Factors affecting pregnancy loss from gestation day 38 to 90 in lactating dairy cows from a single herd

F. López-Gatius, P. Santolaria, J. Yániz, J. Rutllant, M. López-Béjar

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148 Citations (Scopus)


The present study was designed to establish whether factors such as previous estrus synchronization, corpus luteum and embryo number at the time of pregnancy diagnosis, changes in body condition score, milk production, clinical disease (mastitis or lameness) and the inseminating bull affect pregnancy loss from 38 to 90 days of gestation. We derived data from 601 pregnant lactating dairy cows from a single herd. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by ultrasonography between Day 38 and 44 following insemination. We also recorded corpus luteum and embryo number at this time. Pregnancy loss was defined as a negative pregnancy diagnosis on the second palpation per rectum undertaken between 90 and 96 days after insemination. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression methods. Cows that had an additional corpus luteum were eight times less likely to miscarry. The risk of pregnancy loss was 3.1 times higher in cows bearing twins. A one unit reduction in body condition score from previous partum to 30 days postpartum resulted in a 2.4-fold increase in pregnancy loss. We noted a higher incidence of pregnancy loss in cows inseminated using semen from one of the six bulls used. This particular bull led to a 3.4-fold increase in the rate of pregnancy loss. Logistic regression analysis showed no significant effects of previous estrus synchronization, milk production, clinical disease, body condition at previous partum or at pregnancy diagnosis, or body condition change between previous partum and pregnancy diagnosis. Our findings indicate a positive relationship between the presence of an additional corpus luteum and the maintenance of gestation. Risk factors for pregnancy loss were twin pregnancy, reduced body condition after previous parturition and the inseminating bull. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1261
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2002


  • Body condition
  • Bull
  • Corpus luteum
  • Dairy cows
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Twins


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