Effect of flunixin meglumine on early embryonic mortality in stressed beef female

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Agriculture


The objectives of this study were to determine if an injection of flunixin meglumine (1.1 mg/kg BW) would affect early embryonic mortality in stressed beef females. Ninety-seven cows were assigned to one of three treatment groups (Experiment 1; El). Treatments were: 1.) control (CON) 2.) transportation stressed (S) and 3.) transportation stressed with flunixin meglumine (SFM). The following year 259 heifers (Experiment 2; E2) and 127 cows (Experiment 3; E3) were assigned to one of four treatments: the three treatments used in El plus control with flunixin meglumine (CONFM). Approximately 14 d following synchronization of estrus and artificial insemination (Al) treatments were applied in all three experiments. Rectal temperatures were recorded and blood samples were taken for serum concentration of progesterone, PGF metabolite, and cortisol. The CON and CONFM (NTS) remained at the ranch while S and SFM (TS) females were transported for 5-6 h. The SFM and CONFM (FM) treatments received an injection of flunixin meglumine (1.1 kg/mg BW, i.m.) while S and CON did not receive an injection of flunixin meglumine (NFM). Females were not exposed to clean-up bulls until after treatment. Transrectal ultrasonography was used to determine Al pregnancy status 33-35 d for heifers and 55-57 d for cows post-AI. Statistics were determined using a 2x2 factorial design. No differences were detected in progesterone or PGFM serum concentration (P>0.10) in El. Serum cortisol concentrations decreased for stressed animals (S and SFM) compared to control animals (CON) between pre- and post-treatment blood samplings (P<0.05) in El. In E2 and E3, serum cortisol concentrations were similar (P>0.10) at the initial blood sampling, increased for TS compared to NTS (P<0.01) at intermediate blood sampling and decreased greater for TS compared to NTS (PO.01) at the final blood sampling. Temperatures were similar for initial temperature collection among treatments of E2 and E3. At the E3 intermediate and E2 final temperature collection, FM was lower (P<0.05) than NFM. The Al pregnancy rates were higher (P=0.03) for FM (63%) than NFM (53%) when combining E2 and E3. The SFM cows had higher (P=0.06; 71%) Al pregnancy rates than S (60%) with CON (63%) being intermediate when combining El, E2, and E3. Final pregnancy rates did not differ. In conclusion, flunixin meglumine decreases the embryonic mortality in beef females that are transportation stressed d 12-14 post-AI but . the stress of handling needs to be explored.




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