To avoid the problems associated with twinning in dairy cattle, one of the embryos may be eliminated. This study compares the effect on pregnancy maintenance of two embryo reduction techniques, manual rupture (MR) and transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration (TUGA) of allanto-amniotic fluid, in Holstein-Friesian cows with multiple pregnancies. In the first experiment, 61 lactating cows bearing unilateral twins (n=27), bilateral twins (n=30) or triplets/quadruplets (n=4) were subjected to MR (n=45) or TUGA using a 17-G neddle (n=16) on day 28-34 of gestation. In 21 and 10 cows undergoing MR and TUGA embryo reduction, respectively, pregnancy loss occurred before day 90 (46.7 vs. 62.5%, P= 0.28). Through binary logistic regression, the type of pregnancy was identified as the only variable significantly affecting pregnancy maintenance (P=0.03). Based on the odds ratio, the risk of pregnancy loss was 4.1 times higher for unilateral twins than for bilateral twins (70.4 vs. 36.7%, respectively, P=0.01). No effect was detected on pregnancy maintenance of the technique used (P=0.17) or of the interaction technique by type of pregnancy (P=0.22). In the second experiment, a 22-G needle was used to perform TUGA on 22 lactating cows. The pregnancy loss rates were 44.4% (4/9), 18.2% (2/11) and 50% (1/2) for cows bearing unilateral twins, bilateral twins and triplets, respectively. The total pregnancy loss rate following TUGA using the 22-G needle tended to be lower than that using the 17-G needle (31.8 vs. 62.5%; P=0.06). Our results suggest that TUGA using a 22-G needle could be the method of choice to perform embryo reduction in cows carrying multiple pregnancies. ©2012 by the Society for Reproduction and Development.
- Dairy cattle
- Embryo reduction
- Twin pregnancy
Andreu-Vázquez, C., Garcia-Ispierto, I., & López-Gatius, F. (2012). Manual rupture versus transvaginal ultrasound-guided aspiration of allanto-amniotic fluid in multiple pregnancies: A clinical approach to embryo reduction in dairy cattle. Journal of Reproduction and Development, 58(4), 420-424. https://doi.org/10.1262/jrd.2012-046