increased in cows that did not receive eCG but were given hCG (P < 0.01). Treatment with hCG tended (P < 0.06) to increase progesterone in control cows, but not in cows treated with eCG. In Experiment 2, hCG increased (P < 0.01) the number of accessory CLs on Day 35 (28.5 vs. 0.0%) and tended (P < 0.07) to increase progesterone. In Experiment 3, eCG increased the number of pregnant cows (P < 0.05) on Days 36 and 85, but only in cows with low body condition (eCG = 45.6 and 43.5%; Control = 22.9 and 22.9%). In conclusion, eCG at 22 days post insemination increased fertility, primarily in cows with low body condition and reduced pregnancy losses when given 7 days before hCG; hCG induced accessory CLs and slightly increased progesterone, but hCG given in the absence of a prior eCG treatment reduced fertility.
Theriogenology 07/2012; 78(5):1110-6. · 1.96 Impact Factor